How do you think you can use these tools in your library or at home?
By signning up with a site like Mixx and selecting a favorite topic such as: tech, you are able to browse recently posted links and popular posted link about a subject you are interested in. Mixx makes it easy to quickly scan titles of posts and choice whether or not to read on.
Do these tools seem to be a productivity enhancer or a productivity detractor?
By customizing the sites, you can filter out things that you don't want to view there by making the sites more productive. If you are using many, many sites, even if they are customized, you could get bogged down and distracted. So if you chose a few good sites to keep up with I think the tools are productive.
Have you ever read a story/item as a result of seeing it on one of these sites?
Yes. Just today I read an article called 8 incredible tools to revolutionize your Google search, which was a result of customizing the MIXX site to include links to tech articles.