Computer Or Man Behind The Curtain Creating Titles In StumbleUpon And What Does It Mean For Endurance Training?


Hi folks,

Here is one example of the kind of photography to be found via StumbleUpon. From:

Here is one example of the kind of photography to be found via StumbleUpon. From:

I love StumbleUpon (SU) because it takes me to the most amazing photos, and sometimes videos. But SU exhibits really bizarre behavior, especially when it comes to hits. ‘Something’ decides when lots of people like a blog post, and when no one is interested at all, but I don’t know what this ‘something’ is, yet. In SU, I’ve posted material that generated 1500 hits, and an almost identical post and SEO generated nada.

Another thing I noticed is that SU seems to change my titles, and often their title is better than mine. The question I have is, “Does SU use a computer to make these titles or is there a man behind the curtain?” Here are a couple of examples:

My Title: Optimizing The Context Of Your Training And FitOldDog’s Last Scientific Publication.

SU TitleYou live your life in the context of everything you learn

My Title: Engaging Your Core As You Run And Core Running?

SU TitleTry running from your core as FitOldDog thinks that it works

You can see that the informational content of these titles is somewhat different. I am not the only one to notice this, as evidenced by a recent comment at this link, which indicates that the <title> tag is interpreted by SU. Here are the <title> tags for the two examples above:

Title Tag #1: You live your life in the context of everything you learn.

Title Tag #2: Try running from your core as FitOldDog thinks that it works.

There was a man behind the curtain, and the man was me! SU was just using my own title tag, which I had completely forgotten. So why did the ‘SU titles’ seem to be better? The answer is that the title tag is limited to 60 characters and spaces, which forces the blogger to be more creative, and leads to a better sounding title. I can’t believe that I had to go to a help desk site to work this out, but I did.

You might think that I am pretty dumb, but if you are new to any subject you will be confused and misled by your ignorance, which I was. I made such a mistake with respect to the Gasserian ganglion in a sheep as a young pathologist, but that is another story. You don’t know what you don’t know.

When it comes to exercise or training, the outcome is not so much embarrassment as injuries and serious setbacks, which is why you might want to seek out a coach sooner rather than later if you decide to undertake endurance sports, especially later in life.

I still haven’t worked out why some posts generated over a thousand hits, while other, very similar, material and keywords yielded nothing. As a friend of mine always says, “If something doesn’t make sense to you, the chances are there is something that you don’t know.” This is certainly true of injuries and their treatment, as demonstrated in my post on a ‘knee’ problem that bugged me for years.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.