Forget Digg. Get flamed ‘in style’ at StumbleUpon

Surely, if you have ever posted anything to Digg that didn’t make the front page, you’ve been hit with comments such as lame, fail, old news, or something like that.

I’ve found that StumbleUpon has some interesting folks that expand quite a bit on their negative opinions. Take my recent post about the 16 personality types of StumbleUpon users. It was generally very well liked (23 reviews, 20 of which were positive), but if you take a look at the thumbs down reviews, you’ll find things like this one from TravisKab:

StumbleUpon users don’t hold back with criticism

It’s nice to be able to sit back and laugh about this. Just so you all know, I really don’t feel compelled to pigeonhole myself as a personality type and frolic (spelling?) in traffic. But, I do like to take notice of interesting patterns in social media and spread the word about them. And strong opinions one way or the other make life far more interesting than zombies saying “nice post,” “lame,” or “I don’t like it”. By all means, keep the discussion going.

And hey, people that post positive reviews are also pretty verbose. Take this one from TheNanny612 for instance:

StumbleUpon users also put in meaningful thumbs up reviews.

I do see the point of the couple of thumbs down reviews on the 16 personalities post. People were expecting a more thorough analysis of StumbleUpon users and felt that the Myers Briggs test was not substantial / accurate enough to be based upon. To this, I respond that this is a social media blog, not a psychology lab 🙂

Hey, if you want to do some grant writing, we put some stumblers in a sensory deprivation chamber for a while and see how they do. It’s still pretty good that StumbleUpon even has a spot for personality type unlike most social media stuff that is out there.


  1. Dan

    From what I can tell, TravisKab is the lesser-known, 17th personality type JERK. I’ve always been fascinated with personality types- less for summing up people into concise definitions, and more for realizing the most beneficial ways to interact with them. I’ve always limited things to 4 boxes, upper rights (leaders, dictators [lion]), lower rights (expressive, outgoing, jokesters [golden retriever]), lower left (quiet, shy, friendly [turtle]), and upper left (analytical, indecisive [owl]). Its also a good indicator for mates- you tend to interact better long-term with someone to the left or right of you. Close friends tend to be of the same box.

    Very useful for dealing with clients and kids.

  2. brian

    @dan: well said. Personality types are interesting, but to TravisKab’s point – it’s difficult to summarize all a person is into such a thing.

  3. Dan

    From his language to his avatar, TravisKab reeks of Troll.

  4. NoodleCouncil

    nowsourcing•30 M•Oct 7, 5:31pm

    Thanks man, very much appreciate the comments. Stay tuned for another interesting interview.


    * Block user

    NoodleCouncil•17 M•Oct 7, 5:29pm

    Thank you very much.
    Also love your SU blog and site, really well done. Always stumble on interesting pages from NowSourcing.

    Good job.

    * Block user

    nowsourcing•30 M•Oct 7, 5:28pm

    hey noodlecouncil,

    Thanks for the review, reviewed yours as well.

    Brian (NowSourcing)


    I guess this was the interesting one :P?

  5. Caroline Middlebrook

    Lol you have to laugh don’t you? I also experienced my first StumbleUpon ‘flame’ last week though I must admit that my blog post was a little on the controversial side and brought a few negative comments on the post too. Though luckily I didn’t have anyone be quite so harsh as your one there. That is rather extreme, especially considering the post was actually fun, and was simply highlighting a little known feature of SU. I really can’t see why anybody would get so upset about there, but there you go 🙂

  6. brian

    @caroline: lol, indeed. I don’t think he is truly upset. If you’re going to post something out to the world, you need to have thick skin.

  7. Chris

    Hey, anyone that quotes Henry Rollins in their own SU review is alright by me! 🙂

  8. brian

    @chris: hehe, glad someone caught that. And nice blog by the way.

  9. Tim Nash

    Every society has the belittler I guess an online “social” media system would feel odd without some one slagging people off because they can.
    While most people know what such people are its a shame when a persons first or early experience is such a negative one, I guess the nice stumblers need to redouble their efforts.

