Coming To Terms With My Anonymity

I am not a xangalebrity. No, no, it’s okay. I’ve come to grip with this cold, hard, fact of life. I am not bitter about it. I am not angry at the xanga powers that be. I am completely and utterly at peace with it.

While updating my profile the other day, I came to a rather startling realization. I have been on xanga for almost five years now. There were periods of time when I was doing entries almost daily, and others when it seemed more like yearly. I’ve done entries on all types of things from religion to race, Ralph Nader to Old Dirty Bastard, deep and poignant entries to the more usual nonsensical babble. However no matter what I was writing about, or how often I was writing about it, I always seemed to garner a similar amount of interest. 3 or 4 comments a post. That has been about my average. Sometimes I would plateau at about 9 or 10 comments and sometimes dip to 1 (I can always count on Kal to back me up). Before the days of featured content I never really paid this much mind. I had my few regulars I would enjoy seeing feedback from, plus the occasional stragglers that would throw in their two cents worth. I was in blissful ignorance. I mean I knew there were people out there getting more comments, but a) I didn’t know who they were, b) I didn’t know what they were writing, and c) I didn’t care.

Fast forward to the revamped xanga days. The days where The first thing we see when we log in to xanga is the featured content and featured weblogs. We get headlines of some of the stupid repetitive shit they are blogging about (not all, but definitely some) and we see right there at the outset how many comments they receive. Is Jesus Coming Back? by SomeChristianDude- 501 comments. 10 ways to please your man, by LonelyChick – 375 comments. Are You a Xangalebrity? by PatO’Brien – 868 comments. It get’s to be kind of annoying seeing that shit after a while. I started thinking. “Maybe if I wrote more like these people I could get more comments.” The problem was that I do not write like those people. My entries are often longer than most people’s attention span can handle, I talk about bullshit like hating Yanni, I curse way too fucking much, and I never answer “featured questions.” I’ll never be featured weblog material because I do stupid shit like worrying about what stupid thing to put in my “currently listening to” box, instead of worrying about if anything I am writing makes sense. Some of my favorites from my currently listenining:

Currently Listening
Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Volume 1
By Randy Jackson
Being Black Ain’t Easy Dawg


Currently Listening
Let’s Cut the Crap & Hook up Later on Tonight
By Marah
I just liked the title of this song


Currently Watching
Going to Hell
see related

Like I said before I am not bitter. Really I’m not. Even despite the fact that after years of blogging I have never come close to this status. This is because, just as in real life, xanga celebrity is both fleeting and fickle. I read an interesting post by a new friend (who is a xangalebrity in her own right) where she talks about how she prefers to keep a relatively low profile on xanga. She has had periods where she received an inordinate amount of comments per blog and remarked that it seemed so much more impersonal than when her core group of people were giving her feedback. I couldn’t agree more. I will always take quality over quantity. One of the things I love so much about blogging is making connections with people. It’s seeing people who genuinely care about their writing and who care about yours in return. It’s not a popularity contest or any type of contest at all for that matter. It’s just a place to hear and to be heard and sometimes too much noise can make that difficult.

“Being good does not necessarily make you popular, and being popular does not necessarily make you good.” My aunt used to tell me this when I was younger. If you base your success or self worth on what others think, you are going to be greatly disappointed at times. What’s really important is what you think of yourself. (okay this is starting to sound like a really bad afters chool special). Some of my favorite posts that I have ever written have garnered minimal feedback. Yes it’s frustrating when you write something you love and no one seems to agree, but should that change your pride in your work? Exactly how many comments does it take  for something to be considered good anyway? 

Just to be sure we are on the same page, I want to emphasize that this is not an attack on xangalebrities. It’s an attack on all of the people who are here for all the wrong reasons, whether they be xangalebrities or not. It’s a plea to all of my fellow users to not let the allure of xangalebrity corrupt your creative minds. After all, if xanga becomes one big popularity contest, what are we left with…

…That’s right people. Myspace. Nobody wants to see that happen.

