The National Hockey League (NHL) on Wednesday becomes the first in a handful of companies scheduled to launch a white-label platform from Mixx that aggregates tweets from Twitter on Web sites and blogs.
TweetMixx Channels creates a distribution channel for tweets both off and on Twitter. The platform comes with a widget that bloggers can embed on a variety of sites. A plug in to Facebook will launch in two weeks. The product roadmap also includes a snippet of code to personalize iGoogle and other Web pages. The platform has filters to monitor chatter, too.
"Marketers want to tweet, but don't have a real strategy," says Chris McGill, founder and CEO at Mixx, the parent company of TweetMixx. "They know what they're doing on Facebook. They create Fan pages. They know what to do on YouTube. They create channels."
Mixx founder and CEO Chris McGill, who created the social media tag that lets people share content from sites like The New York Times, Reuters, and USA Today, describes TweetMixx as a "tree." It gives people a landing page where people can "flock, sit and sing" together on any specific subject.
TweetMixx, supported on the back end by the Mixx technology, "unpacks" condensed URL appearing in Tweets, so the reader gets a clear idea of the content behind the link. The summary of the tweet appears next to the tweet on the page.
For example, a brief description to the right of the tweet explains the shortened URL in the tweet: "New Puck Daddy: Coach calls Ovechkin 'reckless'; Caps star defends 'risky' style," takes the reader to an article on the NHL Yahoo Sports page.
McGill created the platform after becoming frustrated with seeing tweets that contained the word "wow" and a URL without an explanation to the content behind the link. "I ended up going to a lot of irrelevant content," he says. "That's why when you go to a story on a news site you get a summary before going the story."
Fans will find the tweets on a connecting page off the NHL's home page, along with a dedicated social section on the site. Three tabs -- Insiders, Chatter, and Links--index different Twitter streams.
The Insiders tab streams tweets from about a dozen hockey experts, such as Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski or TSN's Bob McKenzie.
The Chatter tab streams tweets from fans about the NHL. The site pulls in tweets based on preset keywords and phrases. Michael DiLorenzo, the NHL's director of social media marketing and strategy, says triggers include team names, such as Kings, Ducks or Canucks.
The Links tab indexes the most retweeted tweet. It brings the favorites to the top of the page.
DiLorenzo views the platform as a public service because it gives NHL fans one place to monitor what's being said and read about their favorite team and players.
The NHL is the first in a series of partnerships that TweetMixx plans to announce in the next two week, McGill says. In fact, expect two more major deals within two weeks, with more coming down the pike shortly.
Twitter isn't a phenomenon -- it's an institution, Gill says. "Look around at what's happening in social media," he says. "The vast majority of what's being shared in social media is done in Twitter, even when you throw in Digg and Facebook. While there's a big universe on Twitter, there's a bigger universe off Twitter."