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Surfing vs. Searching

Posted on 4.18.2007
It seems StumbleUpon, one of the darlings of the social media landscape, may be purchased by Ebay. There were some rumblings of others (perhaps Google) buying the online solution, but that doesn't seem to be the case since Google released a toolbar add-on yesterday that generates random web pages (ala Stumbleupon) based on your past searches.

The reason that this is news at all is that it represents an area that many Web marketers have been ignoring, the process of surfing (and discovery) on the Web). When search was in its infancy, it used to be that people followed links between sites with greater frequency than they do today. Now, we just go back and forth from the search results pages to find something of interest. But thanks to personalization technologies, sites like StumbleUpon and solutions such as Google's new toolbar add-on make surfing attractive again.

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