6 Dec 2011

StumbleUpon Redesign = Big Traffic For Content


Is StumbleUpon a significant source of traffic to your site?
Let us know.


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SEMPO Speaks Out: FTC Should Not Regulate Web
SEMPO Speaks Out: FTC Should Not Regulate Web

Search industry organization SEMPO recently wrote a letter to the FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in an effort to stop the government from regulating the Internet, and primarily, search engines. The letter asks, "Why should looking for things on the Internet be subject to government regulation, any more than you'd expect laws on how you could do research at your local library?"

As Chris Boggs, the President of SEMPO, told WebProNews, the main goal of the letter was to promote a free market approach to the Internet that would allow search engines to provide the best results with limited or no regulation. The organization wrote the letter in response to its members' needs and the continuing call for regulation of Google.

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Rafael Robinson
Client reports 30% decrease in sales since implementing Authorize.net
By: CraigAllen

This website has for years been non-pci compliant. When a customer would make a purchase, the order info including cc number was sent to the client in the form of an email. Once the email was received by the client they would run the card number through their point of sale card scanner by manually inputting the number as if they had the card in possession. When they would have a declined transaction, they would notify the customer and thus were able to ultimately make a successful sale through their communications.

Three months ago we brought them into PCI compliance using an Authorize.net payment gateway and their merchant account. Immediately they noted a decrease in orders. Over three months now they have records that, while their site visits have increased, actual sales have decreased by 30% and they want to know what's wrong. The site has not changed as far as the ultimate customer sees; they go through the same steps as before to place an order, they can see the Thawte logo and verify the site's security certificate, they can see the new Authorize.net logo... other than that, the only difference now is that the credit card info is sent to Authorize.net for processing, and that now the client has to retrieve the orders through their site's control panel (osCommerce). The client still receives all the customer info there, such as name, address, email address, phone, shipping address, what was ordered, order totals, etc. but they do not get to see the credit card number (except for the last four digits). So theoretically they have the same tools they have always had for contacting the customer in the event that a transaction fails or credit card is declined.

I really don't know what to tell my client. They are able to show evidence of a 30% drop in sales since instituting the Anet gateway, but since nothing has changed on the website other than how the order is processed I am doubting that the site itself is to blame. Authorize.net tells them the same thing, of course, that Anet is not to blame.

Anyone have any input on this? I told them I would research the problem but I don't even know where to start.

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Chris Crum

StumbleUpon Redesign = Big Traffic For Content

Recommend on Facebook Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Brands get profiles users can follow

StumbleUpon has already been a tremendous source of web traffic for some sites. Sources have already indicated that it's a bigger traffic driver than Facebook in the U.S. We've certainly seen the benefits ourselves. With new features, the potential to get traffic is even greater.

Is StumbleUpon a significant source of traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments.

StumbleUpon has been redesigned. We had a phone conversation with CEO Garrett Camp, VP, Marketing Marc Leibowtz and Director of Communications Mike Mayzel, and the company tells us they consider the relaunch "the most significant and consumer-driven product announcement to date."

Indeed, it has the potential to make the general StumbleUpon experience more relevant to users, while greatly increasing traffic to websites.

While the relaunch comes with a redesigned homepage, toolbar and even logo (the social button has yet to be updated at this point), it's really all about two features. One feature, you may already be familiar with - the Explore Box. It's been in beta for months, but with the relaunch, it's not any longer, and will appear in the upper right-hand corner anytime someone is stumbling.

the new stumbleupon homepage

We wrote about the feature back in July. I said back then that it could be viewed as "a new way to search the web," as it lets you stumble through content based on the keywords that you enter into the search box.

Camp tells us, however, "it's not a full-on search engine," noting that it has expanded StumbleUpon's discovery engine from 500 topics to half a million interests. But it's "not a search engine for everything."

The second feature is the one you'll probably more interested in, however. At least a business or a website owner.

That would be channels. Sites, celebrities, brands and businesses can set up their own profiles and get people to follow them on StumbleUpon. You know, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.

stumbleupon channel

Before, sites always had to worry about flooding the StumbleUponiverse (call it what you want) with too much content, and driving users away, or getting content out there at the right time, but this eliminates these worries. In fact, StumbleUpon is essentially encouraging sites to share everything they have by connecting their RSS feeds or Twitter accounts to their channels.

It's still interwoven with StumbleUpon's algorithms. Users who follow your channel will see more of your content in the mix as they're stumbling like usual. StumbleUpon will also recommend your content to users who like similar sites. The company tells us they'll be implementing more channel recommendation features over time. It won't just be a one time thing at sign up.

The feature launched with 250 channel partners. It's unclear exactly when every brand will be able to set up their own, but based on our conversation, I get the impression that this will be the case. Here's what a couple of the launch partners had to say about the channels.

"We're big believers in 'discovery' as the dominant way that people now find content, and we're excited to be sharing our favorite technology and innovations with the StumbleUpon universe, which is one of biggest ways to discover on the Web today," said Linda Boff, executive director, global digital marketing, GE.

"We are focused on building an Audi community in the places where our fans interact and share with one another," says Audi of America Chief Marketing Officer Scott Keogh. "The prospect of someone literally Stumbling onto an Audi image, video, or news story that resonates on a personal level is truly remarkable. We love to see lifelong fans or even casual Audi enthusiasts expressing their natural passion for the brand in the spaces where they connect and share lives with one another."

StumbleUpon Channels

I don't know about you, but I do a fair amount of my stumbling from my phone. This graph from Fast Company shows that mobile stumbling is indeed on the rise (which should also help your traffic - be sure to have mobile-friendly content):

StumbleUpon Mobile Growth

The mobile apps will get access to the content that comes from the channels right away, but you won't be able to manage your channels from the mobile apps at first, though from the sound of it, this will probably come in the future.

On the site, StumbleUpon users will be able to toggle between the new and old versions over the coming weeks.

Do you intend to promote a branded StumbleUpon channel? Thoughts about the redesign in general? Let us know in the comments.

What are your thoughts? [Digg This!] [Facebook] [Twitter] [StumbleUpon]
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About the Author:
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow WebProNews on Facebook or Twitter.

Twitter: @CCrum237 | StumbleUpon: Crum |
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