While social news site Mixx is currently only sending a small fraction of the traffic that a popular post on Digg can send, there are several reasons why Mixx is better in my opinion. Not only is the Mixx staff much more friendly to the search marketing community than Digg is, they outscore Digg in several functionality features. I will highlight those below.
1. Groups – Mixx allows you to create Groups related to a particular topic or subject matter of which you can then add related stories to those groups. To populate those groups with users, you can either invite other Mixxers or simply wait for them to join on their own. Anytime a story is added to a particular Group, everyone in the group is made aware of it, either via email or when they browse that Group while using the Mixx site. You also have the option of making the group public or private.
2. Sharing Stories With Friends – Digg calls it “Shout” whereas with Mixx it is called “Email This.” Both functions allow users to send a story they have submitted to either all their friends or a select number of them. It is then sent to each user via email which then hopefully prompts them to visit the site and either Digg or Mixx your story.
When you get a Digg Shout, the email itself provides no information about the story – no title, no URL, nonothing.
Mixx on the other hand reveals the title, the URL and even allows the sender to add a personal message. This is a much better use of this function as it allows me to decide right then and there if I even want to visit the story. Not so with Digg. I have to visit the Digg site to see what the story is about before deciding if I want to actually digg it or not.
3. Sharing Stories Across Other Social Sites – In addition to sharing stories with your Mixx friends, you are also able to add stories to other social news and bookmarking sites. The function is called “Share This” and allows you to submit stories to del.icio.us, Facebook, Google Bookmarks, ma.gnolia, MySpace, StumbleUpon and Windows Live. I have yet to use it as of the writing of this post but it certainly looks interesting and is a function that is not available on Digg.
4. Comments – Both Digg and Mixx allow users to comment on stories. Mixx’s comment system is better than Digg’s due to the fact that when someone comments on a story you have submitted, your are notified by email. Now this may be intrusive to some, but not to me. I find it very convenient to be notified that someone has commented on a story, image or video I have submitted. This allows me to quickly revisit the item to see what has been said and reply if necessary.
5. Personalization – Unlike Digg, Mixx allows you to customize what you see when you visit the Mixx home page. With the “Your Mixx” section, you can personalize what you see by selecting which categories you want to see news from, display stories that have been submitted to groups you follow, and even add tags you are interested in. For example, if I want to see stories submitted to the Disneyland News group, I have the option of setting up “My Mixx” home page to do just that. Or if I want to see popular stories from the Entertainment section, I have the option of setting that up.
6. Support – Let’s face it, Digg support sucks. If you have ever tried to contact them about any issue, you are better off talking to a wall. Not so with Mixx. In fact, the very first time I ever contacted them was with regards to a story I had submitted where I messed up the title. I asked them why there was not an edit function and how I could get the title corrected.
They responded within minutes! Not only did they correct my title, they also let me know they were working on adding edit features in the near future. I have found them to be very receptive to user feedback and they answer any questions users have which is mind blowing compared to other social media sites.
7. Karma Points and Award Badges – Sure Digg includes “Digger” stats on how many stories you have dugg, how many you have submitted, how many were made popular and so on and so forth. However they don’t have ratings and awards for users. Mixx does! And because we all like to be rated favorably and occasional pats on the back, this is a good thing.
Each user has Karma Points which increase as you are active in the community (i.e., submitting stories, voting, commenting, etc.). They also have awards that are given out to Mixxers who are extremely active. I currently have a “Super Mixxer” badge on my profile. Other awards and badges include Conversation Starter, Most Opinionated, Top Submitter, Most Contentious, Enthusiast, Hyperactive, Curmudgeon, Thought Leader and Top Ten. Not only are award badges placed on user’s profiles, Mixxers may also be featured in an area called the Mixx Lounge, a place where movers and shakers are featured.
Mixx has a ways to go before it can ever send the quantity of traffic that Digg does. However, I am hoping as Mixx continues to earn rave reviews and attract new users that one day it will rival Digg in the quantity and quality of traffic it can send to sites as well as being a place to get all your interesting news, resources and interesting content.