Maybe you've heard about it, maybe you haven't. In either case, let me tell you: Stumble Upon is the best thing that happened to the web as a whole since Google, period.

Stumble Upon is a web browser plugin that allows a user to discover webpages and content based on other user's appreciation and rating, a notion that's called a "recommendation system".
It's basically web browsing "a la carte", where each of the webpages on the menu are something you should potentially enjoy.

You browsing is done by random selection inside a category. Say you like football, well, clicking the "Stumble!" button inside the football category will yield you one of the most interesting sites about football available on the net, everytime. Fantastic. But I already had reviewed that awhile ago on AdKrispies.

What's now interesting is SU's "Sponsored Stumblers" program, which seems to have a much more interesting structure than Google AdWords, and better yield. And not without arguments for it:

a) Target the exact audience you want (only qualified viewers come to your site)
b) No clickthrough required (SU pays for every visit to your site, instead of every click on a word)
c) Get feedback from visitors (Stumblers can rate your site in the SU system, possibly making you a destination of choice)

Allan Stern of CenterNetworks has posted an interesting review of SU's Sponsored Stumblers program v.s. Google AdWords. In his final comments he notedly says that"... StumbleUpon is a great alternative to click based traffic in the sense that you get a continuous stream of interested visitors. The traffic is qualified in the sense that the visitors said they were interested in your topic or category. I believe StumbleUpon ads are a better source of visitors than using interstitial ads since the users will be in your desired category."

I'm curious, I'll give it a shot.



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Most people who know me, know that I am a huge fan of the general video game scene.

I recently purchased the excellent Trackmania United (which is all about creating wacky tracks and racing them), and apart from being highly satisfied of my overall experience, I was quite surprised to find local billboard ads for Bell on the racetracks. My reaction was threefold:

a) My gamer brain thought: "Mini ads for Bell. Looky that."

b) My ad industry brain thought: "Bell. The damn beavers again. What an idiotic campaign. I didn't even have time to read the ad, I was racing a high-speed car for pete's sake. Now, what was that billboard showing?? (I had to stop my car in front of the billboard, ruining my lap time) -- It was showing one of the 3D woodchucks saying "Too late. I've won". Too late, you've won what against whom? I don't get it."

c) My analytic brain said "What's the point of placing ads inside a video game, if they're not going to tell me something pertinent or informative, contribute to my gaming experience or give me special advantages inside the game?"

By extending their media placement within games, does Bell really believe that they're effectively engaging dialog with the gamer population? Placing billboard ads inside a video game, with no pertinent message, or anything that actually would call to action towards something that pursues the experience, is to me just another iteration of misemployed traditional media.

There are hundreds of ways to incorporate a brand experience inside a game, adding to the experience. But that's a notion marketers continue to struggle with...



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