Back in June 2009, SumbleUpon launched a new URL shortening service called su.pr.
I thought the idea behind it was pretty smart: shorten your URL’s and get URL’s seeded in StumbleUpon.
It was a two-for-one deal and I thought it was a no brainer to adopt. If you can shorten a URL while at the same time maybe get some extra traffic from StumbleUpon, why not use it?
Use it I did. I started using su.pr to post all my blog posts to Twitter. In addition to the URL shortening, I could also schedule posts and at the time it was one of the better options around.
For about a year I StumbleUpon was my largest source of traffic. For a time, I was kicking serious ass on SumbleUpon. At my peak I got 500,000 pageviews a month from StumbleUpon. Not shabby.
Most of it was the sort of things which people on StumbleUpon like: photos. Some did better than others and there was no guarantee that anything would become popular.
Yes, the traffic wasn’t great quality, but I am a firm believer that there is no bad traffic. I know from emails many people discovered my site from StumbleUpon.
Then in 2010, it just stopped.
They did something to change the algorithm and su.pr wasn’t so super anymore. StumbleUpon traffic plummeted. The scheduling system sometimes didn’t work right. I’d submit bug reports and nothing ever got fixed.
I got the strong impression that su.pr was in zombie mode. They didn’t kill it, but they weren’t doing anything with it.
I kept using it on the theory that maybe it did something and even if it did nothing it was still worth using now that I had gotten used to it.
I eventually began experimenting with posts that I’d never submit to su.pr, and I found that those posts did BETTER on SumbleUpon than the posts I submitted using their own URL shortener.
I eventually began to wonder if su.pr wasn’t in fact hurting me on StumbleUpon. It didn’t make sense, but the data was piling up, and I had no data which said otherwise.
Nonetheless, for whatever reason, I stuck with it.
Last week was the final straw. StumbleUpon did a major revamp of their entire site. They updated their logo, changed the look of all the tool bars and widgets. They changed everything…….except su.pr.
No one bothered to put the new logo on su.pr or change anything about it. It was the ultimate signal that they had no one working on this project anymore. When you make a big corporate top down decision like a brand change, you can figure out what someone’s priorities are. Su.pr is not a priority for StumbleUpon.
With that, I have ceased using it.
It was fun while it lasted.