Next up on my Web 2.0 tour is StumbleUpon. It's a(nother) collaborative filtering mechanism for the Internet. I think the killer app for for the Web is something along these lines -- the problem with the fact that anyone can publish is that it's hard to find the good stuff. As Ted Sturgeon so aptly pointed out, 90% of everything is crap. I think with the lowered barriers to entry of the modern Internet, the percentage of crap may well be higher.
But there is some really, truly great stuff out there. The problem is finding it. Blogs help a bit, when they aren't being part of the problem -- boingboing, for example, is a great way to find out about interesting stuff. But some of what they cover doesn't interest me, and some (a lot, really) of what I find interesting is stuff they don't cover. So I build an aggregate of streams via RSS, which helps, but there's not necessarily that feeling of discovering something. I think in part it's because reading a blurb about something and then seeing it takes a bit of the impact out of the process.
StumbleUpon, on the other hand, just presents the potentially interesting thing in my browser window with no explanation. I get to determine for myself what this thing is and what I think of it. So far it's pretty good -- over the course of several days and about 50 or 60 Stumbles, I've only seen two or three dogs.
Setup is painless -- set up a username/password, minor toolbar install, click on a few items out of the list of possible topics, and you're off. Any time I am looking at something I can Like it or Dislike it, and that (apparently) gets saved to my profile to improve results.
Coolest thing today was this list of the 100 oldest currently-registered dot-com domains. Geeky fun.
Now I think I'll go do some housecleaning in iTunes.