March 23, 2014
I'm not one to argue the point that there are a lot of folks that don't like the fact that Xanga changed from it's proprietary platform to a wordpress based platform.
The reality is, no one likes change.
Another reality is that the proprietary platform that we all knew and loved was actually an outdated platform that was becoming increasingly more of a challenge to manage. One issue was that in order to provide an upgrade, entire systems had to be recoded. Another issue is that the platform required extensive amounts of memory - which meant more server space and bandwidth.
These fundamental issues would cost any business to think about what it needed to do in order to survive and thrive.
So, the decision was made to upgrade to a platform that was powered by wordpress, and then the next phase - how to pay for it all long term.
I can share that I understand that this must have been a major decision that had to be made.
Working on Autisable, we made the decision to keep the site as an ad based revenue site. It is a decision that is right for the site - as it caters to a specific marketable niche - the Autism Community. However, Xanga does not have that luxury.
We all blog about different subjects - not specific niche markets. This makes it a challenge for a company to invest in advertising for a company. Another question that needed to be asked is if Xanga is a marketable commodity - and do they have a team that can market to advertisers. Again, the answer is not only no - but it wasn't a part of their vision for the site.
As John shared many times when he provides updates - they do it because they love to blog and interact with people. They like the community and wanted to keep the site going so that the community can still move forward.
Now, the tough decisions were made - the site had to be upgraded due to antiquated technology - and people are needing to pay to blog.
Personally, an average of $4 per month is as simple as one cup of starbucks coffee. I'm ok with this cost at this time, as I know I'll be blogging here regularly - and I make enough online annually to take care of it.
But, what about all the folks who didn't pay to blog? What can we do to accommodate them? What can we do to help keep these folks in touch with each other?
Of course people who didn't pay to blog can still subscribe and comment on people's blogs - but we know that tends to hinder expression in some ways.
Here's a thought I had, and I'd like to run it past the community -
Since Xanga's Official facebook fanpage is ran by the community (Dan, Maurice, and I) - what if we opened a fanpage tab where people can still connect with each other? This section on the facebook fanpage would be open to all xangans - like a forum.
I know that facebook is upgrading their fan pages again - but I think this option will still be available - and we could promote it.
I also know there are several xanga facebook group pages (Dan and Maurice manage two of them) - but this would help provide a central point where anyone can reconnect and discuss.
Just a thought on keeping the community together in a more official capacity - while we wait for the site to be continually upgraded.