Mixx vs Propeller: One’s Going Up, the Other, well

Propeller vs MixxRecent changes at both Propeller and Mixx have pushed the inevitable forward.  Mixx, the brainchild of Chris McGill, has been poised for success for about a year now.  Propeller, the once-proud Netscape, was doomed the moment that AOL stepped into the picture.

If recent trends on Alexa (which we all know are not always accurate) give any indication about what is happening, then Mixx is making the move to become the 3rd choice amonst social media sites.  Propeller, on the other hand, is heading down, down, down as users have expressed concerns about a lack of communication from the administrators as well as a disastrous redesign that threatened to push its dwindling core of users off to another site (perhaps even Mixx). [Read more...]

News Niblets: Social Media’s Best and Worst Quality

NibletsMany people love appetizers.  They’re usually overpriced, under-portioned, and loaded with calories, but we love them anyway.  Why?  Because they’re quick, easy, and too the point.

Social media websites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller offer the same product in the form of headlines.  We get to nibble on the news, taking it in bits and pieces, served to us through headlines that are often sensationalized or pointed.  While some people take the nibble and move on the main course by reading the full story, a good portion of us live on the appetizers.  We read the headlines, possibly read the descriptions, occasionally scan the story (or even just the first few paragraphs), then it’s back to the social media site for the next bite of news via headlines.

Some never make it past the headlines, establishing a reaction or opinion based on the nibblet.  This is good.  This is also bad. [Read more...]

The Godfather and Social Media

Vito as StumbleUpon?In many ways, the top level websites of social media can be compared to the fictional world of The Godfather.  Sounds weird?  Hear me out.

The Godfather showed us a world of beauty and corruption.  Alliances were made and broken.  Those who were good to the family were rewarded, while anyone who stepped in the way was hit.

Social media works in much the same way.  It can be beautiful, offering the best of the web compiled into loosely organized areas where masses of people can flood a worthy website and enjoy its offerings.  It can be corrupt, as spammers use the power of social media to drive traffic to unworthy websites. [Read more...]

12 Signs that You May Be a Social Media Addict

Cute Dog PicThere are many social media addicts in this world.  You see it every day on Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon.  Even Propeller, Mixx, and Newsvine have their share.  What you may or may not know is whether or not you are one of them.

It’s often tough to recognize.  Perhaps the joy of seeing your first story on the front page of the site was enough to set you off.  Maybe it’s a desire to promote your point of view, a political candidate, even your own blog or business.  For some, it’s something that passes the time (until too much time has passed).  Read these signs below and seek immediate help if 3 or more apply to you. [Read more...]

Front Page Addiction: Destroying Families, Ruining Lives

*** As my first real parody piece, I am moving this up in the blog to see if it gets more comment luv. ***

A little-known but dangerous epidemic is spreading across members of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, and Mixx.  Like a secret scourge, SM-FPA (social media front page addiction) isn’t making national headines yet, but the effects have been felt in thousands of households across the world.

“Ever since my wife’s submission hit the front page of Reddit last month, we only see her on the way to the bathroom,” said Jake Dixon.  His wife Amber, better known as “diggwho”, made the front page of Reddit with a story titled Bush makes more people mad by saying something stupid.  Since then, Amber has been submitting 15-25 stories per day and has a submission hit the front page 3-5 times per week.  She declined to be interviewed.

Research scientists at the Social Media Institute of Technology (SMIT) in Kolkata, India, say that Mr. Dixon and his family are not alone.  They have documented 342 confirmed cases of SM-FPA in 2007 and estimate the actual number in the thousands. [Read more...]

Propeller. Fail.

The reviews are starting to roll in.  There are only two possible conclusions so far: either the community will need some time to get used to the new changes over at Propeller, or the changes were a bad move.  The initial feelings of the community can best be described when you look at the current (as of 12am PST 7-23-08) top front page story.  Here is a screenshot:

Propeller New Design

Not good.  Not good at all.  And yes, for those who don’t use or haven’t been there yet, that is an actual screenshot that was actually accepted by the actual decision makers at AOL.

Revolt? Day 2, Another Fail Dominates Front Page

One of the first front page stories that stayed at the top of the Propeller “Most Popular Stories” was titled, “Propeller.com new layout Sucks!!!“.  If you click on the link to it, you get this:

This article has been removed from our system for violating our Terms of Use.

Fair enough.  It was inflammatory and while it may have been a sounding board for disgruntled users, it did not offer a lot of value to the site.  Soon after, an article titled “Propeller. Fail.” was posted and has been the top story on the front page of the site for some time.  Not a lot of value again other than as a eulogy for the original story that was removed, but still, the point was made.  At the time of this article, it has 227 comments.

The question must now be asked: 2 days, several complaints, several poor reviews, and a disgruntled user-base that is expressing itself by keeping these stories at the top — what does Propeller do now?

Should they say “OOPS, nevermind!” and put the old version back up?  Should they just weather the storm that always seems to come when something warm and familiar is changed?  Should they defend their position that this new format is better?

or…

Should they re-market themselves, allowing those who don’t like the new version to leave while pushing for a newer brand of Propeller users?

I hope they do not select the last option.  This is a site that I have enjoyed and defended over the last few months and I would hate to see all of that effort go to waste.  Here is a screenshot of the current front page as well as a screenshot of last night’s front page.

Propeller Fail

Above is now.  Below is last night’s.

Propeller Redesign

There really isn’t anything else to say about it.  The people have spoken loud and clear.

It really could just take some getting used to, but I already miss the old, clunky version.

Impeachment Coverage – Who got it fastest?

Social News SitesWhen the news wires started buzzing, burning, and smoking about Dennis Kucinich introducing 35 letters of impeachment against President George W. Bush, we started watching the three top social media sites to see who would get the news the quickest to their front page.

As of the time of this post, it was broken 3 hours, 33 minutes ago.  We started watching the front pages of Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, and Mixx just over 3 hours ago.  Here are the results: [Read more...]

New Blogs Focus on What Did NOT Hit the Front Page of Digg

PopFAILOn an episode of The Drill Down 3 weeks ago, MrBabyMan, Zaibatsu, MSaleem, and about 50 people in the chat room of their Ustream broadcast discussed putting up a site where stories that didn’t make it to the front page of Digg could “find a resting place.”  After a quick brainstorming session, Lost Shovels was born.

While it hasn’t taken off yet as hoped with only 4 stories posted there currently, a variation of the idea was created at PopFAIL.  This one has much more activity currently (I am one of the contributors) and each submission is accompanied by an analysis of why it didn’t make it and why it should have made it to the front page of Digg. [Read more...]

Social Media Outcry Brings Competition to the Table

The negative comments to this post are already coming.  I can feel it.  Why?  Because I am about to be completely ambiguous and talk theoretically, even though I have knowledge that the things I’m about to discuss are facts.

Ever since Digg, Slashdot, and the other early social news sites took hold of a new market on the internet, there have been clones and competitors popping up left and right.  The next “Digg Killer” has emerged and subsequently fallen almost every week for the last couple of years.  Newer networks have been proposed, many are getting worked on, and I know a lot about some, little about others. [Read more...]