Mixx, a Digg-like site that lets users vote to push news stories and other bookmarked content to the home page, is experimenting with an innovative new advertising platform called Mixx Sifter. Frankly, and we’ve written this before with other Mixx features, this is something Digg should have done.
The idea is to get the Mixx community to give direct feedback on advertising. The better ads will get impressions – not based on how much is paid, but simply on how positive the feedback is from users. Last year we’d heard that Digg was thinking of doing something along these lines. Digg founder Kevin Rose refused to speculate on it, though, in a recent interview.
Here’s how Mixx Sifter works – an advertiser uploads five different ads, in virtually any format. Mixx then invites its power users (elite Mixx users who have spent hundreds of hours on the site) to review those ads, rate them and provide direct private feedback. The users get karma points and a chance to win a gift certificate or computer in return. The most popular ad unit is then run on the site.
The product is launching with advertiser LivingSocial, and Mixx CEO Chris McGill says Clorox is next up. Advertisers will pay up to $8,000 for the user review and ad run. For now ads are rotating weekly, but eventually this will be a daily product, says McGill, with a new advertiser every day.
Mixx is highlighting the value of the direct feedback to advertisers, which is certainly a selling point. But what interests me is the use of the community to drive good advertising forward. Google has long taken into account click through rates on text ads in determining placement (and profit maximization), but there are other ways to do this as well. Mixx is now trying one way. It will be fascinating to see if and how Digg responds.