Mixx social bookmarking is making itself a worthwhile place to be found these days. And with a recent raft of updates, it’s easy to imagine Mixx giving more established Social Media players a run for their money…
While I’ve been away, busying myself in sunnier climes abroad, it would appear Mixx have decided to make a few choice changes to their social bookmarking service.
Let me be clear, there are some wonderful ideas in this recent update, which surely represent a lot of hard work, but there’s still plenty of reasons to keep that beta suffix in place for the time being.
Continuing where I last left off discussing Mixx, I’d like to take you through some of the recent changes.
Building a sense of Community on Mixx
Mixx have made some timely, worthwhile changes to their Social Media website, which aptly coincide with the burgeoning, yet still nascent concept of brand advocacy through community.
In simple terms, Mixx are now allowing you & I to turn our Groups into Communities, complete with moderator privileges, the option to almost completely brand our Communities as well as choose what Categories our members see.
The changes are deceptively subtle. I only really noticed them because I saw some of the Group labels listed in green rather than the customary pale blue.
Where social bookmarking and communities combine
After a quick poke around, I realized what Mixx were hoping to achieve. It’s a very, very simple idea which I think needs championing. By giving a little of the roles & responsibilities to thee & me, Mixx are offering us a sense of shared ownership, which is a powerful ingredient to add to the mix of any Social Media website.
If we feel in part responsible for our small plot of land, then we’re more likely to act with diligence.
And because there are such things as Message Boards, Mixx is edging closer to offering some of the elements associated with Social Networking. Although a more complete Social Network is certainly more than Message Boards and a basic blog-like commenting system.
As some of you may have seen, Blah has a Page on Facebook, which is my attempt to build a satellite community adjacent to the blog itself.
Well now Blah has a community on Mixx, too. Between the two, I have about 60 or so members, which is growing all of the time.
The purpose is to offer people different ways to connect with me, my blog, the content that I find and those other people following my movements around the web.
In time, I see these two communities offering similar but subtly different experiences, all funneling people towards the Blah, Blah! Technology blog, right here.
Karma army and rich Mixx Awards!
An additional benefit of Communities appears to be more places to earn Karma and Mixx Awards, which are small graphical trophies, relating to the different activities of each member.
Now it’s possible to earn Mixx Awards within Communities, further emphasizing the benefits of being active and positive within those Communities.
Amusingly enough, there’s a Mixx Award for being a Curmudgeon. But rather than vote something down, I tend to simply ignore the article, so that’s not something I’m likely to pick up any time soon.
Making money from Mixx
As an added incentive, Mixx Communities allow owners to share profits from the Google AdSense advertising, giving an extra dimension to things.
If ever there was a reason to get out there and encourage people to join your Community, for some, this could be a nice little earner.
However, to make anything like a real income, a Community would probably need many hundreds of members, with many thousands of visits. Achievable, yes. Worthwhile? Only if you don’t have a proper job.
Mixx needs more Social Networking smarts
Right now, Mixx isn’t exactly the biggest Social Media website in the world, but it’s easily amongst the most fully-featured social bookmarking services, eclipsing even Digg in many respects.
Although, the new commenting system on Digg is remarkably sophisticated, yet very simple to use. I’d certainly like to see Mixx add similar options, working directly with their Karma score.
On the subject of comments, Mixx now offers a small drop-down / pop-up menu to allow you to view comments across each of the Categories an article’s been submitted to.
This resolves a key annoyance of mine. I often add a comment to each article I submit, only to almost instantly lose track of them. Now that issue has been resolved, although I think it’s more a stop gap than a finished, refined idea.
All a Mixxed bag?
The recent updates to Mixx aren’t exactly flawless. After updating / upgrading my Blah Group to a Community, I found that adding Categories and Sub-Categories is a one-shot affair, in that it doesn’t seem possible to add Sub-Categories to any Category beyond the first in the list, which I find odd.
Also, the option to add in Tags, which automatically adds content into my Community seemed to drag in some article about heavy metal songs, which was annoying.
I’ve since had this confirmed by one of Mixx’s support team. My feeling is, even though the articles being pulled in are Tag-based, they’re still essentially random. I’d prefer only to see content submitted by either myself or my members appearing, sorted by Tag.
Because of the strange way that Mixx handles Tags, I wasn’t sure how to add the Sub-Category names. If I was to add Tags with more than one keyword, do they equate to a tag per keyword, or does Mixx differentiate between the multiple words and the way in which it condenses multiple keywords into one long word?
No clue is offered, so in the absence of know-how, I kept to single words, just to be safe.
Hampering my attempts to remove this article from my Community was the odd way in which Mixx offers Reporting of offending content; instead of being able to simply remove the article, I had to Report it to myself! Since I’m the moderator of my Community, I then received an email with the option to zap the article.
Adjacent to this is how the Categories features just grabs anything from the same Category on Mixx. I simply don’t like this at all. I want some kind of control over what appears. Plus, if I don’t like it, i want a button that once clicked, removes the article.
All very convoluted, odd and strange. Sure to confuse the hell out of some.
Also, as of this morning, I received my very first spam message on Mixx. Other than being able to block the member, there’s no reporting option, which seems like a strange omission.
Despite the very weird flaws, I’m liking Mixx more and more. For someone like me, keen to create a strong brand around my blog, Mixx has tons of potential.
For those who’re simply looking for a different take on social bookmarking, they will be rewarded, too…