Announced earlier today – eBay bought Stumbleupon. I ran across Stumbleupon back in 2004 and ran the toolbar for awhile but ultimately dumped it. Never got into the user generated recommendations thing myself. That being said, I will say Stumbleupon has been this blog’s biggest driver of new users so it’s definitely got some juice as perhaps the Digg for the long tail.
Also some folks have wondered whether this means eBay’s looking to get into the recommendations space and given my involvement with Loomia I am curious to see myself. Personally I don’t think an application based approach that relies on human voting is the right approach vs. Loomia’s automated system that relies on some very sophisticated analytical algorithms in order to recommend products or content. But then again its not clear eBay plans to use Stumbleupon for user recommendations, but it will be great to see what happens.
What is clear is that helping users find the products and content they are looking for whether through a lean forward approach like search or a lean back approach like Loomia’s recommendation service is something of growing interest for web publishers and retailers.