Advertising Gets “Mixxed” Up

    May 1, 2009
    Chris Crum

Social bookmarking site Mixx is often compared and contrasted with the more popular Digg. While Mixx does not get the traffic that Digg does, it is often cited as a good alternative to the site.

Mixx has recently launched an interesting advertising tool called the Sifter in which advertisers can submit ads and have "elite" members of the Mixx community decide just how effective those ads are. Mixx CEO Chris McGill and another Mixx spokesperson discussed the Sifter with WebProNews.

Mixx Sifter

How it Works

Mixxers rank the overall content on a scale of one to five, and provide qualitative, private feedback about their likes and dislikes. Marketers then receive raw data and a report detailing the gender breakdown of the people who voted, age distribution and a snapshot of their top interests. The highest-rated creative piece is then selected to appear in various high profile positions across Mixx, and the marketers use the data from the test to determine broader implementation of the creative content.

This is also a money-making tool for Mixx. Companies pay Mixx to place different types of creative like banner ads, new product designs, movie trailers, etc. and get the feedback, which can not only be helpful when advertising on Mixx, but can help them improve ad performance when they advertise anywhere else on the web. Advertisers like LivingSocial and Clorox have already taken advantage of the sifter.

LivingSocial on Mixx

Mixx CEO Talks About the Sifter

To get an idea of where feedback will be coming from, I asked McGill what it takes specifically to be considered an "elite" mixxer. "Users earn this status through their activity… they earn Karma points for submissions, voting and comments," he explained.  "They can also lose karma for ‘bad behavior’  To become a ‘PowerMixxer’, users need to gather 500Karma points, be active on the site over a 2 week period and exhibit no bad behavior.  The bar for ‘SuperMixxers’ is much higher and the rewards in terms of what Supermixxers can do on the site is much greater."

Chris McGill - CEO of Mixx When asked if the reviews by the elite Mixxers are a good indicator of how the rest of the Mixx community will respond to the ads,  McGill said, "Yes.  The community has already been very, very receptive."

I asked McGill how the Sifter can help advertisers improve their ads across the web in general.

"The sifter gives advertisers nearly instant feedback of what creative resonated with what consumers and tells them on an aggregated basis, not only what their average age and gender is, but what their passions are in life," he says. "It does this by pulling the data (on an aggregated basis) off their personalized start page and indexing it against the norm.  Companies can use this to make product decisions, marketing decisions, channel decisions and much more.  It also give users (who tend to be some of the most influential people) a stake and say in what is important, it brings them into the process and can make them a champion of the product/ company."

Mixx on Pleasing the Investors

Another aspect of the sifter is how it makes Mixx money itself. This is an aspect the investors who gave the company a couple million last year are surely interested in.

"Sifter is also the new monetization model for the site – one that helps further distinguish it from other news aggregation sites like Digg and Reddit," a Mixx spokesperson tells WebProNews.

"We want to balance our duty to our investors and our commitment to the Mixx community," says Melanie in a post on the Mixx Blog. “We don’t like flashing, floating and scrolling ads and have worked to keep them away from our most Loyal Mixxers—you know, those who register and keep content and activity flowing through the system. We’d like to continue to keep the site as clean and pleasant a place as it’s always been. So we’ve come up with what we think is a revolutionary plan to generate revenue while keeping you in control of what ads are seen on the site."

Mixx has partnered with GeniusRocket to provide the Sifter service to its clients. This is a company who Mixx says is changing the face of ad creative and distribution by incorporating a huge community of developers and artists. Mixx isn’t disclosing many more details about the partnership at this time.

The Mixx Sifter can easily be located from the blue menu item in the navigation bar on the Mixx home page. I’d like to thanks Mixx for chatting about the service with me.