  10. brian

    @tim: hear, hear. If everyone just smiled and nodded, it wouldn’t be a true social system.

  11. Meg

    Hi Brian

    I had one stumbler say “I hope you die of cancer” – charming! You can’t please everyone, but I think the “thumbs down” with a review actually attracts equal amounts of views.

  12. brian

    @meg: charming. 🙂

    I’ve had some stumblers tag their reviews of my posts as fail, get-AIDS, so I know what you mean. And yes, sometimes just being infamous will get you a good amount of traffic. Some just seeing a lengthy negative review will be tempted to see what got them so worked up in the first place.

  13. praxis22

    Personally I thought the review was funny, but then he’s English, I guess you either get the humour or you don’t.

  14. Chris Morrell

    Harsh and hateful comments can actually drive traffic but rarely is it the traffic you want viewing your post. On the other hand positive comments defending your post written by other users are exactly what you want to see. While I’m not that experienced with SU, I have seen this phenomenon occur rather often on Digg. It is nice to know that the Internet isn’t populated wholly with scam artists and trolls.

  15. brian

    @praxis22: yes, it was pretty funny. That’s what sparked on all this discussion.

  16. brian

    @chris: good insight. If you say anything on the Internet, some people will like it and others will hate it. Haters and defenders can really drive traffic.

  17. emberjohn

    even though i am a digger i like stumbleupon more…

  18. brian

    @emberjohn: everyone is a digger and stumbleuponer (new word?) at heart 🙂

  19. brian

    @noodlecouncil: no, this was not the interesting interview. Still to come.

  20. Bransby

    Oh now come on, a blog simply isn’t a blog if someone DOESN’T call you a “motherf*cking retard” or something similar, it’s as much part of the Internet as porn.

    In all seriousness, I’m sure there’s been a fair bit of research done into this “phenomenon”, if you can call it that. It never ceases to amaze me how offensive people can get, and as for the standard of grammar and spelling in those kind of posts, it’s like they’ve invented a whole new language. The sheer effort that goes into insulting your “utter bullsh*t” article about the 327 types of stumblers or whatever, has to be admired, but what fascinates me is why. I mean why do people (a) go to all that effort to have a go at you, and (b) why is it apparently acceptable on the Internet to say something to a complete stranger that you wouldn’t dream of saying in a million years to someone face to face. It’s bizarre.

  21. Dimitri

    I used SU in the past, but have leaned toward Digg lately. Honestly, this article just entices me to give SU another look. It appears that it has become more robust and added some personality: both good and bad.

  22. annex10

    TravisKab is the best writer on stumbleupon. He subscribes to the encyclopedia dramatica school of thinking, where no one is safe. Once you realize he is a carrion hunter, rolling in rotten flesh and stinking to high hell of it, you come to know he is an essential part of the ecology around here.

  23. brian

    @annex10: folks like TravisKab keep things interesting. The was the point of the article indeed.

  24. Anonymous

    I never did understand why so many people hate Travykins; he’s funny and he’s an adorable nice lad if you get to know him.

  25. brian

    @anon: some people just can’t take a joke I suppose.

  26. Darque

    TravisKab is one of the most entertaining writers on StumbleUpon, and I think annex10 nailed it with: “he is an essential part of the ecology” of SU. He and I have been mutual friends for some time now, and even still, I know sooner or later I’m going to be the target of one of his disgustingly entertaining essays. And I’ll enjoy every minute of it.

    And sure, plenty of folks would call him a “troll.” But he’s way smarter, way more talented, and way more literate than any troll I’ve ever seen, and he does the essential job of saying things nobody else is brave enough to say. He, and a small handful of other Stumblers like him, perform the essential task of being really good trolls, eloquently and acerbically dishing out caustic and brutally honest reviews, so that we at StumbleUpon don’t have to deal with an entire army of the worst kind of trolls. In other words, thanks to TravisKab, we have far fewer of the “u suk” and “die looser” trolls – we leave them all to Facebook and MySpace. You don’t have to love Travis, and you don’t have to love the carrion eaters, either, but the world would be an uglier, smellier, and more mindlessly filthy without them.

