Though many users noticed the addition of StumbleUpon expert badges in early January, an actual notification and explanation from the company didn’t arrive until now. Yesterday afternoon I received an email about my own profile being awarded the badge, along with the following message:
We are excited to announce a new expert status feature that honors our best contributors. Our team hand picked you from 35 million, worldwide Stumblers. StumbleUpon counts you among our most trusted experts. Congratulations!
You achieved this status by regularly submitting high quality pages and consistently rating stumbles to help us improve our quality index. Your commitment to quality content improves the stumbling experience for our community and exemplifies the best in curation.
We are recognizing your dedication to better Stumbling with a new profile badge denoting your expert status. Look for the badge on your profile now! More importantly, we are giving all of your future page additions preferred consideration in our algorithm. Your additions will be ranked higher, and you will have more power to impact the Stumbling experiences of millions.
Thank you for your contribution to the SU community. Keep on rating and submitting compelling pages!
Here’s a screenshot of the badge design:
If preference in their algorithm is indeed one of the rewards, this should improve the Stumbling experience of most users through lessening the density of poor content and blog spam, a real issue for many users.
Unfortunately, many of StumbleUpon’s “experts” are mostly inactive, utilizing the service now only for its messaging feature rather than as a social search engine or content discovery platform. Perhaps this is a gesture to them, a subtle assurance from StumbleUpon that they’re trying to fix things. If so, they’ll need to do a tad more. User blogs were everything to them.