Edit: I was going to post the debate finals today, but there were some minor delays. I thought this would be fun to revisit with all the drama going on around here today.

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77 comments

  1. hey, “currently listening” IS important.  i agree with the part about entries i try really hard on but hardly ever get feedback on. but, i keep writing them, yet wait for a good time to post it publicly.

  2. I totally feel you on this.  My “popularity” has only come in the past few months…  after like, 6 years or so of being on this site, and is really foreign, and it makes me sad that many of my former favorite bloggers don’t comment on my site anymore.This is right on the money, sir.  What is “xangalebrity” anyways, yknow?

  3. I hate MySpace, and Facebook has waaaay more drama than Xanga (Xanga’s is more fun). Therefore, I am basically only on Xanga now. I am content, and I like Xanga because the people here have more intelligence than other places. And if that stupid Perez guy goes ANYWHERE, I will be surprised….and a little ticked.

  4. See Dave… you makin’ me want to break with tradition and actually feature a dude on TBO. Wait… nah… doesn’t work well me fanbase of wome… um, on second thought. Hmm… 

  5. Who doesn’t crave that attention, but it’s nice when those you’ve been following for a while take the time to comment your stuff no matter what you write.  That’s legit.

  6. Xanga is more fun. Even the drama is fun to watch, because it’s people you don’t know arguing with other people you don’t know, thus making it like an online soap opera. Seriously, somebody could write that shit down, pitch it to a major broadcasting company, and make millions.

  7. haha, i’m the exact same way. except i’m pretty sure you’re more xanga-popular than i am. you’ve definately articulated the boat we share well, though. good for you. i agree- i’m on here to satiate my ever-present urge to write, not to become the next internet celebrity. maybe the thing is people are really excited there’s finally a way to be famous online without being pamela anderson or paris hilton? hmm…:)

  8. celebrities are generally overrated.  and the ones who go down in history are the ones who didn’t care what their feedback was…they were genuinely good and worked hard.  the same applies to everything else, i would hope. 

  9. I was just thinking about this yesterday, i really do wish that there wasn’t pressure “to perform” I think it changes us when there are so many people stopping through, it’s hard to just be real and write what you want.Well said.

  10. I’m glad to see this in e-print.  Fascinating and relevant questions i would like answered will never get you to be a top blogger.  I don’t seek that anyway….questions such as: do Armadillos mate?  And if so, when, and if so, how?

  11. Be true to myself or perform for an audience? I think any blogger who has an inkling that they could get onto Top Blogs or Featured Content eventually has to deal with that dilemma. Thing is, I don’t think those options are entirely mutually exclusive. I do think that a balance can be struck. Then again, getting a large audience also takes time out of your day. Do I really have the time to put in to something that I’m not getting paid for?

  12. True dat.I’ve been around for 5 years, and I am perfectly content with one comment per post. I don’t blog for others. I blog for myself, and meeting the cool cats like you.

  13. writing for people = fail.  then you end up pretending you like Twilight or thinking you have the answer to solving our economic crisis.psh.  not.  i prefer to discuss the finer points of interoffice outlandishness, and subtly promoting the virtues of… myself… and benign happenings in my life, since nothing good ever happens to me, except for the one time i met some dude from Xanga, and we saw some other NOT FAMOUS xanga guy in a comedy show.  he was ok, i guess.keep it real, and the people attracted to what you do will find you.

  14. I just like hanging out for a bit, seeing what people are up to – finding out what they think, and maybe leaving with a smile. That’s how I rate MY Xangalebrities . . . if I keep coming back. And yeah, you are one of my new favorites.

  15. Very good thoughts! (Although, I think NSync was already about the same as Justin “alone” but nowadays his background singers have no names.)Will you post who wrote what? Would be quite interesting to check for whom we voted.

  16. Exactly. Not enough people on here blog for themselves–it’s all a race for footprints, feedback, and frontpage…age. (That was a shitty attempt at an alliteration on my part.)

