I’ve spent the week taking down my StumbleUpon account. When I started it in 2011, I liked the concept of being able to like a page on the web and have their algorithm suggest similar things that would appeal to me.
I quickly found out it wouldn’t allow me to be specific enough that it didn’t completely waste my time. I liked cemeteries, cemetery, graveyard. It sent me everything related to history, photography, bizarre, or goth culture. It told me that the more things I added or liked, the better it would understand me — but that didn’t prove to be the case. It sent me a lot of random travel photography, stripped of its context. The weekly email of pages recommended for me was embarrassing and insulting. StumbleUpon, you’re not even trying to get to know me.
Honestly, when I want to click on links at random, I’ll go through my “most popular” feed on Facebook. I have a connection, however tangential, to those recommenders. I can converse with them, if I like. Usually, there’s more information to their links than just an image.
Once I joined Pinterest, I pretty much abandoned ship and didn’t look back. I feel part of a community of Pinterest. I pin and am pinned by the same people over and over. I trust their judgment and taste when they bring things to my attention.
The only benefit StumbleUpon had over Pinterest was the ability to save articles that were only text. Now that I’m using Evernote, I don’t need that any more.
So this week, I’ve opened every link I saved, read each article, and pinned, saved to Evernote, or deleted as needed. I’ve rediscovered some great stuff. I’ve started some conversations out around the web. Today I asked that my account be deleted. I feel vastly relieved to have left one less ghost town behind me on the web.
Next I’m going to tackle taking down my LiveJournal. Anyone know of a good program for saving the entries as Word-readable text files?