10 Reasons Why Mixx is Broken and How to Fix it
Yeah, I can recognize the eyes. Seen them stolen again and again on Mixx.
I'm fed up: My favorite social news site Mixx is currently broken. It's not broken in a mere technical sense, it's broken from the
perspective. I spent numerous of hours over at Mixx but each day I visit the site Mixx annoys me more and more. I had high hopes in Mixx to be better than Digg, Reddit and Propeller but it's rapidly deteriorating. I can't stand it anymore.
The most pressing issues are:
- Content theft
- Soft porn
- Right wing radicalism
- CNN comment section
- Abandoned image and video section
- Unhealthy user structure
- Voting on the same story several times
- Most groups and communities are dead
- Lack of basic features
1. Content theft: Content theft runs rampant all over social media, StumbleUpon gets hit hard too for example. On Mixx though I think by now more than 50% of submissions are stolen. Whenever I can I report them and add the real sources in the comments but Mixx decided to ignore that. Sites like popgive.com I have reported a 12 times for blatant content theft still get voted up daily with stolen images by their own voting ring. The people in it never contribute elsewhere on the site, they just vote each other's crap up.
2. Soft porn: The images section mostly contains pics of barely clad ladies, Indian celebrities and sexy gals of all kinds. I love women and there are good reasons why porn exists but soft porn is NOT social news. Also you can't use Mixx at work anymore this way.
3. Right wing radicalism: There is a small bunch of users on Mixx who fervently support a war on Iran, and are outspoken against "commie" Obama and other "blacks". They add their vicious comments each and every time it seems. It takes much effort to debunk their troll comments and when they get debunked those people get personal.
4. CNN comment section: Mixx partners with CNN. In reality it means that Mixx is the outsourced comment section of CNN. You often will see a CNN post with less than 5 votes by Mixxers and dozens of CNN users' comments. Those users never use Mixx like real users. They only appear once in most cases, use names like ann82765362635 and pollute Mixx with even more racist and other outraging comments. Replying does not make sense in most cases, Mixx gets overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.
5. "Popular": The "popular" section on Mixx does not work anymore at all. Nobody views it anyhow (popular items get like 20 hits, compared to even 200 in the early days of Mixx) for a good reason. Only stories send to "all friends" by users with many of them get "popular". Thus second rate, mainstream news you can read everywhere else, commercial and content theft posts get "popular" this way. Ironically the few good fp posts stem from real marketers and social media consultants.
6. Abandoned image and video section: It seems most regular users have abandoned both the image and video sections. I asked Mixx staff to fix them and show them in a way where they can be viewed on the same level as the popular news items, to no avail. Most images images are stolen pics on crappy ad infested "fun blogs" and the naked celebrities I told you above. My outstanding image submissions from premiere sources can't match the voting rings of the content thieves anymore in spite of me having lots of friends and fans on Mixx. It takes as few as 10 votes in the image section to get popular and 5 for videos on most days so both sections get flooded by spammy low quality content.
7. Unhealthy user structure: Mixx is similar to Brazil. Why? It has a majority of poor users with a high crime rate (content theft abounds as I told you above) and a few Latifundistas (power submitters with lots of power) and no middle class. There are only a handful real users who neither promote their stolen content crap or not predominantly mass submitting several posts per day. This leads to a lack of wisdom of crowds and a healthy sorting out of crap in favor of great content.
8. Voting on the same story several times: Mixx is still highly confusing. Every story can have several URLs. It appears in groups using a different URL than in overall Mixx. So you have to vote for the same story in several places. Moreover there is no direct way to do that. You can't eve see where a story stems from. Being on a community page you're not even able to visit the story on the Main Mixx page.
9. Most groups and communities are dead: Mixx introduced groups and later communities. I fully embraced the group feature while I was wary of the community approach from the start. Nonetheless I thought it might work. It didn't. By now most groups and even more communities only work as channels or tags. People rarely visit groups or vote in them as voting does not make much sense there anyways as described above due to lack of exposure. Also posts with one vote get "popular".
10. Lack of basic features: Mixx still has no image thumbnails for stories other than images in the image section.
You still can't see all of the people who voted for story (both up and down). [This feature has been added a week ago, it's hidden behind a link at the bottom of the last 10 votes display after clicking "Activity" on a post.] Both are very basic features not difficult to implement.
There are simple solutions for all of these problems. I can't believe it takes so long to implement them. Instead of more feature creep Mixx should fix the site first. How?
1. Crack down on content theft. Mixx has to adopt a zero tolerance policy tackling content theft. People do not want to see crappy ad filled to the brim Blogspot blogs all day. The want the real sources.
2. Grant equal rights to non-text media submissions. The images section must be on the same level as the news. Normal news needs a thumbnail too. Bothe measures will bring a more healthy ix of images. Soft porn must be hidden or limited in exposure to a NSFW section like StumbleUpon does it.
3. Let users hide comments. Mixx needs a comment hiding feature like Digg. Obnoxious comments must be quickly hidden. You can't argue with the same crap each and every time. Controversial news need a controversial section like at Reddit. Several down votes should have some impact and not be just outweighed by friends of the submitter.
4. Do not treat Mixx users like the garbage men of CNN. Outsourcing CNN comments to Mixx breaks the community. Most people even suspect that all the "new users" are fake users as Mixx gets overwhelmed by no-avatar one time Mixx users from CNN. News users below 100 karma points and without an avatar should not be treated like Mixx veterans. User points should be displayed above comments and users without avatar should be displayed at the bottom in fine print to show the lack of authority they have.
5. Discount "external" votes. Votes which appear out of the blue by Mixx mail or any other outside notification should be treated differently than votes stemming from actively browsing the site. In programming language: If user less than 10 seconds on the site and no clicks before vote count equals 10% out of 100.
6. Make images and videos visible. Like stated above, take the images and videos out of the ghetto in the corner. Make 'em as visible as other submissions. Clean out all that stolen crap.
7. Reward "middle class" users. Those who perform the most useful actions in a social news community: Voting and commenting. Sifting through all the submissions. Currently heavy submitters get most of the badges and karma points. The more you spam your friends and they vote you up the more karma you get now. Do not reward self submission at all. Implement some filters: If the same URL gets submitted more than 3 times in one day then stop more submissions.
8. Display all the votes a story gained. If it has 8 votes on Mixx 3 in a group and 5 in a community I want to know. Laos I want to be able to go there directly without clicking the submitter. If someone else, not the submitter, out something into a group there is even no way to get there besides using Google "site:" search.
9. Reward active groups and communities. Downgrade submission and one vote only "groups". Make group votes matter, display theme for all users. Connect groups to the Mixx frontpage by creating a "popular in groups" stream. The group of mine I spent the most time with, SEO 2.0 is alive and kicking and has exclusive great content bit it never got featured on overall Mixx.
10. Add the basic features Mixx lacks as first priority instead of adding polls and other feature creep additions which only make the Mixx experience more complicated.
Now don't forget to send this post to all of your friends otherwise it won't get popular on Mixx. Sending out a message to all your supporters is currently the way 90% of stories get "popular".
Now don't tell me I badmouth Mixx or something.
I have sent
- numerous reports
- feedback mails
- feature requests etc.
Lately I send out at least half a dozen content theft reports with original sources a day. I always wanted Mixx to succeed so it really hurts to see all my efforts wasted in such a way.
P.S.: Will I "return" to Digg and Reddit? Hell no! The people over there just hate because I assist people in optimizing websites and blogs for search engines. How insane is that? I might abandon Mixx for other more advanced social sites.