Today we're going to look at and compare two popular Myspace profile trackers
; Mixmap and Trakzor
.About the profile tracker comparison:
For the purposes of this comparison I have decided to exclude web statistic type trackers; most of which have been banned. Instead, I have chosen to focus specifically on Myspace style profile trackers
. Typically these types of trackers require users to become part of an online community. Those users that do, then become trackable via their Myspace profile
. Those that do not are simply listed as anonymous
and only their city, state, and time of visit are viewable.
My intent here, having previously written about Mixmap
, was to find another tracker with similar features. After listening to my own readers gripes and wants, a little searching led me to discover Trakzor.
Both trackers, according to Alexa, rank higher in traffic than any other Myspace profile tracker
and, while each does have its own unique set of features, they also have notable similarities – A map style tracking interface for one. Let’s get started!
Myspace profile Tracker 1: Mixmap: "Mixmap: Profile Page Tracking and Mapping"
Myspace profile Tracker 2: Trakzor: "Community driven MySpace Tracker"Tracking method:Mixmap
, as you might have guessed, tracks its users via an embeddable Myspace profile map. Once registered, Mixmap users are given a snippet of code that can be inserted into their Myspace profile page.
Trakzor instead, uses a prominently displayed Trakzor
“You’ve been tracked” image to accomplish the same.
Example of the Trakzor tracking image that would be visible on your Myspace profileViewing tracked vistors:
Mixmap, in addition to the Myspace profile map, also allows you to view your tracked visitors via a Google style map; accessible once you login to the Mixmap website. Myspace visitors show up as markers and can also be viewed/sorted via list format by age, sex, location, distance, etc...
Trakzor also provides both a list format, although not quite as full-featured as Mixmap’s, and a Google map with markers. Clicking each marker reveals the identity of that person as well as a link back to their Myspace profile should they too be registered Trakzor users.
Privacy and user deniability: Screenshot of Trakzor website
Mixmap users are afforded a great amount of flexibility when selecting their tracker. They can choose to use the map style Myspace tracker, a customizable image tracker, and more importantly, they can opt for an invisible Myspace profile tracker
. Something that Trakzor has yet to implement.
Trakzor does things a little differently. Their users have only one option; the “You’ve been tracked”, Trakzor image. This means that anyone viewing your Myspace profile will clearly know that they are being tracked. However, Trakzor has provided a Block feature that keeps YOU from being tracked while visiting another Trakzor’d Myspace profiles. You have the option of selecting a BLOCK ALL feature that keeps all your Myspace visits anonymous or, you can put together a set of targeted permissions using a BLOCK LIST. Not quite as nice as Mixmap, but at least they’re trying.Overall feel:
This is where you’ll see the biggest difference between Mixmap and Trakzor. The Mixmap site has more of a “community” feel. Upon registering your user information is used to create a personal profile page (name, address, location, birthday, occupation, favorite website, uploading of pics, etc…). This information, although it can optionally be set to hidden, becomes part of the Mixmap user community where it can be searched by distance, city, gender, etc…
The Trakzor experience is quite different. The order of business there is simply to track your visitors and that’s it. You login, check what you have to check and you leave. That is the idea isn’t it; Tracking Myspace vistors?Tracker Reliablity:
Update October 13, 2006: Things have been running pretty smoothly over at Mixmap since the date of this post. I exchanged a few emails with Matt, the Mixmap founder, and he explained the reason for their downtime. He's also been working hard and communicating his efforts with his users via the Mixmap announcement page. The only complaints I had have now been resolved and I think Mixmap has earned a second look.
As of late, Mixmap has been intermittently on/offline with no real explanation. Users simply encounter a generic browser “unable to connect” page. When Mixmap does happen to be online, quick visits to their announcements page do little to nothing to point out any problems or possible scheduled maintenance. Instead, users are left in the dark.
Trakzor, well, has no problems that I’ve encountered.Reachability:
This is no longer the case.
On a more personal note, I’ll add that contacting someone at Mixmap, at least for me, was near impossible. The few emails that I sent, hoping to get more detailed information regarding the outages, went unanswered. Hey, I tried!
Questions to Trakzor, on the other hand were answered the same day, by the Trakzor creator nonetheless; kudos to him for being reachable.Tracker Popularity:
According to Alexa traffic statistics, Trakzor appears to be more popular than Mixmap. Practically from its inception, Trakzor soared far past Mixmap in reach, rank, and pageviews. In the past few weeks they appear to have gained additional ground (a flock of disgruntled Mixmap users perhaps?). Whether or not this translates to a larger user base than Mixmap’s approximate 96,000 registered users is of particular interest. Seeing as how both services require users to become part of an online community, more users means a greater likelihood that the person visiting your profile will be “trackable”.
Have a look at the following Alexa traffic rank figures for both Mixmap and Trakzor
.Mixmap vs Trakzor Conclusion:
I think both Mixmap and Trakzor have something good to offer.
Unfortunatley, with recent unexplained Mixmap outages I personally would lean towards Trakzor.
If Trakzor focuses on implementing a few new features, they could very well take a large portion of the Mixmap user base. Particularly, I’d like to see them work on a Mixmap style invisible tracker, a Mixmap style Myspace profile tracker map, and perhaps a simpler web interface. Mixmap, of course, already has those things.
If you're hesitant to give up one or the other, you can of course run both trackers at the same time and see which you prefer.
Related posts:Geolocate your Myspace visitors with MixMap
Hiding unwanted but necessary images in MyspaceSource
: Tom Thomas
Labels: Map, myspace tracker