  17. I totally agree with what you said about quality over quantity.  Lots of comments?  Alright cool.  However, I much prefer less comments but with more thought put into each one of them.  

  18. I know my works won’t get popular here, but then, I like it because I can reach out to my readers. In fact, I used this identity to involve in “the blogging community”. The true spirit of blogging is to blog itself. Keep blogging!

  19. Ah, Dave, Dave, Dave. Poor naive Dave. 1. You sir, have over, over, 1,000 friends. Most people on here can’t even count that high.2. You are one of everybody’s favorite bloggers.3. This is completely off the subject, but did you say you hated Yanni, as in that violen player? Cuz I was pretty sure no one else in the world other than my mother knew about him. How did that guy even get recognized?4. I don’t have a fourth point, I just wanted my list to look longer,Now stop pretending you’re not famous, and do what your 1,000+ friends want you to do;urry up with the debate! I’m going to die with anticipation!

  20. This, sir, was an excellent post.  I’ve been on Xanga for over 4 years.  During that time, I went from having 5 or 6 comments per post to having 0 or 1 comment to having 10 or 11 comments.  I like getting several comments from people who like what I have to offer.  The problem I would have as a Xangalebrity is that I wouldn’t know if people kept commenting because they like what I write or they comment because I’m popular.  Thus the downside of popularity.

  21. Lol, and now you have a few hundred comments.The best way to get attention…is by saying, out loud, how you’re fine with not getting as much attention as *named person* and *named person*.I’mma maverick. >_> I got over twenty “friends” and subscribers, a handful of them that usually comment, another handful that randomly comment over a monthly period…and this ain’t counting the visitors who find me by scouring xanga or google. This is, by no means at all, as up there as cool folks like Theologon’s Cafe or AntiSoccerMom…but it’s decent. It’s my own niche. I know that some people have NONE of this. I’m pleased. I’m not just “okay” and “at peace”, I’m pleased. Particularly considering the things I yammer on about at all hours, excessively, every day. xDSo all the power to you. Enjoy your newfound celebrity. =) Small or big as it may actually be….I refuse to blog about how I don’t get as much attention on here, as other people, though xD

  22. For a personal fact and not because I’m kissing your ass…to me Dave, you are even better, much funner and more quality then any Xanga Celebrity out there.  And hell, I came to that conculsion pretty quickly in the small amount of time I’ve had getting to know your blog since I found you.  I’m probably going to be tip toeing through some of your old blog posts, so don’t get alarmed by the foot prints everywhere, just take it as a complement that I actually like and enjoy what you have to say and I’d like to read more!Honestly, this has been the month for excellent blogposts lately.  It’s like everybody is just pulling them out of thin air, and this one is easily one of the best I’ve read around here in my two years of hanging around Xanga.Thanks for saying so much, and saying it so well!

  23. I know what you mean, I personally love my following. I don’t get many hateful and mean comments and I generally enjoy my readers. I like the personal feel to it. I don’t have any real desire to get bigger than I already am. Having the occasional post that attracts over 500 views is good enough for me.

  24. I’m gonna be all honest here for a minute, comfortable in the fairly certain knowledge that barely anyone here will “know my name”. I have had a brief stint of wanting to be Xanga popular. I knew it was dumb, I knew it wouldn’t happen, I knew it was giving my husband easy fodder for teasing me. And yet, as Nacho Libre said, “I wanna taste a bit of the glory! I wanna know what it tastes like!” Well, it passed. I’m over it. I realized that I would have to back off some of my style and convictions in order for my blog to be popular. Not saying that everyone who’s popular here does that because I don’t know. I just know that for me, I couldn’t STAY me and be popular online. And so, I keep working my way further into my li’l niche. I’m getting nice and cozy by now. ~V

  25. I have been on the internet daily for over ten years and I’ve never been part of a blogging community until joining Xanga a few days ago. I was beginning to think that maybe I was in the wrong arena. Then I read your post.I started thinking. “Maybe if I wrote more like these people…”  “The problem was that I do not write like thosepeople.” Who doesn’t want a nice place to land? Thank you.Ps. I have to add that my comment does not mean that everyone that I have interacted with hasn’t been great, they have. The thing is, outside of the personal encouragement, the site seemed very competitive and a bit overwhelming.

