June 2, 2013

  • As posted by Xanga God, John

    It’s hard to believe, but Xanga has been around for over a dozen years.  In that time, we’ve soared to great heights… and then come back down to earth.  Through it all, we’ve stayed with the site for over a decade now.

    We’re now at a crossroads, as our lease is up soon on the networking facility where we’ve been hosting our servers.  As the status quo is no longer possible, we’ve been working to figure out the best way for the Xanga community to move forward.

    We’ve seen other sites go down different paths… some have sold their sites to the highest bidder, while others have doubled on their own platform.  The thing is, it’s really hard to grow a social site that has fallen from previous heights.  MySpace, Friendster, LiveJournal… lots of people have tried to resurrect these sites, and it has rarely, if ever, worked.

    …I believe that [in] a plan that could give Xanga a fresh lease on life.  And life is the key word, as our options look like this:

    Door #1: We can’t afford to renew our expensive lease at our networking facility, so we would have to offer everyone a free download of their blog posts, and shut down the site. :(

    Door #2: We would find a way to port Xanga to open source blogging software like WordPress, and reinvent the site together with the community.

    We strongly favor Door #2, but need your help to pull it off.  It would require two things to open that door: time and money.

    I’m willing to work for free, but we’d still need roughly $60k to open door #2.  Because of this cost, we would have to move Xanga to a paid model, where bloggers pay for hosting for their blogs. I would donate our time to get things up and running…  but programmers and webmasters would still need to be paid to relaunch the site.  So we are launching a Kickstarter-style fundraising effort, with the following rewards:

    • A year-long Xanga blogging membership ($48)
    • Two year-long Xanga blogging memberships ($96)
    • Three year-long Xanga blogging memberships ($144)
    • Four year-long Xanga blogging memberships ($192)
    • Five year-long Xanga blogging memberships ($240)

    We have been busy assessing the feasibility all this, and started the work necessary to launch Xanga 2.0!  If we can raise $60k by July 15th, we will be able to keep the site up!  If not, we will understand and will use the time between now and then to help users download their data.   .. no matter how things turn out, we’ve made it so that all members (Classic and Premium) can generate and download a backup of their data through July 15th:http://www.xanga.com/private/archives.aspx

    Beyond that, here are the key dates for the next two months or so:

    * May 30th: We launch this fundraiser, and continue our work building a WordPress version of Xanga.  We will contact our registered members to let them know about the fundraiser, and also allow any and all users to download their blogs and media files for free.
    * July 15th: If we’ve raise $60k, then we will move over to the new WordPress version on this dateIf we haven’t raised $60k, then this will be the last date that Xanga is up and running.

    If our fundraiser is successful, we will be migrating over the logins of every single one of our Xanga users. So all of your friends and subs will transfer over to the new system, and anyone will be able to subscribe or comment on blogs.  In the new Xanga system, people will be able to comment and subscribe for free; the fees will only be for members who want to host a blog.

    aNNa’S NoTe:  Xanga looks to be closing.  I don’t believe that Xanga is going about this correctly.  When someone is financially in trouble, the first thing they need to do is to pare down the extras, cut out the excess, and tighten the belt.  What is Xanga doing?  They’re trying to raise money to maintain the status quo.  That’s irresponsible thinking, to my mind.

    The other thing Xanga is doing wrong is telling people that they will have to pay for Xanga (via WordPress) in the future.  Now, I already pay for Xanga… but I have a FREE WordPress just gathering dust over there… so WHY would I pay for the Xanga version of WordPress when I have free WordPress?  And you can bet everyone and their brothers will feel the same way.  Further, Xanga is ‘fundraising’ $60K by July 15th in order to even DO that… that’s on top of paying for a not-so free WordPress via Xanga.  Are you noting the stupidity, here?  NOBODY with half a brain is going to do this.  And if they only raise $50K… do they get to keep it and close?  Bah…

    What do I think?  I think Xanga’s rent is due, and they can’t afford as big a place as they have, so they should downsize and go it smaller.  Get rid of ‘pulse’, get rid of ‘chat’ (that’s what FB is for), get rid of ‘top blogger’, get rid of ‘skins’ and ‘reviews’ and ‘audioblog’.  All that extra stuff?  Ditch it.

    Send out an e-mail to all Xanga accounts that have not had activity in the past three months.  Say that if there is no activity by June 30th, the site will be closed down.  Do you know how much space that would free up – all the pictures and data that would be shed in just THAT move?  Heck, of the 127 people I used to read, here, only THREE are still blogging – the rest are at Facebook, and don’t plan on coming back.  SHED them.  Save room.  Tighten the belt.  THIS is what should be done.  Xanga is a blog host, not a social network.  You have to stay true to what you are – or you spread too thin, and falter… exactly as they are, now.

    If needed, go to all-Premium, and have everyone pay $36 for their blog (That’s cheaper than WordPress’ paid acct by $60!).  Those who don’t want to can bail, but those who do (and are loyal) would do it, willingly.  But after downsizing from an inactive user shed and an extra-feature purge, they should be in FAR better shape.  They could move to a smaller space, and stay viable.  They wouldn’t NEED to raise $60K by July 15th, or close up forever.

    Personally, I’m a little unhappy with the way this is being handled.  But then, I’m MORE than a little stressed at what’s going down.  I’ve posted just about every single day here for almost THIRTEEN YEARS… do you have ANY idea how much data that is????

    Here’s where MY issues come in:  Xanga is allowing us to archive our whole sha-bang, and download it to our PCs.   BUT… the format of the archives is not compatible with other blog hosts.  In other words, I can’t take that Xanga archive and plug it into WordPress and transfer everything over.  It’s not possible.