    Unlike mere trolls, he’s an equal opportunity hater, regardless of race, color, creed, and especially gender: “I hate stupidity in all forms, whether its reproductive system is internal or external.” All too often, women online (and anyone claiming to be a woman) are treated with kid gloves, not expected to do much more than post glitter-graphics and banal personality tests. TravisKab blows that kind of weakness right out of the water, and holds everyone to the same contempt.

    And besides, with the right mindset, and the due respect for proper vulgarity that any lover of the language should have, Travis’s reviews are some of the most enjoyable on SU. Who else could write, “About as much depth as a puddle of the pope’s semen, and probably doesn’t smell much better.” Poetry – and grammatically correct.

  27. brian

    @darque: good points on TravisKab. I appreciate his reviews instead of the MySpace / Digg one liner nonsense. By the way, it is interesting to note that Travis gave this article a thumbs up 🙂

  28. Travis

    All this attention is weird.

    penis penis penis penis

  29. brian

    @travis: is this the real travis? I’d expect a longer message. And yeah, the attention is pretty weird.

  30. Travis

    I’m pithier than you think. I’d leave a lengthier comment, but since the entry only draws attention to my post without calling me out on anything (aside from my untouched spellchecker — curses that my only grammatically incorrect post in weeks was featured in some meta-SU blog post), I don’t really have anything to refute.

    Besides Dan. Eat shit, Dan, or something similar. I dunno, I’m tired, insult yourself for me.

  31. brian

    @travis: just seeing if you were the real guy. With all these people and their fake “insert person here” comments these days, you want to be certain about these things.

    I’ll leave you and Dan to fighting it out. I’m tired too. Enough already.

  32. Travis

    That part about Dan was actually meant to be ironic – or maybe a little sarcastic; ircastic? Saronic?

  33. Dan

    I don’t disagree that he’s funny- but I’d have to say that anyone armed with an attitude and an online thesaurus can do what he does… Its all just an unoriginal show.

    The cloak of Internet anonymity (or whats left of it) somehow gives people the impression that just because they have the ability to flame, they are somehow entitled to it.

    Its the social equivalent of a person with a level 90 billion character saying “I pwn you n00b” to someone who really doesn’t set aside 40 hours a day to get to that point.

    Granted, respect on digg or anything else is something to work for, and frankly, I don’t give a flip about what you tell me to consume. Golden Grahams is on the menu.

  34. Anonymous

    >>respect on digg or anything else is something to work for
    What? digg is a horrible horrible site. I don’t think anyone should ever bother to try and “earn” respect on there.

    >>The cloak of Internet anonymity (or whats left of it) somehow gives people the impression that just because they have the ability to flame, they are somehow entitled to it.
    Depends on the people; I’ve seen text boards in forced anonymous environments that are filled with normal non-insulting discussion. Though usually I see good amount of people with a razor-sharp wit like Travisy, which I consider a good thing. (´・ω・)つ(・(・

  35. DLAF

    Oh my god! Is that the real Travis? He’s my cyber-hero.

  36. DustOff

    TravisKab is a common attention whore and one of the more boring personalities according to Stumble standards. He picks on the unwitting innocents and flame-retardant. If you’re looking for interestingly negative reviews try ___________ or the Funkified _____________. Your article could have been better if it wouldn’t have invoked the lesser known troll-likes of TravisKab. Women. Look to the women. They are the creatives on Stumble. Whether flaming or stroking…they’re better than that ass fag.

  37. brian

    @dustoff: good points. I chose to talk about Travis in my post because he was the one with the interesting thumbs down comment that was relavent to the posts / SU articles at the time.

    Given a more thorough analysis of all SU folks with interesting things to say, a may very well have chosen to write about a woman. I did talk about TheNanny612 in this post, as well as Aivsdog in a previous post, so I know what you mean.

  38. PERKO

    I’M A FAG.


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