Go check out The Snowless Knitter!

One of my best friends just started a blog here on WordPress. She’s a knitter who lives in Central Florida and she’s dipping her toes back into blogging after a VERY long time. As I’m writing this post, she’s got one post up so far. What will she post about? Well, honestly I don’t entirely know, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting. So head on over to The Snowless Knitter and welcome her to the world of WordPress!

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Three years on, and I’m still beating the Xanga horse.

Another Xanga post? Again… I hear you not asking because, well, you probably didn’t mumble it when reading my post title. But, regardless, I’m writing another Xanga post. Hey, it’s been a while since the last one.

An observation I had made early on, so early I don’t feel like digging out the link right now, was that with Joel/”Edlives” (Xanga’s “Community Liaison”) working on getting his brainchild website, Autisable, off of the Xanga servers, and make it a completely separate entity from Xanga, that he had a bit of self interest going on with making sure Xanga didn’t just die off and disappear from the face of the earth… that is, until he was able to get his hands on Autisable free and clear.

It’s been nearly 3 months since the Autisable deal was completed on August 6th, or at least, when it was announced as having been completed on the “Official” Xanga Facebook page. Since then, Joel’s not exactly been as forthcoming with the Xanga Updates. Not that there is much to update on considering the Xanga Team has been absolutely silent for well a rather long time now. A matter of years, actually, since their most recent post on February 11, 2015. Now, most Xanga users (all probably six of them outside of Joel himself) do check the Edlives Xanga for updates. Everyone else checks Facebook for updates. Joel himself hasn’t exactly kept up with his own Xanga blog – the last post as I am sitting here right now is from August 31st of this year. Monday, it will be 2 months since he’s posted anything to it.

It’s almost as if, gasp, my observation that once he got what he wanted from Xanga, everyone else can sit and spin. Wow, imagine that.

There is, of course, things to take into account. Such as a new job he got months back, and now he’s got Autisable to run, and he’s a parent to a special needs child (which is something I can easily relate to) so yeah, not updating his Xanga or the FB page outside of a few minor updates – taken into account. But at this time, with how busy his life is, how much he’s got going on now compared to when he became the Community Liaison for Xanga, does he even have time for it now?

The way he currently handles the role, oh absolutely because it doesn’t really entail anything other than being a public face what’s left of the community can come to for information – of which he has absolutely none. And to handle the “omg where’s my blog!” comments on Facebook with a simple “Just email Eugenia” response.

Now, what someone in his position SHOULD do has been stated many times before, but to summarize he’s meant to act on behalf of the community, dying as it is, with the Xanga Team. NOT to just be a buffer of criticism. If he fulfilled the role as it needs to be done, he would not have time for it and all the other, clearly more important things going on in his life.

But… I will say this. It’s awfully suspicious, but completely obvious this was going to be the result, that he’s tapered off using Xanga at all now that his brainchild, Autisable, has been made a reality. It seems as if he’s got no further use for Xanga now, and no need to champion for its survival. In previous posts of his, he admitted that a bulk of the Team’s time and efforts were being spent on HIS project, and was the most likely cause of any delay concerning Xanga proper. One must wonder now in hindsight… had Autisable remained with Xanga, or rather had the process of separation not begun until now, 3 years after Xanga 2.0’s release… would we be seeing the features and the progress 2.0 promised within this time frame? Would all of that time and energy that had been diverted into the Autisable separation been funneled back into Xanga, to actually work on the parent site?

Time, as it has been doing, will tell. Though I would not be surprised to discover my next post on the subject will entail the closure of Xanga in its entirety… now that there’s no reason for anyone to champion it’s continued existence.

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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The New WordPress.Com Windows App

So for months I’d been wanting a app for WordPress.com (not to be confused with the one that already existed for the .org users). Looks like WordPress has finally gotten around to making one!

UntitledI have Windows 10 (before that, Windows 8. Screw yo
u, 8 was awesome before the 8.1 upgrade that started making it super glitchy!) on my laptop. I don’t always want to be in my browser when I’m working on my projects, because then I get distracted by other tabs I have open, as
well as completely forgetting that I’ve decided to make a blog post even when it’s the only tab I have open. So this app is rather helpful for me (especially lately as I’ve been working on a few side projects.)

Untitled2The only downside for me, personally, is that the WP Admin link opens up my browser and loads there rather than in the WP App itself. The app is very new, so they may change this. If not, it’s just a minor inconvenience for me that I can certainly deal with. I’m mostly just happy to have a distraction-free blogging app to be completely honest.

