Sgt_Kickaxe - 6:26 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
My take on Topix after having been a volunteer editor for a couple of years...
Topix is moderated, unfortunately most editors are volunteers and not paid. It works a little like wikipedia in that sense.
The bulk of the stories are mainly via known and trusted RSS feeds and editors can manually approve lesser known feeds (single posts only) that visitors submit. It's not a runaway mess. What Topix does well is get opinions and related content on the stories it posts and it does "local" extremely well. The comments and opinions all add a unique flavor to the site.
Still, it's got a glass ceiling. It's a mashup site with a following I think best describes it. There is a thin line between pure mashup site and mashup site with a following these days. Pure mashup is hated by most but mashup sites with a following are revered.