Mixx and Digg: Community Makes the Difference

Community Mixx has been gaining considerable momentum since it’s debut, including being recently adopted by CNN, LA Times and the New York Times. Even though they have great features for the user, and no ads (as of yet), what’s holding Mixx from gaining competitive advantage in the social news industry?

Community Branding

It’s hard to compare Digg to Mixx when the communities are so different. Well, at least Digg has an easily identifiable community. The front page of Digg, at most points in time, are reflective of the interests of the community.  Which can usually involve stories about Apple (or anything anti-Microsoft), liberal politics, and various tech news.

With Mixx, it’s not so clear cut.  The issue is, most people don’t know what stories to submit to Mixx or even whether or not to join because they’re confused as to what Mixx is about (at first).  The community’s values aren’t evident from the front page because, well there is no standard front page, each user can customize it for themselves.  I do think this is a great feature especially since Mixx is trying to target a broad market (made up of multiple niches or "micro-communities") rather than a single, focused market.  The downside of course is that each of these micro-communities take time to build. 

Mixx will not be the next Digg.  If they compete for the same community; Mixx will lose.     The Digg community is well established, and I would think them to be very stubborn to move to another service (of course, besides those that are already disgruntled with Digg).

Greatness Looms

This is not to say Mixx will never be very successful; they’ll get there.  It will just take time for each of their "micro-communities" to develop and grow.  Mixx has the potential, in my opinion, to be just as successful as Digg, if not more.  Can you imagine each of Mixx’s micro-communities (Sports, Health, Local, etc.) having even 5% of a Digg-sized audience?  Once the crowds come and activity jumps, Mixx will definitely be a serious Digg competitor.  So all it takes is sheer numbers?  No, not at all.  I believe Mixx still needs to find a way to be attractive to each micro-community and not just a general audience.

What are your thoughts on growing the communities on Mixx? 

Do you think Mixx stands a chance against Digg?