In thinking about what to discuss in this blog post I remembered a site called stumbleupon.com. For those unfamiliar, Stumble Upon is a site where you list your interest and content is found for you. On making your list of interest you then can press the “Stumble” button. This will take you to a random site that has been previously categorized as matching one of your interests. You then can “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the content. By doing this, the site adapts to find more content you will like and filter out other content you might not.
I see Stumble Upon as a unique database that presents information in a new way. By taking away the ability for the user to completely decide on what they will be viewing, stumble upon takes you on a guided journey where you have little control. Where most sites that curate content (such as Pintrest, Reddit, Flickr, etc.) organize it so the user can easily choose specific items, stumble upon intentionally limits choice. The appeal here could be the freedom of limitation. The consumer is bombarded by choice. The appeal of choice is clear, yet it can be limiting and even paralyzing when too much is offered.
Is the lack of choice refreshing and welcomed or restricting and limited?
I personally enjoy it. When browsing social media sites like the ones mentioned, the user is in control and is freely navigating through content with some understood direction. Most would think that this is what is most desired. Yet, Stumble upon brings in a more bizarre aesthetic that could be said to be artful in its own way.