I’m rather humbled by John and the Team asking me to be a Community Liaison. After all, it’s quite an undertaking.
However, as I’ve met many folks here on Xanga, and have connected with them both on this site and many others – including making many new friends… I look forward to helping facilitate some communication to get things started.
Hopefully we can do this together… all of us.
Since today is Thursday, let’s venture with a little #tbt with what has happened this past year….
On September 3, 2013 – John shared The Four Phases of the Xanga 2.0 Launch.
It’s been rather quiet for a year, and I know many of you are very frustrated at the lack of communication from the team.
My goal here is to address where we are at, and what we need to do to keep the process going forward with better communication.
So lets shake the dust off a bit from this past year and get ready to move forward…
First – let’s go over the Four Phases of the Xanga 2.0 Launch:
Phase 1 was Data Migration – this has been taken care of – and is manageable
Phase 2 was site tuning – this has been taken care of – and is also manageable
Phase 3 is Feature Prioritization – basic features have been launched – but it’s time to expand
Phase 4 is Building Together – where we take Xanga to the next level.
With the site now migrated over, and as John explained some of the challenges with that and site tuning – we’re now moving towards feature prioritization and building Xanga together.
But before we continue – we first have to make sure one issue is addressed.
This issue has been at the core of many of conversations I’ve been a part of for the past couple of years – and it needs to be discussed…
The issue is communication.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been able to talk and e-mail with John directly – and these channels of communication will remain.
The lack of communication this past year has been the biggest pain point with an overwhelming number of Xangans.
I’ve received many messages, e-mails, and even a phone call or two – asking what in the world is going on.
Comments on Xanga group pages on Facebook, and even on this blog have expressed everything from extreme frustration and anger, to sympathetic understanding. Suffice it to say, I’ve seen – heard – read – and understand where we are at – and can see why some in the community have already decided to call it quits and just move on.
I respect their decision – and want to say that the door remains open.
I appreciate John’s openness about what has been happening, and his passion to really keep Xanga moving forward. He agreed, even in his blog update, that the lack of communication on some key areas is where they dropped the ball.
It’s in this area that we need to improve first – and the first steps have already been made.
We will be talking to each other regularly to make sure that he gets a clear and concise picture of what the community wants – so we can all coordinate together on the usage of resources.
So, the ball is in our court, so to speak. It’s up to us to make Xanga what we want it to become. I’ve shared this concept in the past…
s0 yeah, I know it’s been awhile – but we’re finally at that next step.
Now this doesn’t mean that we can immediately change things at the moment… but it does mean that we can start organizing our thoughts as a collective – and start prioritizing what is next needed.
So, being that John and I are able to talk directly with each other and will regularly discuss what’s going on, etc… what’s next?
How we communicate with each other as a community.
Now, I could have had everyone just e-mail me their thoughts, ideas and interests – but when you send a message out to millions of folks – even just 21,000 people… and only 1% responds that way… that’s a couple of hundred e-mails to sort through… many of which could be of a similar topic. Also, that’s a lot of time to devote to such a thing – and therefore rather inefficient. It’s also not community centric.
So I proposed to John that anyone can reach me here on Xanga at this blog – or via Xanga’s Facebook page.
I’d like to keep the discussion as open as possible – allowing this to be a fully collaborative approach.
I know many folks do not have a facebook account. That’s why I’m offering up my blog here on Xanga as a means for you to reach out to me.
I check my blog regularly – so you’d get a response in a decent amount of time. So feel free to leave a comment.
For those that do have a facebook account – you can leave a comment – or send a message to Xanga’s facebook page.
We’ve added a forums app to Xanga’s facebook page – and we’ll be expanding the usage of the forum as we get a sense of where we need to prioritize.
Since we are reorganizing our efforts, I thank you in advance for your patience.
There may be some rough patches here and there – but we’re all working towards a common goal – to make Xanga 2.0 better.
If you have interest, or are still interested in helping out – feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you have a preference on what needs to be focused on next in terms of functionality – please share. Many people have already responded – and I’ve listed their ideas and suggestions below.
If you have a question or comment regarding your specific xanga account, I will ask that you e-mail email@example.com with your xanga username and e-mail address associated with the account. Please allow some time for the Team to respond as I’m sure we will be sending a lot of fellow Xangans to that e-mail address in the coming days and weeks.
So… where would you like to help out?
From another previous Xanga Team Blog post – here are some ideas….
“* Spam fighters: to help us fight spammers and remove spam
* Themers: to help us design or find gorgeous themes to make available to all
* Plugin developers: to help us develop and deploy new features
* Plugin evangelists: to help us find and test new plugins
* Jury members and Judges: to help us resolve abuse complaints
* Helpers: to help members with customer service
* Documentation writers: to help us write up world-class documentation for the site.
Volunteers would receive free Xanga blogging memberships that they could gift to friends, and our most active volunteers would be invited to join our decision-making bodies.
* A product council: to prioritize product development efforts
* A frontpage council: to figure out the best way to promote member content”
So, let us move forward and see what happens…
Since John’s Update – I’ve received some of the following suggestions (in no particular order):
- add a page for subscribers to pay their annual subscription fees, including a link from their account.
- ability to create a new account on the site. (right now this is done manually after someone pays)
- what can be done to extend people’s accounts by six months automatically (rather than e-mail Eugenia at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Private messages between users
- the ability to modify a blogs look and feel (themes)
- improved ‘real-time’ comments (giving the xanga-esque social media feel)
- ability to sign in and or connect via social media sites like facebook and/or twitter to comment and or blog.