The internet is home to over one billion websites—and no great way to aimlessly explore them. StumbleUpon was the answer to this problem. It put a big “Shuffle” button on the internet, and the web didn’t feel so big.
What Was StumbleUpon?
StumbleUpon was created in 2001 by Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance, and Eric Boyd. The idea came from the fact that typical search engines only work if you know what you’re looking for. Music discovery had Pandora, but there wasn’t anything similar for the internet.
The solution they came up with was StumbleUpon. On the surface, it seemed pretty simple—just a toolbar with a “Stumble” button and thumbs-up and down options. It was simple to use too. At the press of a button, you were presented with a random website, which you could then rate to help your future Stumbles.
In the background, there was machine learning and algorithms working to figure out what type of websites you might like to see. You could also do more focused Stumbling in specific topics and categories. But in essence, it was simply a way to…
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