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An open feature request to StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a great way to find interesting and fun material on the internet. However, just as with Digg, sometimes you land on pages that are either very slow or won’t respond at all, which can be very frustrating. So here is a suggestion that would make the stumbling even easier and more efficient: Automatically skip websites when they are slow or won’t respond. Just stumble on to the next page!

“Auto-Stumble” if:

  • The website takes more than a few seconds to respond.
  • The website loads very slowly.
  • The website responds with an HTTP error code.

The StumbleUpon toolbar

A lot of users do this Stumble for slow pages manually already, so why not automate it?

Users could of course specify how long they want to wait for a page to load, and turn off the feature if they don’t like it.

Several of us here at Pingdom, including our CEO, use StumbleUpon every day and we really would love to see StumbleUpon implement something along these lines.

If you think this is a good idea, Stumble it!

Agree? Disagree? Please feel free add your opinion in the comments.

Update (March 25, 2008)

Thank you all for your feedback so far. It seems like a lot of people really like this idea (though a few don’t, but in most cases it seems to be due to misunderstandings of how it would work).

Some points have been raised regarding “punishing” slow websites. That is not how this would work. Quite the opposite, it would stop sites from getting a “thumbs down” simply because they are slow (like some users do). It would also offload temporarily overloaded sites.

Usually a website is slow because of heavy load, i.e. having a lot of visitors. It could for example be on Digg, Reddit and also be getting traffic from other sites and StumbleUpon, all at the same time, and the sum of this traffic could make it slow to a crawl.

How it could be done: StumbleUpon could incorporate an algorithm that would stop sending visitors to a website if it proves to be very slow or unavailable for multiple StumbleUpon users. Then after a while a few StumbleUpon users could be sent there again to “test” the site, and if it works well again it is reinserted into the normal “StumbleUpon cycle”.

That way StumbleUpon would improve in two ways:

  1. For the users: The stumbling would be more responsive and immediate, in other words a better user experience.
  2. For the site owners: No sites would get “thumbs down” and get punished simply for being temporarily slow.

We really believe that this would be a Good Thing.

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