  26. So…is this a repost because of  “Perez,” or just a friendly reminder?? (That was the first thing that hit me in the face when I logged on this evening.) YIPES!

  27. I just want to be entertained. I want friends who write entertaining posts and I want to write in order to entertain myself. Being popular would not entertain me and most xanga top bloggers are exactly as you describe them, repetitive.You do entertain me.

  28. @MyxlDove – I can break the gender barrier. Be like the Jackie Robinson of TBO.@nidan – @SerenaDante – lol. thanks. I wrote this before all the…uhh…fame and fortune.@Undercover_Librarian –  Well he already made top blogs. This might be a problem. @LostInTheLyrics – Some of it is very silly. lol.@AnamcharaConcepts – yeah my myspace is so neglected its not even funny.@wherethefishlives – haha. yeah. C’mon it caused a bit of a stir.@Kontzicles – It makes it hard, but I don’t think I’d have fun if I couldn’t be real. I have had to tone it down a bit at times, but I try not to do that too much.@Galileo7 – yeah Armadillos are definitely not top blog fodder. Still I am curious now. haha.@randomneuralfirings – yeah the time is definitely a consideration.

  29. @AlterEgo909 – @ModernBunny –  stop making me blush so early in the morning.@TheLoquaciousLady – you are just generally awesome in mine.@xxmarionettes – f sounds ftw!@Murazrai – you blog therefore you are.@Like_A_Tigah – I GOT TOLD! haha. The final will hopefully be up today. I am gonna tag everyone who has been following closely.@Rob_of_the_Sky – yeah. The real downside is the increased exposure to spamming. It can be a pain sometimes.@MyFreedomWings – thats fine. I wrote ths more so people could see where my head was at.@ExposedWrists –  You leave me the nicest comments. Feel free to lurk as much as you like. @Levanna – lol. You are so random sometimes.

  30. @WifeOfAGayHusband – yeah. The personal feeling is actually my favorite part too. Like for instance I can call you Allie. I like that.@TheMarriedFreshman – you are such a winner for quoting Nacho Libre. I have a whole new level of respect for you. @ArtFlaneur – it is what you make it. I was content for a long time wiht my small group of readers. I also didn’t write regularly at the time. Once I made the commitment to really write everyday here, I decided that I was sick of seeing crap on the front page while I was toiling in anonymity. It was really more about wanting to share my ideas with more people. Plus I really enjoy making people laugh.I really hope you stick around. I enjoyed your first few pieces. @Krissy_Cole – haha. Just a friendly reminder.@danceswithvegetables – I’m just a man.  A man with internet access and a lot of downtime at work. A man with a blog. That is all I am. @amygwen – Thanks. I am glad I can be of service.@Kalligenia – Well you of course can appreciate this post more than anyone else. You were there with me.

  31. Oh, I’m so glad that you have finally come to peace with your Xanga popularity status. Does this mean you won’t be whining about who gets featured any more? Nah, I didn’t think so…

  32. It seems like the featured content is often related to meta-blogging, and that’s just something I can’t do… considering most of the people that read my blog regularly aren’t even on Xanga. It wouldn’t make any sense and it would have no relevance. My blog is more of a “newsletter” for people I know in real life – since I moved away when I got married – they all want to know what’s up. haha.

