July 13, 2006 5:05 PM PDT

Stumbleupon picks up the pace

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Stumbleupon.com is stumbling up in the tech world.

The 4-year-old company produces a browser plug-in that recommends popular Web sites to its users based on their stated preferences--such as photography, science or cool gadgets--and the endorsement of others in the Stumbleupon community within those categories. It's like channel surfing with a Web remote that knows what you might like.

The application now has 1 million registered users from Mozilla Firefox, the primary browser it supports, following improvements Stumbleupon made to it in May, according to the company. And next week, Stumbleupon will unveil a public version for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which commands the majority of the browser market, in the hopes of expanding its membership by the millions.

That way, it will bolster its database of recommended sites, draw more members and sell more of its own highly targeted advertising, said Garrett Camp, chief architect and founder of Stumbleupon.

"We have a new ad system that introduces ads (via Web page) to people when they stumble," said Camp, who compared it to television-style advertising but with a targeted approach to peoples' interests.

All this comes months after several prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists invested in Stumbleupon, in what was the company's first outside round of funding. Among those investors were Ram Shiram and Rajeev Motwani, two of Google's early backers, and Ron Conway, an early investor in AskJeeves. Camp would not disclose the amount of angel funding the company raised, but said the figure was in the millions.

The activity plays into an online trend around so-called social search, or sites that rely on a community of people to populate and drive search results for photos, news, videos and so on. Tagging sites like Flickr and Del.ic.ious were among early pioneers for photo and Web site sharing, but a host of dot-coms have emerged to follow suit and mirror the benefits of community-filtered Web search.

Stumbleupon has largely flown under the radar for the last several years, as a profitable but small outfit. In January, the company moved its four employees, including two other founders besides Camp, from headquarters in Calgary, Canada, to San Francisco, where it could be closer to the VC community.

Camp said the company plans to hire sales and support staff to begin selling its own advertising. Right now, it makes money from Google's Adsense ads, or contextually targeted ads, and some ad-free subscriptions members can buy. But its new self-serve advertising engine will allow marketers to pay for placement in its recommendation engine.

The ads, which appear as Web sites, crop up about once for every 20 pages a person views using the Stumbleupon application. Members can give the ads a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," just like they would any site on the Web.

The application also lets people invite friends to participate, so that they can see what they're interested in, or find people with similar interests.

That way, someone might stumble on a date, too.

See more CNET content tagged:
StumbleUpon, community, Web browser, Google Inc., Microsoft Internet Explorer

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What about America?

This is not the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment!

Yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if we gave ourselves the same support that we gave all other countries.

I feel really really bad for them but I guess who cares about America.

99% of people won't have the guts to forward this to friends and family members.

How about you??

When across America we gave a $5.00 donation or more why can?t we do the same for our own country.

I am doing one county at a time and hopefully I will reach my goal to hit all counties throughout the United States to branch off us.

"Let?s Make It Happen"

Although; we can not do this with out your help.

If we did the same as we did for Haiti.

We would have jobs in America.

"Hope for Haiti Now" telethon took in a record-setting $66 million for Haitian earthquake relief.

We American?s need relief too!

I intend to make this my Life........for others like my wife.

I want to make this happen for others like my wife that are disabled and thrown to Society to take care of her.

When she has Talent. That no one can see because she is disabled and limited on what she can do.

How many others are out there like my wife?

That are disabled that no one will hire.

Or how about the ones that are not disabled and want to branch out on their own although can not get a loan.

When America just gave Haiti how much $66 million do know how many companies we could start here in America for that.

When we need to raise $25,000.00 for our first goal.

So please help us reach our goal and donate.
Posted by angelsdonations (1 comment )
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