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The Future of Mixx Social Voting: An Interview

4 years ago, we interviewed Greg Davies, a then newly banned Digg power user. Greg helped lead the way to bring a great number of users to social news newcomer Mixx. We then watched Mixx in its rise to power through fearless leader Chris McGill. Well folks, there’s a new chapter in the Mixx story – you may have heard that Mixx has been acquired by Ubermedia – looks to be a very cool move.

What’s interesting is that Mixx in its classic (read: social voting) form won’t be going by the wayside. Original Mixxers Greg Davies and Jay Fowler of Social Blend podcast fame are ramping up a social voting site of their own which will grandfather in much of the current Mixx environment.

We caught up with Greg and Jay to hear the rest of the story. Here’s what they had to say.

1 – Welcome back Greg and Jay! How have things been?

DILLIGAF to you, my friend. Things are as random and ridiculous as ever, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Busy to say the least. Greg and I are still doing the podcast, I have been doing guest writing for other web publications, then there is always Social Media Rage that still has new posts every now and then. I tell you though, I wish I had Greg’s constitution. Not only is he working on our new project, but he is also writing for other websites, has two other podcasts, and is still going strong. He impresses the hell out of me sometimes.

2 – Glad to hear it. So you’re going to basically run Mixx classic through Mixxingbowl.com – this is very exciting! I know many of the hardcore Mixxers and new Mixxers alike will be happy that social voting isn’t going away. Can you tell us a little more about the implementation, transition, and all the bells and whistles?

Essentially, we’re starting over. We’re going to be using Keith Wagner’s Open Voter platform to implement the social news site. MixxingBowl.com will still have the blog and the forums, but the social news part of the site will become the main focus. We’re also listening to and requesting feedback from the current Mixx Classic community – we need their ideas and criticisms, it’s very important to us.

And I’ll tell you why it’s important: essentially this is the Community saving itself. This isn’t a startup, we’re not looking for a profit here – we’re trying to keep the spirit of the Mixx community alive.

Well our badass engineer Keith Wagner explained it last night on Social Blend. Basically we are using his application called Open Voter. We will have a Karma system and he has an algorithm in place. We are looking at giving our hardcore users awards later. But we will have a voting and comment system as all Social News sites do. Keith Wagner and Brian Hill (the owner of the Mixxingbowl) have been awesome in working with us on this.

3 – I’m sure some are going to be annoyed that karma is going to be reset. Anything that can be done on this or are we all just going to have to grin and bear it?

We’re looking into some options on this. At this point we’re unsure if we can successfully port the current karma scores over. Keith is working out the details. There’ll be more on this later. Best thing would be to assume we’re starting over again. That way, if we CAN get the karma over, it’ll be a nice surprise 🙂

Well we are trying to work something out but we can’t guarantee anything at this point. We are going to do our best but somethings are out of our hands. Mixx has been acquired therefore the intellectual property is no longer theirs. If the new Mixx owners want to help us or can I am sure they will. But as far as the Karma and awards they will all have to be new at this stage in the game.

4 – How about the trophy case?

Awards will come in time. Right now we’re focusing on getting the site up, running, and available for the Mixx community. We have ideas like awards and other things, but that’s going in our “We’ll do our best to get to this as soon as we can” list.

That is something we are looking at but will take time to implement. We absolutely believe the old hardcore users of the community deserve something, but we want to make the site at least usable for them before we add more bells and whistles.

5 – Who’s going to run this new social voting site? I know that you’re running it from Keith Wagner’s openvoter.org package (which by the way is awesome, I’ve seen it in action over at Mark Carras’ heavyashell.com) but you’ll need editors and technical people and all that. What’s the plan? Superusers? Staff?

Both of us, Keith, and also Brian Hill aka Bdog2g2 who founded the Mixxing Bowl to begin with. To start with it will be the four of us acting as support and moderators. I’m sure we’ll add people to the team as we progress, but we’re taking baby steps to start with. Super Users and Power Users was something we were discussing the other day, it’s a possibility – we’d love to implement it. As far as staff is concerned, let me emphasize again, this is all volunteer work.


