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Spreading Yourself Thick With Mixx

Posted on 6.06.2008 celebrates their one-year anniversary this month, to the tune of nearly one million unique visitors. But more than just impressive numbers, what sets Mixx apart from its competitors are the user base and some unique features. Mixx Groups is one such feature that facilitates sharing while building strong and focused communities. Used correctly, you can find a rare blend of online promotion, collaboration and education to build brand awareness and become an influential member of a growing community.

While the social news sharing site has been in development for a year the beta site was only launched some eight months ago, making its early growth a good indicator of a success in the making.
Mixx users are educated, loyal and perhaps most important, active. They are sharing news and stories, voting on submissions, making comments and networking. And your brand can be a part of the conversation.

Joining Groups and Submitting Content
Once you sign up for a Mixx account, take a look at the available groups and join those that peak your interests. Then you will want to start looking for stories and news that you feel would be of interest to those groups. Copy the link and click “Submit a Link to Mixx!” Next, choose your submission options. Choosing “Public” will share the link through selected channels to any Mixx user or visitor. Submitting the link to your Groups will share the link only with the members of your selected groups. You can choose to do both.

On your profile page you will be able to see the stories you submitted, vote totals, comments you’ve made and karma points – a measure of your clout with the Mixx community, earned by submitting content, voting and commenting. You will also be able to see who voted for your stories. These are the people you will want to “follow,” the equivalent of adding them as a friend. The more karma points they have, the better.

Creating a Group
Now that you have built up some karma points and accumulated a host of followers, it’s a good time to create a group. Look around at existing groups and conduct some searches to make sure you don’t create a duplicate of an existing group. Then once you have decided on the niche you would like to occupy, think of a good title and create your group.

Next, you will want to submit some content to the group to build up a catalog of stories that relate to the topic. This way, new members won’t see an empty space.

Once you feel that you have enough content to get started (a dozen stories or so should suffice) start inviting your friends. Write a personalized message detailing why you created the group and how your friends can benefit from joining. You’ll soon start to get notifications of new members. These are your new brand evangelists. Suddenly, you’re an expert in your chosen field, at least in the Mixx world. But there is a catch. You must be diligent in building the new group, especially in the early stages. There are plenty of “dead” groups out there and you don’t want to be one of them. This means finding and inviting new members and submitting fresh content. And that doesn’t mean only your own content. You must be diverse. The successful groups out there offer a variety of sources. It doesn’t mean you can’t push your own content – after all, it’s one of the reasons to start a group in the first place – but be smart about it. The goal is to establish your brand in this growing community and you want to put your best foot forward. Mixx users dedicate a good amount of time to building a valuable community and they trust that you will do the same.

Success with Mixx
Choose your profile name and photo carefully. This is about branding, and you will want to be instantly recognizable to those you befriend and share links with.

Adjust your settings. By default, you will be emailed every time content is submitted to any group to which you belong. This can get overwhelming in a hurry. You might want to consider turning this feature off.

Email sparingly. You have the option to send an email alert to any or all of your friends each time you submit a link. Don’t do it. On more than one occasion I have chosen to stop following someone because I was getting dozens of emails a day from the same users.

Voting in groups. Because of past abuse, the group voting system differs than the public side. Votes cast on content within a group stays in that group. Votes cast in the public space can span across related categories. Groups are valuable to building credibility and followers, but public submission is important to get widespread exposure.

Check out the Mixxing Bowl and Social Blend. A forum and podcast, respectively, these are very active offshoots of Mixx and a good place to stay informed about the site. The Round Up is a podcast covering social media on both Mixx and Digg.

Mixx doesn’t have anywhere near the volume of traffic of rival Digg, but it is growing. What’s more, Mixx users are excited about the site and working hard to make it a success. And perhaps because of its relatively small user base, Mixx avoids some of the pitfalls of other social sharing sites, such as spam, irrelevant content and abusive users. And you can bet users want to keep it that way. That’s why it is of the greatest importance to Mixx responsibly. This means keeping your submissions relevant, diversifying your content and not over-promoting your own agenda.

Mixx is new and growing and that’s precisely why it’s a good time to get involved. You have a real opportunity to become an influencer in this community and brand your website in the process. The Mixx blog promises updates and new features in the coming weeks which should add to the site’s appeal and recruit even more users.

Join the Web Professionals Mixx Group!

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