Long ago, before the ascension of Facebook. Before the fall and rise of Myspace from the ashes. Before there was a Twitter in the cyberspace, there was a site called Xanga. It was there I once made my humble blogging home after leaving the wilderness of Blogger before the Google takeover. Xanga was strange; it was free; and it was downright bizarre as hell. It was here I felt so very much like I’d finally found my home. In 2005 I began to blog there. And in 2012 I found I’d lost interest. I would pop in and out periodically to see if my predictions about the Ish Sites were coming true.
Sadly, they were. The Ish Niche had taken complete control. It had spread the blogging platform too thin. Stretching their dollars too far and pushing their servers too much. And then, I made a most dire prediction near the end of 2012 before dipping out of Xanga once and for all (at least that is what I thought at the time).
I spewed forth from my humble fingertips in poetic verse the downfall of Xanga. I stated that it had already begun. Users becoming disgruntled, their voices not being heard. The suspcious and willful ignorance of TheXangaTeam. And the fact that personal friends of The Team were the ones in charge of the Ish sites that remained. That with people leaving for newer, better blogging platforms Xanga would lose money generated from the adverts thrust upon the free users. The paid users would stop paying for features that were now offered completely for free. Xanga would face a financial crisis the company had never seen, but strangely seemed to know was coming.
I warned of a Long-con. That once the user/finance ratio reached critical, that somehow a crisis would arise. One that would decide the fate of Xanga once and for all. That they would do anything to survive, even if it meant biting the hands that feed it. I warned of a lack of unity in the community. A lack of drive from TheXangaTeam. I warned of giving money to greedy strangers.
And then, I left.
I was surprised to learn when I did return, just a short 5 months later (I had need to backup my old archives and pictures to download for a memoir project, and had forgotten that I had even still had an account at Xanga until May of 2013) that Xanga was in a terrible state. The time had come. The Long-con had begun. The site held out it’s hand to an alienated community of bloggers, begging and begging for money. Begging like a whore for one more fix. One more and it would be over. Things would get cleaned up, and sober, and actually work for the user.
It was all a lie. At this time, I examined the fundraiser closely. I warned any who would listen of the scam. That the promised features if Xanga survived were not worth $48 a year. Why, all of them and more were available for FREE elsewhere on the internet. WordPress, especially, was a prime candidate for migration. Alas, none would listen. Despite the fact of the textbook signs that it was a scam. Let us not forget that the majority of people working for Xanga now are volunteers. Let us not forget that the user does not have control over their content. Let us not forget that you must beg for more time on a site that has no functionality.
All things I warned of. Months in advance.
So, I made a final post. One detailing the outcomes of the Xanga Survival Fundraiser. I detailed an unlikely scenario that they would not meet their goal and shut down. And then I detailed with great effort the hell that lay in store because of cheerleaders like Joel (EdLives). Because of an owner who ran a site in deliberate ignorance. Because of a girl who attempted to singlehandedly reassure everyone in the help forum without actually providing the answers they were seeking, while systematically gaining their personal financial information.
I told of the vast emptiness. The abject silence that would take residence in what was once a bustling and busy community of both veteran and fresh faced bloggers.
But my latest posts were always buried in the mix of whatever Dan from TheTheologansCafe had to say about contemplating his navel. Or what SaintVi had to say about whatever irrelevant thing it was that got in her craw that day. And even links to defunct posts from long lost Ish sites that had begun the downfall of a rather good blogging platform.
After all, my predictions, my warnings of what was to come for Xanga were merely the insane and paranoid ramblings of a madman.
My final Xanga post I ever submitted was from the day before the change over to the ruinous 2.0.
In it I had a single message. Just four little words.
I TOLD YOU SO.