Right now it’s a four person team. Greg, Keith, Brian and myself are going to try and feild the whole thing. But we do have a lot of awesome friends who have offered support so I am sure we will be taking them up on their offers. That’s one thing that we have had is an enormous outpouring of support for this project. I guess when you help build a strong community and establish yourself in Social Media, that’s one thing we have always had, support. Believe me we appreciate all the support our friends in the Social Media realm have given us. Without them and the community, there would be no reason for us to want to do this project.

6 – Anything else you’d like to stress about the new site?

This is the community saving itself. We’re not looking to capitalize on or exploit the closing of Mixx Classic – we’re very aware that there’s a community that loved the social news side of Mixx, and we’re sad to see it go. But the Mixxing Bowl is the next step, and we’re looking forward to getting it out there, up and running.

Also, like I said, we still work full time in our regular jobs, so this is all volunteer work. Bear in mind there’s SO MUCH we want to do with this site, but we have limited time. We’ll do our best – but we ask the community for some patience and understanding as we get things set up.

Yes, the new Mixxingbowl, is not a startup. It’s a place for the users of the Mixx classic community to crash land, hang out and have fun. That’s what the original Mixxingbowl forum was all about, and that’s the way we want to keep it. We have made strong friendships in that community, and we know others have as well. We want to make it a place where these people can stay connected.
We will still have the blog and the forum, and we are always willing to listen to feedback, be it constructive or other wise. Also none of this would be remotely possible without the community, especially Keith Wagner, Brian Hill, and Greg Davies. I know I poke fun at those guys, but they are awesome.

7 – It’s been a real pleasure connecting with both of you at this exciting point in Mixx history. Thank you again so much Greg and Jay, for all that you do! Much props to Brian Hill aka Bdog2g2 and Keith Wagner aka DarkNemesis618 for keeping the dream alive!

You’re welcome. And remember: Social Media is a myth!

Brian, it’s always a pleasure, and we can’t wait to see you in the Mixxingbowl!


  1. Fat Lester

    I certainly wish the best of luck to Greg and Jay with the new Mixxingbowl social news feature. I recently started a new job that if I’m able to hold on to it, should prohibit me from spending the kind of time at the new Bowl that I spent at Mixx over the past four years.

    That said, I plan to contribute when and where I can, and I am looking forward to the new social news feature at the MixxingBowl.

    Kudos to both of you for taking the lead and coming up with a solution in the face of challenging times.

  2. Capybara

    Greg, Jay, Bdog2g2, and DarkNemesis618 all deserve massive credit for their tireless work in trying to keep the Social News voting aspect of Mixx alive over at the Mixxing Bowl. The Mixx Classic Community was awesome and many of us regular Mixxers were deeply shocked to hear that it was going to dissapear. So guys many thanks for keeping the community alive and I look forward to participating over at the new Bowl.

  3. Tad Chef

    Great news, a non profit social news site is exactly what we need now. I hope I can keep my karma I accumulated before I left the site due to the rampant racism and verbal attacks against me by the racist individulas and the Mixx team.

  4. Egan Medical

    Things unfortunately didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. I suppose that recapturing the magic and the culture of the original Mixx were perhaps a bit too unrealistic of expectations going in.

    I tried my best to contribute, but my work schedule isn’t anything like it was five years ago, and unfortunately there were a few folks who were Mixxingbowl regulars who refused to put politics aside in hopes of finding common ground among the few regular users the site had.

    Greg and Jay are awesome guys, would-be social media hall-of-famers (if such a hall existed), upstanding men and men for whom I have tremendous respect. It’s unfortunate that all their effort and time did not bring about the results we had all hoped it would lead to, although that is certainly no fault of their own. They tried their best to come up with a solution when everyone else (myself included) was in a state of disarray. Petty disagreements among certain members turned the whole thing sour. I won’t go into naming names, but the guilty parties know who they are (and neither Greg, Brian Hill nor Jay meet such criteria).

    I am still grateful for the effort they put in and the time they invested, and wish I could do more to show my appreciation than comment on a years-old blog post written around the time the new site was announced. I know I can message them privately through Facebook or email, but I’d like to go on-record and the topic isn’t of interest to enough people to justify a blog post.

    Anyway Brian, keep up the good work with NowSourcing, and I look forward to potentially acquiring your services in the upcoming months once I’ve got a full staff assembled here at our new facility in Long Beach, MS.

    Peter Egan (aka: “Fat Lester”)