you're reading...
iPad, iPhone

Stumbling Free!

Well, for a long time time I was on no Social Networking of any sort.
Started though on Friends Reunited and had some success contacting school buddies and the like but haven’t been back for years now.
FaceBook took over on that score.
Recently I’ve dabbled with Twitter, flooding the ether with how bad my daily commute is and the odd titbits as I find.
Separately I have obviously started blogging and I hope that the information I provide is of interest.
Now, for the last two days, I’ve been emerged in the world of StumbleUpon!

…and I think I like it!
Eye Opener
This has been a revelation to me. I really didn’t see the point of random articles chosen from across the web. But I thought I had a free moment and seeing a post from a friend with a StumbleUpon link, I have given it a go.
Signing Up
I took the route of associating my account with my FaceBook login, although this didn’t go without issues and took a couple of attempts. All this from inside the iPhone application.
You can of course simply start a StumbleUpon account instead but I like the idea of linking everything together. Cross pollution is a risk and so be on your guard and keep different passwords for different services where at all possible. Also remember that if you link everything to a single login, if that is compromised then so is everything linked to it.
Plus, of course, never link your seriously private stuff (bank accounts, backups, work accounts, etc.) to your any of your social media logins. The exception is were that is your job, of course.
Your first job once signed in is to choose a few topics to follow. You can of course Stumble blindly but the real power is in the topics. There are a lot!
Some effort has go in to categorising the topics {sic} so items of interest are very easy to find. Select as many or as few as you wish, I was click happy and selected over forty topics.
Home Screen
Obviously, as that is where I work most, I’ll concentrate on the iPad and iPhone applications. Yes, that’s right, “there’s an app for that“.
On the iPhone the small screen doesn’t seem so small. They have managed to fit in all the necessary functions without too much compromise. Simply select a topic and off you go!
Similarly on the iPad, though the interface is more polished and tweaked (appreciably) to make use of the increase in real estate the notion is the same, just select a topic.

The iPhone home screen makes good use of the available space.

But the extra real estate on the iPad makes for a prettier, though not necessarily more functional, home page.
The application is actually the same on both devices, a feature I really like in apps, allowing a single app to be used on different devices but with such startlingly different looking (though I reiterate – similar functionality) is good sense on the part of the programmers.
There are three primary types of resource that are “hit” by StumbleUpon:

  • News
  • Images
  • Videos

The last is nearly always on YouTube and the least interesting to me. I haven’t found a way of excluding all videos from the results.
Some of the images and news articles are truly awe inspiring. People have tried really hard to get good stuff out there on the web but get flooded out by the “noise” and “craft” of marketing or plain rubbish.
StumbleUpon is an excellent way of trying to filter all this out.
It has it’s drawbacks. It is categorised but still random so more rubbish than useful stuff is presented but you just “Stumble Again” until you do find something of interest.
The presentation is both simple and ideal in both iPhone and iPad. Obviously reading articles and observing large images is easier on the iPad.
Buttons are available arrange the edge for “Home“, “Like“, “Unlike“, “Share“, “Stumble“, “About this“, “Refresh” and “Back” and “Forward” buttons.
Alas the navigation buttons don’t work across sessions so if you want to review something later you need to email it to yourself.

iPad example of the layout and design.

On the iPhone viewing large images is a challenge, even with zoom features.

Text/news articles may need to be viewed in a particular orientation…

…For best effect.
If simply want to use your favourite browser then the website is fully functional and has good mobile themes. Although I find the app significantly more convenient it is honest to the concept of the website and so that too feels well controlled and presented.
Reviews and Comments
The little speech bubble is the “About This” option.
Here you can find out who “liked” the article and perhaps why, as well as details of the original source.
All in all an excellent way to access new stuff about what you like. Most of the time anyway. Still wonder how I got the article about a real life hit-and-run from the Fantasy topic.

– Posted using BlogPress

About harlekwinblog

"Thoughts of an idle mind." Information Security professional.


2 thoughts on “Stumbling Free!

  1. Found it!
    On the StumbleUpon Website, under Settings, there are options for disabling the showing of Flash, Video and other content types.


    Posted by harlekwinblog | 2011/08/06, 2:58 pm


  1. Pingback: iPad App Favourites « harlekwin - 2011/09/12

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: