Ghosts of the Irrelevant

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Today marks 1 year since The Xanga Team updated their blog. It has been 1 year since and real news of Xanga’s fate was imparted to what is left of it’s user base. From what I have seen, more and more people are turning to other blogging platforms. Abandoning ship. Creating new accounts is still impossible. Renewing subscriptions is becoming harder and harder as more people find their accounts have lapsed, and must jump through the multiple hoops once again.

Though the collective employees at Xanga refuse to admit defeat, or rather, refuse to shed any light on anything, and their sole community voice continues to offer only platitudes and “Email Eugenia” answers, former users looking must ask the question that has been asked since the beginning….

Why? Why continue rattling those old bones about when there is none left to sustain it? With the Ghost of Xanga’s food source down to stale crumbs in the bottom of the cereal box, why does it continue on? Why does it not allow nature to take it’s course, and move on?

Xanga, the dream has died. There is no magic flame, there is no mystical cure, there is nothing left. Xanga is now simply a fading dream, a memory of carefree days and youthful indiscretions.

I have come to the conclusion that there will never be an answer. We have transcended from “Why did Xanga fail” to “Why does it persist”. It is not a phoenix waiting to rise from the ashes, because it refuses to allow itself to burn. I think I know the answer. The one no one wishes to admit.

Xanga Team are afraid. Afraid to admit failure. I get that. I truly do. But all things must eventually come to an end.

I’m sorry, but Xanga is dead, and it will never come back. We, the users both past and present, need to let it go. It needs to be allowed to wither and to meet the natural death it has staved off for so long. The promise of a rebirth was hollow. An empty promise, like all the others. And folks, I take no pleasure in saying “I told you so” but there it is.

All that remains is a zombie. An empty shell of what was with an undying cry upon it’s lips of what might have been. The user base had the chance to end this. The Xanga Team had the chance to end this. No one took it. Now it sits in website zombie limbo. Lingering. Shuffling. But never dying so long as people keep paying for those paid accounts. But here’s the thing… When the moment comes, and the expenses once again outweigh the income coming in… will someone finally don the chainsaw? Will someone finally pull out the boomstick, and put it out of it’s misery? When the opportunity comes around again, will Xanga’s champions still be standing at the edge of the abyss, refusing to let it fall? Many of those who championed for the fundraiser, who bought and paid for subscriptions for their friends and loved ones to ensure Xanga would not fail… most of them are now gone.

They’ve moved on to bigger and better platforms, or, simply scattered their blog’s ashes to the wind and closed that chapter of their lives. With social media taking the forefront of communication and connectivity, having both features unique to it’s medium but also allowing for the integration of the old, is there truly any point in turning back and rallying the troops one more time for a dying king? Are they going to back the decaying website when that same website’s staff lied and abused their position for monetary gain?

I don’t think they will, and their loyal champions are, at best, now down to a single user. That user is Joel, AKA “Edlives”, and even he has migrated his project off of Xanga, away from it’s decaying fingers. Even with his initial conflict of interest, now there is little reason for even him to continue to carry the Xanga flag into battle… But he will. Because he is loyal. He has a job to do, though he’s very bad at it, he will continue to do it until there is no website staff for him to liason with. But the problem here folks… is there a community remaining to listen and acknowledge the invisible gods on high when, or if they ever speak again?

As it faded into irrelevancy in the face of newer, better, more functional and easier systems, it refused to go gentle into that good night, and those who raised the funds to ensure it’s continued survival did not realize at the time they had been had. And now… Now the villages have been emptied, save for a few who refuse to leave. But eventually… they will run out of money.

And then, the time will come when music must be faced and facts must be acknowledged.

Xanga has failed. Xanga is dead. And the remaining users?… The remaining users will have to face the reality that the dream is gone. And will need to let it go, and fade into the memory it, and so many other websites before it, is destined to be.

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7 responses to “Ghosts of the Irrelevant

  1. I gave up on Xanga a long time ago but I still visit EdLives’ site every so often. It’s amazibg how many people, nearly three years into this, ask him how they can renew their subscriptions. What the Hell is wrong with people? There are three or four people who still poist their and the $49 subscription fee gets you a WordPress based platform that’s far inferior to the free one available at wordpress.com. Of course Joel has essentially blamed all of this in a post about how it’s easy to complain but we need to be willing to do the work.

