StumbleUpon, for those who don’t know, is a Firefox browser toolbar that provides social bookmarks discovery service. It has been gaining serious popularity and it is one of my favorite extensions. It basically lets you ‘stumble upon’ new sites in the categories of your interest and I have found quite a few gems through this toolbar.
TechCrunch revealed yesterday that StumbleUpon has signed a term sheet with eBay to be acquired for somewhere between $40 and $75 million.
GigaOM has aired about Google and eBay tussling over an acquisition for the second time. The first time was the eBay’s Skype acquisition in 2005. Their hypothesis about eBay’s interest in using Skype and its integration with StumbleUpon in the future as a backdoor to millions of desktops is pretty viable.
I wonder about StumbleUpon’s future direction. Even though it is a great tool right now, it has its limitations in the form of a few set categories that you can search by. I found that someone stumbling in the category ‘windows’ came to the most popular article in this blog about Free software for your computer. But, the stuff one could be interested under such broad categories like windows, technology, science tend to, IMHO, dilute the effectiveness of it.
Maybe eBay will run with it and even make it better. But, I personally would have bet on Google to have done a better job at it.
The first is a recommendations button on the Google Toolbar that looks like a pair of dice. Click on the dice, and we’ll take you to a site that may be interesting to you based on your past searches. If you want another, just click the dice again and we’ll show you a new one. We’ll give you up to 50 new sites per day that might be of interest.
Even though I have installed Google’s toolbar, I haven’t used it much so far. Maybe this feature will make me use it more often although the recommendations feature needs to have ‘Search History’ feature turned on in your account. I have to say they look at your search history to provide recommendations.
I am very interested in finding out how effective Google’s recommendations are compared to StumbleUpon! I know it’s kind of comparing apples to oranges but at the end of the day I am going to use the product that closely matches my taste.
Do you use StumbleUpon or Google Toolbar or both? What are your thoughts on it?