A few things will kill a stumble, sending no traffic and sending the page to a quiet death. I present for your horror the StumbleUpon Graveyard and how posts are dragged down to its bowels, I will even provide tips to avoid such a fate..
Reviews do have meaning
Without an initial review almost no traffic is sent, nor does your post pick up traction amongst other regular stumblers who are looking in their recent reviews as your post is not there for them to find. So how could someone stumble a site but not leave this vital review?
I don’t want to be the first
This is probably the most common way to get a post into the graveyard, the timid stumbler likes your amazing post and hits the thumbs up. They are presented with the discovery dialogue and panic! What if no one else likes it, what if I made a mistake, I best just go and cancel it! Now normally this is not a problem but it would seem some of the toolbars have a small bug counting the thumbs up and creating an entry then discounting the thumbs up but leaving the entry still intact. The result…. Problem is without testing every toolbar version on every platform we can’t be sure this is a bug but for those interested when you thumb something up the following HTTP is sent
rating=1&url=URLSubmitted&charset=UTF-8& referer=http%3A//www.stumbleupon.com/refer.php%3F url%3DURLSubmitted%252F&version=mozbar%203.16%20xpi& ;username=UserID&password=myencoded password When you thumb up a yet undiscovered page the same initial data is sent, once StumbleUpon server realises its a new URL it requests you send data to www.stumbleupon.com/newurl.php initially this is just the rating, url and page title. You are then presented with the discovery panel and asked for tags etc. Clicking submit sends a Post request with all the information. I think (and emphasis on the think) on some Toolbars that when you cancel it does not send a cancel signal back to StumbleUpon the result is your review is never published, your thumb is not counted but the site has been discovered and StumbleUpon is waiting for information about the initial stumbler.
Other Graveyard methods
‘SendTo’ use to be such a great thing, you could send messages to all your friends begging (sorry suggesting) great pages and we all know that this has been devalued but it still is useful to send your friends ‘SendTo’s after all a friend is much more likely to write a review which will be seen by their friends etc etc. The problem comes we often want to send people ‘SendTo’ about our great content without actually thumbing the page ourselves. StumbleUpon allows us to ‘SendTo’ on any page regardless if we actually thumbed it up so temptation is there. Can you guess what happens if you use ‘SendTo’ on a page which has yet to be discovered and has no thumbs up… Once again StumbleUpon has a “discovered page” i.e its in the database but with no one to associate as the first stumbler result a graveyard page.
How to avoid graveyard pages
As a page owner their is little you can do about Graveyard pages except shrug however in general:
- Only use ‘SendTo’ after the page has been discovered, and for maximum effect thumb the page first
- When you discover a page don’t stop halfway through write that review!
- Make sure you are using the latest Toolbar
- Don’t place StumbleUpon buttons on your page, while StumbleUpon provides them they effectively castrate a stumble as when some one discovers a page via these buttons they do not send that all important thumbs up
Will Stumble Grave Posts bring traffic?
A trickle but no where near what it would have done if the page had been discovered properly, for maximum traffic the Discoverer needs to have both thumbed up and Discovered the page (i.e from the toolbar) the next best thing is to discover via a button and the worst thing is to have a record in the db and no discoverer. Can I do something? Not really if the post proves popular and enough visitors thumb it up it will gain some traffic and more importantly may get several smaller waves in the future but these will be ghostly imitations of what it could have been. Happy stumbling