Sorry for the title, but it matches what people search for. I have been seriously trying out “web 2.0” social networking for the first time and I got very annoyed.
So, the basic Stumbleupon service works OK, although you seem to need a lot of time to waste to become a heavy user. Edit 6/7/07: just to clarify this for people who are annoyed with me over this post (presumably without reading it properly). I think the basic Stumbleupon service is OK, but paypal sucks, which means paying for any of Stumbleupon’s paid services also sucks.
The problems come when you try to purchase a paid service. Stumbleupon claims that you can pay by credit card or through Paypal. However when you get to a payment page you find that you cannot pay by credit card without opening a Paypal account.
So if you live in one of the neary 90 countries from which Paypal does not let you sign up, Stumbleupon do not want your money. If you do not want a Paypal account, Stumblupon does not want your money.
What is really annoying is that they are not up-front about this. So, for example, someone wanting to advertise through Stumbleupon will only find this out after wasting time setting everything up. Similarly someone who signs up intending to use the paid for “sponsors” service, will also only find out they cannot after signing up.
There are many small businesses that offer multiple methods of payment.
In fact, Stumbleupon are big enough that they could quite easily set up a merchant account and link to a payment gateway, and process credit cards in an integrated way, like Google and Amazon.
I have no objection to Paypal not wanting my money. No one is forced to do business with me, or anyone else. However, they could tell us so at the start and not waste our time.
Edit 4th July 2007: Paypal has sort of fixed their problems, so you can use their services from other countries, but it can involve jumping through more hoops than is worth it. However they are less likely than ever to give customers an alternative to Paypal, because Stumbleupon has now been bought by eBay.
Since I wrote this I have also tried the Stumbleupon “sponsor” advertising. Its effectiveness is pretty much what you would expect from their FAQs: good for initial promotion of a site to their particular audience.