Thursday, June 26, 2008

Will going social help Mixx?

Yesterday, Mixx announced they were adding a social community format.

Mixx has been around for a while, has been picked up as a 'viable' bookmark / voting site by some major newspapers, and still has yet to really get out of the gate.

The social community concept probably isn't the best direction for them. There are plenty of social sites out there and people are already spread to thin trying to follow them, or wanting to.

If you want to stand out, do something different. Innovate. Add value that others haven't.

The reason Mixx works for some is that it remains small. If you get 'voted up', it only takes 30 or 40 votes to hit the front page.

The problem with Mixx is with their policies.

I'm sure, on occasion, you've sent a Digg or Stumble on your own (or a friend's) blog post.

I personally don't think there's anything wrong with it.

The blogosphere is growing and even if you've got a huge following, in reality, you've got a better change of being voted up on any social bookmarking site if one of your 'buddies' notices a piece you wrote, or you vote yourself there first for exposure and discovery.

Rarely do we see this being talked about anywhere because nobody wants to create the impression that any of these sites are being 'gamed'. In some cases, like any other space, they are. Mixx's solution is bad and it's part of what's holding them back.

The first time I voted 'myself' on Mixx, I received a prompt and courteous reply. "We don't do that here. It helps maintain the integrity of the community". So, here I am, being totally transparent, using my full name everywhere, and I have no integrity. It was a fast turn off.

The fact is, you will almost always do much better if someone else votes for your piece first on any social site. I have a problem asking people to do it. In the few cases where I have (which is what most people do), I've done great. It's still wrong.

It shouldn't be necessary and it certainly shouldn't be policy. An article should stand on it's own merits.

I still vote occasionally on Mixx if I happen to be there and see a really good article or in particular, someone new who I think needs a little help 'breaking out'.

I still keep the Mixx link at the bottom of these posts. Why? It's still easy to go viral on Mixx but I won't 'vote my own'.

You don't get notes from Kevin Rose saying "Don't Digg yourself pal". Instead, he joins your community so you notice what he's writing. Maybe that's where Mixx is going with this.

If you 'Digg' this piece, feel free to Mixx it ... and we'll all see what happens.

As for me, show me something new with exiting potential (yes, like Friendfeed) and I'll be all over it.