Mixxed Messages

Written on February 7, 2008 – 1:58 pm | by Brian Wallace |

Mixx.com

Just released yesterday, Mixx has stepped up its growing social news site, now adding the ability to message other users within the site. Chris McGill spoke about these features being on the Mixx roadmap in our earlier interview with him. From the Mixx blog:

Mixx Mail Phase 1: Now you can send and receive messages to and from anyone in the community without ever leaving the Mixx. Mixx Mail offers some very handy little features, including:

* The icons of all Mixx friends in your address book—especially useful if you’re like us and remember faces/avatars better than names.
* Send a message to a Mixxer directly from that user’s profile page.
* Block overeager wanna-be groupies. That’s right—not only can you slam the door on their friendship pleas, but now you can block them from sending messages, not that you’d be so cruel. Right? Well ok then, just don’t block us.
* Opt to have a daily digest sent to your regular email and we’ll let you know how many messages you have waiting.

The recognizability that an avatar brings is taken into account here, as shown below:

Mixx Messaging

There is also a new release on group message boards, a handy addition that Mixxingbowl, the unofficial Mixx forum, doesn’t entirely address.

These are welcome features and should certainly improve usability on the site.

Traffic is Still Mixx’s Weak Point

When you compare Mixx with a Niche Pligg-based site like Sphinn, the result is disappointing: even with a large spike in November/December, its visitor numbers have barely risen. Let’s look back at our own home-brew of those events, Google Trends like style:

Mixx traffic

To put things into perspective we can’t show you the graph between Digg and Mixx as Mixx visitor numbers are so tiny it’s barely more the a straight line. So instead let’s compare it to a large Social Media Blog like Dosh Dosh
Mixx visitor traffic
Keep in mind that Compete.com numbers are to be taken with a pinch of salt but they are a good guide to trends and Mixx seems to be stuck in the mud.

On the flip side, social media is not just about numbers but reaching the right numbers. Mixx is developing its own diverse crowd, many of whom are active Stumblers and Diggers, making it a great spot to promote material that is ultimately aimed at these audiences.

Mixx as a site is technologically ahead of the game, its owners are well known and are in touch with their user base and their accountants. The question remains: is a business model based on poaching users a successful one? Can Mixx gain the traction needed to get out of the mud and when is there API coming?

This social media public service announcement has been a joint effort between the illustrious Brian “stop making me write long posts” Wallace and Tim “You got to write long posts” Nash. Thanks for stopping by, good citizen.

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  1. 12 Responses to “Mixxed Messages”

  2. By Tad Chef on Feb 8, 2008 | Reply

    The question is rather: Will Digg survive 2008? 😉

  3. By Brian Wallace on Feb 8, 2008 | Reply

    @Tad Chef – right on, man. Time will tell.

  4. By Chris is Mixxing it up with mixxed mail on Feb 8, 2008 | Reply

    I might not be the most frequent Mixxer but I do like their service. The small traffic I have seen from mixx are pre-qualifed visitors and how high relevancy.

    I noticed the mixx mail last night for the first time. I have sent a couple messages and have received none. Maybe the news hasn’t gotten out yet.

  5. By Trisha on Feb 9, 2008 | Reply

    For me at least, I’m just burnt out on the concept of social news sites with mass voting. Ever since I discovered Tiinker, I haven’t really looked back.

    …and that is bad news for bloggers looking to promote their content.

    I wonder if Tiinker is planning a blogs extension?

  6. By Guy Rosen on Feb 10, 2008 | Reply

    “Mixx is developing its own diverse crowd, many of whom are active Stumblers and Diggers, making it a great spot to promote material that is ultimately aimed at these audiences.”

    That’s a fascinating analysis, and seems to position Mixx as a kind of “second tier” social media site, that serves to reach users who are members of the “first tier” (Digg, SU, etc.). Does that accurately reflect your thoughts?

  7. By Brian Wallace on Feb 10, 2008 | Reply

    @Chris: you are correct. Mixx visitors clicking through a link tend to be more relevant at this point as opposed to a Digg stampede. As to messaging, I expect this feature to spread and increase the popularity of Mixx overall.

    @Guy Rosen: I would say that there Mixx has been compared many times to Digg and has even been referred to as a Digg-clone. While it may be that some users try to attain leverage on Digg through Mixx (i.e. post a story that is acutally a Digg link), it is likely that the Mixx community will normalize and be more interested in real content. The Mixx / Digg debate is far from over, so look for this trend to continue for a while.

  8. By Dara on Feb 11, 2008 | Reply

    Finally…FunAdvice has had an internal messaging system for years. Took Mixx long enough 😉

  9. By Mapy on Feb 13, 2008 | Reply

    Exactly private messaging exists years and should be set by default in every friends-realtions service.
    Nothin new to do fuse about.
    Digg dies this year – ull see 😉

  10. By Brian Wallace on Feb 17, 2008 | Reply

    @Dara: agreed, I’m glad that Mixx now has added messaging.

    @Mapy: we’ll see if Digg dies this year. Even if Digg is declining, 1 year is probably not enough time for it to go out of fashion.

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