whenever we get word of a new socially driven news site, the first thing that flashes through most people’s minds is ‘here we go again with another site that will be compared to, probably be called a clone of, and ultimately be overshadowed by digg‘. before we go ahead, let me just mention that mixx is in fact living on the edge and not in a good way.
the site offers all the usual read, submit, vote, comment, functionality but the main premise behind the it is to take the socially driven news model and personalize it for each user. you begin by choosing topics that you are interested in and organizing how you want them to be arranged on your home page and as you use the site these categories are populated to match your habits and interests. i know what you’re thinking, reddit and stumbleupon already do this and digg and propeller are scheduled to launch their own recommendation engines soon.
arrington argues that ‘entrepreneurs have been trying to crack the personalized news nut for years, with a string of failures,’ while pointing out an area mixx could capitalize on, but i think we’ve been well on our way towards personalization for a while. personalized content recommendation engines may not be perfect but a quick look at reddit shows that out of the top 25 stories recommended to me, i had already read 18 of them even before the made the front page. furthermore, the more i use stumbleupon, the more i enjoy using the site because my usage of the toolbar improves the relevancy of the content delivered to me.
the one feature that i think is well implemented on mixx (it’s not new and propeller has had it for over a year) is the local news section. if you add your location to your profile (unlike on digg, you don’t have to list a zip code) there will be an option to tag a story you’re submitting as local.
once you and other people from your area do that, you can retrieve local content by clicking the ‘local’ tab at the top of the page.
on the whole the site’s design and feature-set is not bad but it also doesn’t anything new to speak of.