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    • Oh I know it. Hell, back when John actually maintained his own blog, I had messaged him back and forth (wish I’d kept those) because there were SOOOOOO many problems with the site, even as early as 2010. I essentially told him this mess was going to happen, and what he could do to avoid it, or at the very least lessen the problems. He didn’t want to listen then, and he didn’t want to listen when I tried to tell him what the best option at the time of the fundraiser was. All he literally had to do was declare corporate bankruptcy, and it literally would have prevented 99% of all the crap that went down. As for Joel, he can say what he wants but the move to separate Autisable and Xanga was NOT in the works UNTIL it was obvious the fundraiser was a bust. AND THEN for a LARGE portion of the time the team wasn’t actually working on Xanga itself, but on Autisable instead. Joel even said so in a post on his own blog (some pitiful attempt to placate people who were demanding answers about 9 months into the first year of “2.0” – stating something along the lines of ‘yeah sorry it’s taking so long guys, i’m partly to blame because autisable’ – etc.)
      When Soulfire (I think that’s his name) called him on the carpet for shit, he started censoring the conversation by simply not posting the comments and not replying, which further caused Soulfire to comment even more, pointing out the deliberate censorship, and it kinda blew up from there. NOW all Joel ever has to say in response to people is “Email Eugenia” (and any variation of that phrase).
      I’ve kept up on the Twitter and the Xanga page, and literally there’s someone asking about how to recover their blogs almost every week, but only once, MAYBE twice a month people ask how to renew. The help page is in shambles still, and it’s just a mess.
      They want volunteers because if they had to hire someone new the entire operation would blow up in their faces the moment someone expected to get decent pay and have the check clear.
      I’ve also checked the people who ask to renew, the majority of them break down to ask because they have NO access to their archives, despite the “download for free” mess. The “free download” only provides the posts, it does not provide pictures. That was a separate download offered prior to Old Xanga’s collapse, and is a feature that did not return. So, posts made entirely of pictures show up blank in the archive. The only REAL way to get your ENTIRE blog is to pay for a renewal and then systematically save each individual post or copy/paste it to another site, and find a new image host for any pictures. It’s a scam from start to finish.
      Personally, I had to threaten them with police and a lawsuit to purge my information, and that I had already urged many to do the same in the help section (all of my comments to that effect had been deleted after this) as well as contacting the FBI cybercrimes and fraud divisions to report the company. They were really quick to help me and deal with my issue after that. (Credit card info was involved, i found out after a bank i no longer use tried to contact me about a $48 charge and was threatening me with credit card fraud and all kinds of crazy crap because surprise! xanga tried to charge a card that I had believed was no longer associated with the account in question, and the account at that point had already been deleted from their systems. Took me MONTHS to get that cleared up!)
      Of the people that remain, not many post nor have the capacity to post any more, and are of the geriatric variety who, prior to joining Xanga, had little understanding of how to use a blog or the internet. Many of them on Xanga still don’t. But they’ve put so much time and effort into their blogs that they are literally held to ransom to ensure they can keep them. Because again as I said, it’s impossible to get a complete archive and there IS no way to get the pictures without paying your dues so that you can go back and edit posts to GET your pictures.
      As for the entire “well why aren’t YOU doing something to help!” angle Joel kept pushing on people – he stopped that when I and a few others pointed out he’d been victim blaming and that people on xanga who had the skills had already left, and those that remained could barely make a post let alone write code. Plus someone (not me, that’s all i know) basically told him if he truly wanted Xanga to succeed, he’d stop harping on Autisable and actually HELP XANGA INSTEAD. After that, the announcement of the separation of the two entities was announced. Read into that what you will.

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    • Also, I’d meant to follow you ages ago, I just kept forgetting to hit “follow” before leaving the page and looking at other stuff. 😀

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    • It is a shame. And a sham from start to finish. Xanga was great back in the day, it really was. And it was useful beyond just as a blog and a community. Personally, I used it as a host for my pictures and images for other fun stuff that wouldn’t let me upload a picture, but it would let me post a link instead and show it that way. (I don’t particularly like Photobucket or Flickr, but with all that space I had on Xanga, problem solved!)
      But to stay relevant with the changing nature of social media and blogging, they kept adding new features to make it like all the others, which ultimately took away it’s charm and uniqueness. Even when MySpace and Facebook launched, and they lost a lot of users to them, they were still going strong. Unfortunately, a major problem they had (that ultimately lost them a LOT of revenue, which led to the collapse) was they gave nearly all of the premium features to free accounts. Why pay for a year’s subscription when you would get the same features for free? And by giving these features, specifically the one where you could install your own widgets and unlimited CSS and such, people were able to completely hide or remove ads from their free blogs, thus further dropping Xanga’s revenue.
      I could go on and on, but I’ve got other posts explaining my thoughts and the various factors that led to Xanga’s crash. At the end of the day, John and the team made some bad business decisions, refused to listen to common sense advice from the community itself, and that in turn caused a direct line to failure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s clear they just don’t care without even bothering to try and update anymore.

    I just checked it out to see Ed is still “updating” everyone with Xanga status – “nothing new to report”, and that’s it with no follow up. It’s like a frozen time capsule.

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    • Goodness I know! I check back on his blog about once a week or so, and the FB page every so often. It’s absolutely pitiful.

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