Monday, March 2, 2009

trip over

Tonight I will finally be writing an eloquent, original and poignant post about a youtube video of my choice. Just kidding. Lets get down on our knees and throw a few hundred words in the general direction of SOCIAL BOOKMARKING SITES. I could easily spend this time following the prompt and detailing how is probably the most practical of these sites and has the most to offer my 'readers,' but instead feel compelled to discuss the semi-schizophrenic stream of sometimes-helpful information that is stumbleupon, specifically the 'stumble' function of their service.

Indeed, the site is so effective at snaring and misdirecting attention that the space between this paragraph and the one preceding it represents half an hour of time spent not writing- and all I did was open the homepage to use as reference for this post. While this may not be the best tool for a focused, academic blogger with a pertinent task at hand... hm. I didn't really have a counter to that. Honestly, the service is fairly impractical when it comes to focused searching and categorizing, but something about its random nature is perfectly in line with how I spend time on youtube. Let me explain -

Upon registering for an account, you are prompted to check all boxes that apply in a long list of interests. This serves as the starting point for the stumble function, which is pretty much just what it sounds like. Based on what it thinks it knows about what you like, it will take you to one of many many sites already approved by like-minded visitors. Once there, you can (providing you have installed the toolbar) give it a thumbs up or down: aside from remembering whether you liked it or not and using that to more effectively direct your next stumble, it also saves all your upturned thumbs into a favorites section (the only downside to this being that it is organized only by date visited. Thus far, I haven't been able to figure out a way to get around that). Every so often, the stumble button will take you back to a more refined version of the original list, giving you the opportunity to revise your interests and presumably get the most out of the service.

While it is a little irritating that after several weeks of stumbling it still seems to know very little about what I really like, I cannot deny being thoroughly entertained every time it screws up. To avoid this not-entirely-efficient omnipotent HAL-like aspect, you can stumble a specific word or phrase from a search tool found on your dashboard, which yields more specific results. At any rate, the sparkly feeling I get when I discover something really great on youtube just by clicking from video to video seems to emanate from every stumble, relevant or no. For all of us postmodern schizophrenic MTV-edit-addicted attention span-less youtubing twenty-somethings (what I fantasize my demographic to be) - this is right up our alley.

No comments:

Post a Comment