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Around two years ago I took some time out to analyse the top 50 Stumbleupon users. At the time, StumbleUpon was just starting to get noticed by internet marketers and as the service had the ability to send a lot of traffic to websites, people wanted to know more.
These days, Stumbleupon is about 8 million users bigger than the last time I did this and while it still has the ability to send thousands of visitors to a website, it seems to get talked about less and less. Now, some people will argue that there is no benefit to being a top user of the service while others claim that you should strive to be one if you want traffic from the site.
In my opinion, neither of these are true. I’ve had sites that I submitted get tens of thousands of visitors when I was a nobody, and the same when I was a somebody. However, I believe that there must be some benefit to being a top user or why would StumbleUpon even have a page about them in the first place?
Discussions on that aside, I thought it would be interesting once again to analyse the statistics of the top users. From this we can get a general idea of how active and engaging somebody needs to be on the site (or not) in order to be featured as a top user. StumbleUpon describes the path to becoming a top user as…
To become a Top Stumbler, simply use the toolbar on a regular basis, clicking I-like-it at any page other members would like to stumble upon.
…but I think there is more to it than that.
Two years ago when I did this there were 50 users on my list. Now, there are only 25 and what’s interesting is that I only recognise one of the top users from the previous testing (starspirit).
Sorry to my British readers for selling-out, but I’m going with the American spelling of favorites today. The number of favorites simply means how many sites a user has ‘liked’ (clicked thumbs up on). As you can see from the graph below, there are a couple of users who are far ahead of the pack:
I am quite surprised to see such a low figure for the least active top stumbler. I assume their status is because they are more active in other areas of the site or have gained a large number of subscribers.
Reviews are comments that stumblers have left about particular pages. It is not reviews of them, but rather feedback they have given on the pages they stumble across around the web. The users are much less divided here than for subscriber statistics:
It is very easy for anyone to Stumble a lot of pages quickly whereas it is quite time consuming to leave reviews regularly. Therefore, I believe this statistic links in closely to why top users are top users. I’m sure StumbleUpon want people leaving comments rather than just browsing around all of the time.
Additionally, I have a feeling this works on a percentage basis. So for example, even though one user has only left 113 reviews, I would say that is probably a similar percentage of their review-to-stumble ratio as someone further up the list.
StumbleUpon offers a percentage indicator which shows how similar you are to other members of the website. I thought it would be interesting to look at my own count and see if I’m really close to anyone in terms of what I stumble. Well, as it turns out, I’m not.
But here’s what I thought was interesting: the majority of Stumblers are within a 40-50% similarity range to me. Unless I’m being stupid, doesn’t that mean they are all inherently close to each other in terms of what they stumble?
Interestingly I was 51% similar and 47% similar with three users for each.
Along with number of reviews, I believe this statistic is one of the most crucial for defining a top user. After all, it would be hard for spammers to get subscribed to by a lot of regular and active accounts. If a user is being subscribed to (which means people can see what they stumble) then there’s a good chance they find good content and may find great information relevant to a particular topic.
There is quite a large gap between the top stumblers once again:
Although I’m sure this has no impact on someone becoming a top user, I thought it would be nice to look at the gender of the members and how they are split up. One thing I did note (which may not be surprising to many) is that only 3 of the 25 top users listed they were in a relationship. Some didn’t include any relationship status, but many clearly stated they were single.
Two of the top 25 users did not include their gender status but for the rest, the statistics were:
As with my previous analysis a few years ago, I expected there would be more males active on the service than women.
My account has ‘better’ stats than the top user who has the lowest figure in each of these criteria. However, I am also the furthest away from this person in terms of similarity than I am for anyone else. I’m starting to think that top user status is very much about what you stumble. I suspect that stumbling generic content that a lot of people love is more effective than focusing on a specific niche.
Of course I don’t recommend anyone change what they stumble just to try to get a leg up on the service. Finally, a word to marketers:
I hope you enjoyed this analysis. If you have ideas for other analytical posts you would like me to do, feel free to share them in the comments below.