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Muhammad Saleem might be the top social guy online today. He blogs all over the place, spends hours a day on the social news sites and is ranked #3 on the Digg Top 100 list. He recently launched a companion to the StumbleUpon service which is called StumbleRank and ranks the Top 100 Stumblers. To find out more, I spoke with Muhammad while he was taking a break from helping us all find the best content online. Our transcript is below.
Allen: How many hours a week do you spend on the social news sites?
Muhammad: I think I spend on average 20-25 hours a week on Digg, Propeller, and StumbleUpon, and some time on some of the smaller ones or checking out new sites.
Allen: What’s StumbleRank?
Muhammad: StumbleRank is a service that lists the top 100 StumbleUpon users based on the criteria that matters to you the most. This can be the absolute amount of Stumbling they have done, the number of followers they have, or the number of reviews they have gotten over time.
Allen: How does the service work?
Muhammad: Since StumbleUpon doesn’t have an API, to start off, I added about 500 users to the StumbleRank database to get the rankings going. Since then, people have been adding themselves or adding other users they think would make the list. As a result we have a database of users and their statistics and twice daily we update the list by comparing all the users’ statistics.
Keep in mind, the ranking based on one metric can be completely different when compared to the ranking based on another metric. For example, if you have 100 pages but 7000 fans, you may not be on the list when sorted pages-wise but you will be near the top when sorted by fans.
Allen: Why did you decide to create StumbleRank?
Muhammad: I decided to make StumbleRank because I wanted to see who the most popular users on StumbleUpon were, network with them, befriend them, and learn from them. And I figured, if I have this desire, many other newcomers to StumbleUpon probably also want to learn more about StumbleUpon and its top users, so I made the list available to the general public.
Allen: So spill the beans, what’s it take to get good traffic from StumbleUpon?
Muhammad: Content that appeals to the Stumble-masses, positive ratings from these users (thumb ups) and reviews on the Stumbled page. If you get the content right, the rest will follow. It also helps if your page is Stumbled by someone with a large fanbase.
Allen: Is the team just yourself or are there others as well?
Muhammad: This has been my project entirely, though because I am not a programmer, I had someone else code it to spec.
Allen: How do you plan to monetize StumbleRank?
Muhammad: Initially I had thoughts about monetizing it, but lately I have been undecided and leaning towards letting it be a free service.
Allen: What’s coming next from StumbleRank? Will we see a DiggRank, FlickrRank, etc?
Muhammad: Well we don’t need a DiggRank since Chris Finke has done such a stellar job with it already.
As for what’s next, I foresee better ways of assessing and networking with top users. More focused ways to categorize users by their interests (using tags), etc.
Allen: Which feeds are you reading these days?
Muhammad: I’m a big fan of sites that aggregate information. Great examples are BoingBoing and Neatorama, and from there I go wherever they take me. When it comes to blogging and social media coverage, I read your site, of course, and CopyBlogger (Clark), Deep Jive Interests (Hung), Matt Ingram, and the rest I just grab from Techmeme.
Thanks for spending some time with us Muhammad!