  33. As long as i have SOMEONE else reading my stuff besides me myself and I, I really don’t care to much anymore. I think I post some good things, and if a few people think so, then i’m just not gonna really worry bout tons of views and comments and things anymore, ya kno? I mean going on 4 years here, I think I pretty much know what to expect.Then again 2nd thought, I have fun trying to get people to read things on my site, so I may just see how much fun I can have with promoting my site and getting people to read. Ah the crazy things i’ve done on my xanga site…You can post the cure for cancer, or HIV or something, but that’s not where it’s at. Post about how you abuse your GF, or abortion or Seeing Jesus, THAT”S how you get 20 million views my friend 😛 HAHA I just have to love xanga sometimes…But yea i’m good with my usual views in the double digits on posts.. well the high single digits sometimes.. lol

  34. I like your blogs! They’re real. I like how you write & you don’t care what people think. Its your blog, you will write what you want on it! that rocks! Like you in the beginning with the comments – I’m still there. I’ve been on xanga for 4 years now. Or 5….I can’t remember. I’ll have to go back. I still only get up to 10 comments, some days, but I don’t mind! I have the same people coming on from when I first started. I have a few new ones which is cool. But I like the little amount I have. I also like browsing the featured sites, to see why they are featured. Some..Yeah. Don’t really need to be featured! Others, they deserve it! Ps- I like the quality over quanity too! LOL I like the pics you used. SOOO true! *hugs*

  35. I have friends who think I am a xangalebrity because I have been featured four times. But the stuff I write about (like music no one has an opinion about yet, or thinking logically) doesn’t really lend itself to celebrity. I realized that worrying about attention won’t get me featured, and getting featured won’t make me happier about my blog, and neither will increase the quality of my blog. So I think from now on I will just try to blog as though this weren’t Xanga, as though people who don’t understand Xanga will read it. Because they do.

  36. i don’t know dave, seems like youre trying to convince yourself that you don’t care about numbers when your actions make me think you care very much.  youre always aware of your rank on top blogs, you update your timestamp a lot, you hold contests.  i’m not saying that caring about having a large readership on this site is necessarily bad, i’m just saying that you seem to care.  very much.

  37. I’m going back to read this post again. As long as I’ve been around you’ve been a xangalebrity. I wished to join the VaneDave groupy list…I even sent out a pulse wishing to be you for a day. vanedavette to be exact. Isn’t that weird?? 

  38. I think you’re a xangalebrity (sp?) – ever since I saw the melted clocks I read but don’t always comment.  But in general I like your posts.@wherethefishlives – I was wondering about that too – everyone seems a bit ticked off about this Perez Hilton.  He’s… [I don’t care enough to have an opinion.]

  39. DearRicky has said the same thing to me. Most of the bloggers on here write about the most stupidest shit. But when it comes to long term writers like us, and we do want feedback we get 5 comments at most. I don’t think my post silent whisper ever got recommended. DearRicky helped me get readers and he was the one featured.Xanga hates me.I definitely love how you wrote this. I just wish people like us were recognized.  What do you think?How are you doing today?

  40. I liked this post, as an unknown who flits through these popular sites now and again, reading things that seem interesting and leaving comments on the ones that actually are… I feel I am in a similar boat to yours; perhaps not the same boat, but probably the same boat race.

  41. I’ve been on Xanga since 2001 and remain, to my relief, unknown to the majority. I’ve occasionally have my fluffy-content twitches in which I’ve spent too much time writing a blog that (I think)may be relative to the whole, but I’ve never posted them. Because I know that my Xanga friends would give me hell over writing something so out-of-character.  And then I’d feel dirty. So right on. Xanga exploded on us while we weren’t paying attention.

  42. Yeah. I can’t be short-winded enough to make the top blogs. I’ve got way more to say than the average Xangan has time to read. (except lately. I’m busy.) So I definitely appreciate my regulars. It’s all about the cyber-love, baby! FYI – I am anti-myspace because I hate Rupert Murdoch. I’m getting sick of facebook because people I don’t give a f*ck about are starting to find me. Within the next year, I hope to close my facebook and re-open under another name.In the meantime, let’s all keep writing what we enjoy and we’ll get around to each other as often as possible.

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