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Following my resolution to “Ask for help." Help with what? StumbleUpon.

Posted Nov 03 2008 1:14am

Internet One of my happiness-project resolutions is to Ask for help. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s surprisingly hard.

If you’ve been reading The Happiness Project for a while, you might have noticed the links at the bottom of every article: ‘Digg This!’ or ‘Stumble It!.’ In case you are as mystified as I once was about what these describe, I thought I’d explain what they’re for: these are links to social media websites, which people use to share and spread content.

Social media sites have two sides. One side: using the service to find great new material online. The other side: suggesting material for other people to see.

All the social media sites have their strengths and weaknesses. I thought I’d explain my current favorite, StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a fantastic web service that lets you page-surf the internet just like you would channel-surf on TV.

With StumbleUpon, with the click of a button, you’re sent to a website (based on your interests) and can vote whether you like a page or not. The more popular a site is, the more likely others will see it.

Also, when you’re cruising through the internet, you can propose a site by hitting the button to indicate “I like it!” Then that site gets thrown into the mix for others to “stumble upon.”

To be honest, I used to be a more active user, but stopped for a while when I became too busy. Same with Digg and Twitter. Now that I’ve got things under control, I’ve picked these tools up once more. They can be a lot of fun and are a great way to find interesting and useful material. If anything, it’s almost overwhelming at times, contemplating all the great stuff to read.

I’ll warn you: Stumble Upon is great, but I also find it a bit confusing at times. Especially with figuring out how to connect with other users -- I'm still finding my way. So if you’re trying it out, and you’re not sure if you’re doing it exactly right, I know how you feel! Like all new technology, just get in there and mess around – it's fun to experiment, and eventually you become adept.

I was pleasantly surprised when I recently realized that StumbleUpon sends me traffic on a regular basis. So, if you’re intrigued, I’m going to follow my resolutions to Ask for help in using social media to get the word out about The Happiness Project. If you happen to enjoy an article here, I would love it if you could share it by giving it a Stumble (or a Digg or del.icio.us bookmark, if that’s your thing). I think this would be a great way to let other people know about The Happiness Project, and would so appreciate your help. People really respect the recommendations of other people.

Are you a StumbleUpon user? Connect with me on my StumbleUpon profile.

Have you had success with social media? Share your tips and experiences.

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I enjoy checking out The Positivity Blog. Good stuff there.

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Interested in starting your own Happiness Project? If you’d like to take a look at my Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. No need to write anything more than “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.

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