    SO!  I for the next 45 days, I’m going to be going out-of-my-head, and flat-in-the-hiney while trying to cut/paste all of my posts from JUST the sidebar links (and homeschool links) to my free WordPress – one by one.  It’s the only way I can think of to transfer my stuff over… the important stuff, anyhow.  I run into problems where my pictures uploaded to Xanga aren’t going to be available, but are linked inside of the posts… so this is NOT an easy process – I have to save them to my PC, re-upload them to WP, and then re-insert them into the posts.  Oi. My. Vey.  And I’m going to lose all of the comments people have left here… there’s no way to transfer them.  So I lose your insight.  (((sigh!)))

    So there’s the skinny.  I’m moving. 
    I’m a little scared and overwhelmed.
    So bear with me… I’m getting at setting up.
    Not by choice, but that’s the way life goes, I guess!

Comments (23)

  • Similar problems as I’m experiencing.  Pleased to meet you, though extremely sorry about the circumstances under which we’re meeting.

  • He mentions LiveJournal…..then insinuates that LJ’s sale caused it to flop. Um…..nope. It’s not the same, true – but the blame for that falls on Facebook, not the sale. Social media has replaced blogs for a lot of people – even though it’s not the same thing.

    I did buy a lifetime blog at LJ, because when I did the math it came to 5 years of paid account time. I’ve been there 10 years now, so I feel that I got my money’s worth. And the new owners recognized permanent accounts and honored them…..unlike what Xanga is implying. And…$4/month is rather high…doesn’t sound it at first, but it is.

  • This is why I never did ‘Life’, here. It was $100 at the time, and it’s $35 a year for ‘Premium’, but I figured Xanga would make more $$ off me if I didn’t do Life. So I paid more, but won’t feel gypped in the end. :yes:

  • I will use a small example. MS’s XBox Live service has gold membership, which gives you the ability to play games with other people over the internet, browse the web, download, ect, extra content, lots more fun. Gold membership at max tier is a fee of 59.99 per year. However gold membership is not required to use my xbox or play a game locally. For what that subscription provides me though, its worth the cost. Xboxlive has subscribers of some 46 million people! To generate the amount of data they needed to run approx 16,000 servers. You can imagine the cost of that. With the reveal of the new console, MS has announced they will increase servers to a staggering 300,000. But the prices will not rise.

    Now, I mention this, because imagine if MS said to everyone — well guys we need to increase our 16,000 servers tp 300,000 and we just can’t afford it. So it’s all on YOU to bail us out of this problem — or else we’re pulling the plug. We need 10 million dollars in 6 weeks or that’s it. If we reach our goal, we’re going to double our prices of the original fee and force everyone to pay to play. No company can sustain such models for very long. This is a hard lesson many P2P PC game companies have had to learn and why they have failed. Xanga is no different. They are outdated, do not listen to their user base, and are now blackmailing their customers. Membership of Xanga is going down, not rising and should they gain enough money and go to the all-pay model that will be the end of the company. There are many things they could of done to stay afloat — they choose not to. I will not pay for the right to free speech (perks maybe), but to communicate? No. And I hate to tell John… LJ and Myspace still exist for whatever the woes are.. and they are still free.

  • @Anna - passsssst: check your new comments sertings :wink:

  • I just keep thinking of how all last minute this stuff is. I don’t run my life like that! I plan out what I need, and I put away for a rainy day so I don’t have surprises drain me dry. I find it almost disgusting how they are like, ‘ok, we (and by we, we mean you guys) have six weeks to do this, or it’s all gonna go away’. And then it’s not even going to be the same! It’s gonna be wordpress like… well, if I wanted wordpress…. duh, I’ll just go to wordpress!!!! /sigh :bang:

  • Will be watching to see where/if you move.

  • @Fiberaddict: You have to be more specific. I looked everything over, thinking you couldn’t get access, but the only thing required is name and e-mail to post a comment, according to my settings. What are you suggesting I look for?

  • @Anna - is there no comment link now? I don’t see one…and I like commenting. :lol: I see a permalink link…but nothing else. I’ll poke around WordPress and see if I’m just missing something.

  • @fiberaddict - ok, I managed to sign up on WP, but there’s still no way I can see to comment. :hrm: I’ll keep poking.

  • “Comments are closed.” Is what it says Anna. Must have the option ticked somewhere. Each post has the ability to have the comments off or on, but I’m guessing there’s a mass setting.

  • Ugh. THIS is why I was waiting to share the link. Cuz I knew things would need tweaking before I shared it. :crosseye:

  • Okay… I tweaked something. Can someone try to comment and tell me if’n that did the trick, please?

  • I think it’s fixed!! Cuz… when I went to hit the edit button, there was a ‘leave comment’ button in the way. :lol:

  • he didn’t say what would happen if they came up with $57,825 – do they keep it? give it back? or what?
    PS Fiber –  we see all your comments here just fine…9:54 am, 3:46 pm, 8:43 and 9:00 unless there is other stuff you are looking for?

  • still says comments closed for me. hmmm… :

  • Still closed – I even went into the post itself, instead of just sitting on the front page. In fact, Saturday’s post has “comments closed”….but Sunday’s doesn’t say anything other than “permalink”.

  • Aw, sugar-jets. ((She’s talking about the new place, Ali.)) If I can’t get comments working, I can’t share the dadgum link! What the heck did I DO?? ((off to phinagle s’more…))

  • You aren’t going to believe this, but I have to go thru all 172 posts I moved, and click the ‘comment’ feature on each.

    I’ll be back, later…

  • From a programming perspective, it would be fairly easy for Xanga to create an archive that had the photos linked from the folder they create to their respective blogs rather than from their servers. I have no idea what they don’t do that, as it would would make for a much smoother download. Just having a file of the pictures is useless without the correct mappings. The archived blogs shouldn’t remain linked to the main servers.

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