March 23, 2014

  • Keeping Xangans Connected – An Idea

    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    Another reality is that the proprietary platform that we all knew and loved was actually an outdated platform that was becoming increasingly more of a challenge to manage.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.

    Thoughts?

Comments (14)

  • I like the idea of creating a way to maintain contact with Xangans, and would support an effort to do this. I have several questions, though. Would people who are not otherwise on FB be able to access such a page? How would this effort be ‘marketed’ to Xangans who are now spread across several other platforms? There are a number of other questions — I’ll put my thoughts in a separate e-mail.

    • The idea is just to expand on existing platforms – more specifically Facebook. Although it’s not more inclusive of others not on Facebook, it would at least be more of a place where people can reconnect and discuss.

      Again, just something I thought about – as there has been a lot of questions about how people can reconnect if they blog elsewhere, etc…

  • I have a different problem–I must have privacy and only allow those I trust to read my site, so I avoid all things social like FaceBook, Google, some Yahoo.. I use Bing to help stay private. lol

    I am not really a snob, but some in my family hate the internet and me being on it. My very high tech son found me once and it was ugly. So I further restricted my contacts and am not very careful what I say on unprotected sites.

    However, I want this to work and will renew in October. I had a lifetime membership in the old days, so I assume that I have to pay up annually and it is not expensive as you say.

    I want to conclude by saying I am very appreciative of all you did an the Xanga management .

    • I completely understand. There are many in my family that have issues with being online, and sometimes that includes my Better Half.

      Privacy is a major issue, I agree. Don’t know about how long we’ll have to pay, especially those of us who have had lifetime – but I do know the team is in it for the long haul and that they are still working on the site.

      Thanks for the encouragement. It appears that this change is much bigger and more complicated than what was originally thought out. We’ll have to see how it turns out in the weeks and months to come.

  • I blog. I don’t tweet and FB is all sound bytes. Although it is a nice way to stay in touch with other xangans it does not replace the ability to blog. And As Frank noted – it isn’t private in any way.

    • I know many folks don’t tweet and FB. This would just be an extra option for Xangans to reconnect and discuss. Again, just an idea.

  • I guess I don’t really understand what you are asking ~ I just want to continue to blog on Xanga like always ~ is that going to continue to happen? are they in for the long haul or is it going to shut down eventually? are there real, visible upgrades going on still, or just stuff none of us can actually see or feel? I just wish they would talk to us and explain where they are with it all ~

    • Yes, blogging on Xanga will continue to happen. The idea is just to expand Xanga’s facebook page to include a forum section where people can connect and discuss.

      As far as I know, the site will continue for the long haul. In as far as visible upgrades – they are still happening, but very small. Right now the team, to my understanding, is still working through terabytes of data transfer and making sure people’s accounts are migrated over to the new servers.

  • I’m running into a different issue. I made the donation that should have been good for a year, from the launch, I assumed, but I have been shut out from blogging as of the end of March. I also can find no way of addressing the issue or even buying a new year’s subscription if I was wrong about the dates.

    • Of course your donation should have given you a full year. e-mail help@xanga.net with your username and question regarding this issue. they should be able to resolve it rather easily. It is an issue that does pop up here and there since the change over, but easily resolved. I had to forward this question several times through the facebook page as well.

  • “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.”

    The problem isn’t just “change”, but “bad” change.

    The current environment is disconnected from other blogging sites, and operates at a far lower level than what Official WordPress offers for free. Throw in the fact that Xanga Inc. feels no need to make any updates to let people know what’s going on, and sure, that type of “change” is going to be viewed as negative.

    But that’s not all – for the “privilege” of operating in this degraded environment versus “free WordPress”, folks are being charged $48/year- and the clock is ticking now- meaning they obviously consider this time period an experience worth charging for.

    Seriously now, who in their right mind is going to be encouraged join or especially renew under such conditions?

    They clearly don’t care about community, because the old community is finished and it’s clearly not on their priority list to fix it.

    • No argument here, soulfire. Very valid points from your perspective, and I understand what you are trying to convey.

      Only one major clarification that I’d highlight from your response:

      “But that’s not all – for the “privilege” of operating in this degraded environment versus “free WordPress”, folks are being charged $48/year- and the clock is ticking now- meaning they obviously consider this time period an experience worth charging for.”

      We have to remember that people contributed $48 to help xanga transition from it’s old proprietary system to it’s new system. As a gift for their support, they were able to continue to blog for a year on the new site.

      I do agree that the ‘clock is ticking’ as the End of August is quickly approaching (4 months away).

      Now, as for the Xanga team providing some free blogging options to use the site (even as a trial period), is still up for discussion. But as I (and the xanga team) have expressed, much of that will be determined after things get back on track.

  • I know I’m just trying to find a search function, where I can find who is still around so I can connect with them.

    • If You’re logged in, you can select ‘Reading’ in the left column. This is the same as ‘subscribing’.

      We’re also trying to highlight folks who have their settings to ‘public’ on the Xanga Facebook page as well.

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