Category Archives: Digg

Mixx.com: Nice Site, Shame About the Community

mixx_logo.png

Digg wannabe Mixx has been at it long enough now to give them a hard look.

Unfortunately for them, it appears all their clean code, slick design, integration with large sites like LATimes.com, and good intentions hasn’t been enough. The main thing about a site like this always will be strength and content of the community. A passionate, dedicated community with shared wisdom and a point of view? That describes Digg, Fark, Metafilter. So far the main community that seems to have embraced Mixx is people who want to “succeed” in social media. In other words, people who want to use social sites like Mixx to help their own failure-worthy businesses. These are “users” in the worst possible sense, people who want to “use” Mixx, rather then the core community on Digg, which wants to improve the site. The most visible evidence of this is that most of the most popular stories on Mixx are current events, breakthroughs in technology, etc. but rather crappy how-tos on how to run your “startup”, how to spam social media, and what a great site Mixx is.

Further adding to the misery, the “groups” area, which is the very first thing in the top navigation bar, is not useful, and the groups themselves are faceless link aggregators rather then anything unique, vibrant, or useful.

Mixx is proof, thus far, that even with the best tools, building a valuable online community is very, very tough. Even more difficult is changing the site’s community profile once its hit a certain point. Normal people like me who just want to find interesting news will be increasingly turned off by the site, and social media boulevardiers will continue to rush in, creating a useless echo chamber.

Digg Peaked in 2007… Or Did It?

I’ve said it before, but must say it again– Alexa, Compete and Quantcast are not serious tools for analyzing web traffic. However, they are useful for comparing sites in the same basic genre, and for looking at the growth of various sites over time. Digg Traffic from Alexa According to Alexa, Digg peaked sometime in late 2007, and has been slipping ever since. Compete and Quantcast show modest gains since late 2007. Which is right? Probably both– Digg’s core audience is over-represented in Alexa’s numbers, and some of them have moved on to other sites, others have gotten older and have less time to spend on the site, and for some the novelty has probably worn off. The slight gains that can be seen on Compete and Quantcast mean that Digg is reaching more mainstream users, which is a plus. However they must be somewhat worried that A. they’re not growing that fast and B. the core demographic appears to be slightly less crazy about the site then they were last year.

Digg v. Drudge Report

A ridiculous business week article claims that sources claim that Digg is worth $200m. Digg is a news site, supported by thousands of members. So how does it stack up to a 2 man operation, the Drudge Report? Here is the Alexa graph

The uptick in Digg’s numbers came when the Firefox for Alexa plugin was released and installed on a large number of browsers. If you halve that impact, Drudge and Digg are more or less in the same ballpark. Drudge hasn’t shown much growth over the past, say, 2 years, but can Digg maintain its growth pattern? Judging by the lack if interesting links on the main page, and the impossible to shed uber-geek lineage, we doubt it. Alexa numbers are close to useless unless you’re comparing two similar sites, and by this graph I’d say Business Week needs to do a story on how Matt Drudge is worth $120m.