Untitled3I do the same with Facebook, as I do much prefer the Windows app to the browser version. This is for 2 reasons – 1, I don’t have people haranguing me online, even when I have the chat function turned off (as you can see by the grayed-out section in the right of the screencap) and I’m “invisible”.  2 – simpler mostly ad-free interface. Literally the ONLY ads that I see are in my newsfeed, and that’s ONLY from pages that I follow or things that are of similar interest. I don’t have the constant ads on the side for products and groups that I’m not interested in.

Anyway, back to the WP app. It’s very new, and I’m giving it a try. I like what I see of it so far, and as you can tell from my first screencap above, it is identical interface wise to the browser version. Right down to my tracked tags and the recommended posts. So this is very nice indeed. I look forward to how it evolves and progresses as more people use it and chime in on what it’s like, or what they would like added to it.

I give the WP App for Windows a 4.5 out of 5; because I’d really like to open my WP Admin panel inside the app instead of it a browser. But otherwise, it meets all of my needs and works beautifully.

Is this a death rattle for Xanga?

Xanga’s unpaid volunteer community “liaison” (and I use that word very loosely) posted a few days ago.

edlives1I boxed in 2 particular points of interest in the post here in my screencap. Firstly…

edlives2This is, of course, no surprise to anyone still using the blogging service, and those of us who have kept an eye on the (lack of) progress thus far with the Xanga upgrade.

But here is something I find particularly telling of what might just be Xanga’s death rattle…

edlives3Now, here’s the problem I have with this. For over 2 years now, Edlives/Joel has been touting that Xanga is the best. Xanga has better security. Xanga far exceeds all other blogging services and websites of it’s kind. That it’s even better and more functional than the free WordPress. And yet… Well there it is in his own words. He’s trying to transition Autisable OFF of Xanga. Why? For someone who has been the outspoken champion of these people for over 2 years, why make this move?… Especially after admitting that he’s had them focus on Autisable long enough to actually take attention and time away from what they should be doing with Xanga. It doesn’t make sense. Has the unofficial spokesperson lost confidence in the team and product he has defended since before the end of Xanga 1 finally had enough, or he just knows that business wise Xanga is a failure and is trying to protect what little he has accomplished? After all, if Xanga goes down and Autisable is still part of it, Autisable goes down with the ship. But if Autisable is separated and becomes it’s own entity, then all that work is saved and the only risk Edlives/Joel is making is that of his personal blog, which let’s face it since the launch of Autisable the personal blog has been severely lacking in updates. Not saying we need to know every intimate detail of his life. Far from it. But the updates are nowhere near the level they were, even given his busy schedule. Is the “liaison” losing confidence as well?

Only time will tell.

I’ve given in and finally done it… Fiverr, Tumblr, and other things.

I’ve started charging for readings. Not much. Just putting my toes in the water at the moment via Fiverr. So expect a widget or something to pop up in my sidebar. As for life, the universe, and everything else things are going really well!

Also, my mother-in-law is getting divorced only so she can remarry! Her legal husband at the moment is an abusive asshole who tried to (and nearly succeeded in) kill her, and they’ve been separated for quite some time. Well she and the love of her life from when she was 16 have reconnected, and he proposed to her. So, she’s gonna marry him. She’s also going to be moving to Virginia. As for my niece, who currently lives with her… Well, we hope she can manage on her own. She’s going to be taking over my mother-in-law’s lease (already talked it over with their landlord, who is also our landlord) with a friend of her’s. Her friend has a job. My niece’s financials however…. not so great. We’ll see what happens. But I can guarantee, we WILL NOT take her in if she falls on her face. We just can’t do that again after what happened with my sister.

Also, I signed back up for Tumblr. However, it’s for a noble cause. A group of ethnic minority people and a rather diverse group have gotten together to make a blog addressing real social justice issues from the ethnic minority perspective. There isn’t much up yet, but here’s the link. Most of the mods on the blog are pretty young, which I’m glad to see. After getting to know this group of people over the last few days, and seeing them come together to make real positive change, I’m proud to be part of it. So click here and check us out. I’ll be putting a link in the sidebar with my other projects.

Physio’s been hard lately, but that’s the point. I came across the first exercise I could not complete yesterday. And it was hell. I HATE SIDE PLANKS. I know she’s gonna make me do them again Monday. UGH!

Also, readers, be prepared for bitchfits. Husband leaves for DragonCon next week. So… That’s gonna bloody well suck.

That’s all for now!