Review Summary

Oh So Close
Tiered with Free Option
Cost Info: 
All tiers are based on limitations on number of groups, file space/transfer, and other options. Free option is ad supported.
Full array of features, Responsive customer service, User friendly
Sub Groups lack features, No Email update functionality, Weak implementation of recurring events.
Editor Rating: 

Based in Germany, mixxt started out in 2006 as a Euro-centric social networking platform. Indeed, a few segments of their corporate pages are still only in German, but you can create a site in English and the support staff is willing and able to communicate with you as well. I had seen some comments about mixxt being slower for people in the Western Hemisphere due to the "remote" location of the servers, but I didn't experience this to be the case in my limited testing. One thing that doesn't appear to be adjustable is the European dating format (dd/mm/yy). This is a fairly minor inconvenience to most, but worth pointing out.

mixxt is a very strong offering; yet another platform that comes oh so very close to being "the one" but falls short due to some glaring oversight or omission. It provides a free option with friendly pricing should you need to upgrade. The site is very user friendly and intuitive and includes virtually every feature you'd likely consider in a social networking site. The only exceptions being that polls are oddly missing and chat is a "mixxt App" which may or may not cost you to implement, depending on your usage. You're provided extensive control over most of the layout details, including the ability to customize the menu and add your own custom CSS, if you're so inclined. You are limited to their stock, three-column layout, however. Administrative controls are also incredibly friendly and finely tuned, including the ability to adjust user permissions for almost every module and action on the site. Administrators can create custom user profile questions, post an announcement directly into the activity stream through a "shout box", have access to site/module usage statistics and much more.

mixxt even comes close with events, allowing for recurring events to be created. Unfortunately, this is also their weak point. Specifically, when you create a recurring event, you have to choose/click each individual date that you want the event to happen on. You do this through a pop-up calendar, so it's not too much of a chore for a monthly event. However, I can't imagine too many users being pleased with clicking each instance of a weekly event that happens throughout the year. Perhaps only having to do it once a year might take the edge off of it. To make matters worse, every instance of the recurring event is immediately posted to the activity stream. When I contacted them in October 2010, a representative did mention this is something they were looking to improve upon. This particular issue could probably be overlooked if it weren't for the fact that you cannot create events within a Subgroup. Subgroups can be made to be private, but only have their own forums and photos. No events. No comments. This will be a huge deal breaker for most groups who are seeking subgroup functionality. Why have a private subgroup, when your events have to be posted on the public calendar, open to everyone? If this were corrected, the rest of the offering is so strong, we might have even been able to overlook that there are no email notifications for things like forums and event posts. This is another item their contact informed me they were working on.

Overall, if you're not in need of robust subgroup functionality and not afraid of a lack of support from the user community (part of their site that is currently only in German), mixxt is a platform you should definitely have a look at.

Significant Feature Notes

General – Offers a Ning import.

Resources - Limited FAQ. "Network founders" tips and tricks group only in German so far. Are responsive to emails, however.

Pricing - Tiered with Free option (Ad supported, Limits on # of subgroups, # of newsletters, space and transfer, # of "mixxtApps" and posts to them). White-Label product available (information in German) mixxtApps include things like Chat and Job Boards.

General Use - Date formatting is European which may throw some (doesn't appear to be customizable). Intuitive, user-friendly layout and usage. Typical layout as seen in similar platforms. "My page" let's users hone in on their profile, groups, events, posts, etc. Ability to search members. RSS Feed available on a per module basis.

Admin - Choose which features to use. Nice permissions settings including granular privacy settings for the site and users (i.e. can keep the group completely private from non-members). Customizable User Profiles, including multiple field types. Choose which modules post to the activity stream. Admin can post an announcement directly to the stream through a "shoutbox". Individual items can be deleted from the stream. Usage statistics. Excellent member management and communication tools. google analytics.

Layout - Intuitive block/region style layout editor for main Page. Limited to the stock three column layout. Customizable Menu. A couple dozen themes available along with custom colorization and font selection. Custom CSS allowed. Ability to create content pages.

Forums - Only topic level subscription and no email notification. (reported this is something they want to add). Does allow quoting. One place that navigation could be improved with a more visible way to return to main forum.

Events - Very robust including ability to limit # of attendees, allow comments, "ticket shop", tags, etc. Recurring Events but must be chosen individually. Also posts each individual event in the news feed when created. Export available. RSVP includes "maybe" AND "undecided"

Groups - Can't create group specific events. Forums and Images only.

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