Quit Your Bitching Damnit!

Alright Xanga. I’m pissed at you.

I’ve been blogging here for almost six years. In that time I have never though about quitting this place, but damned if I haven’t been thinking about it lately. I’ve given myself all the standard excuses for why this place has sucked lately. “It’s always a little slow during the summer.” “There are always down cycles.” “People will come back.”

Enough with the bullshit! This place is going down the tubes.

You know what is making this place go in the wrong direction? All of your bitching, that’s what. And I can hear some of you people who think you’re smart saying, “Dave, you hypocrite, you are bitching right now.” To you people I would like to point one thing out. This ain’t bitching, this here is schooling.

I have been watching with disgust as bitching has reshaped the xanga landscape. All of you haters who were sick of seeing the frontpage littered with the same bloggers all the time bitched about the top blogs format. Now the front page sucks more than ever. 

Xanga needs to have some sort of distinction between who is front page material and who isn’t. This is not something that should be chosen at random. Like it or not, alot of the writing on here sucks! Not all of it, but there sure is a decent amount of shit. The front page is the face of our franchise! How does it look to prospective new members when they come and see fakers and people who can’t form a proper sentence on the front page? Newsflash people: MOST OF THE FORMER “TOP BLOGGERS” WERE ON THE FRONT PAGE BECAUSE THEY DESERVED TO BE THERE! They actually cared about what they wrote. Not to say that there weren’t others who didn’t deserve more traffic, but there are other ways of achieving that goal. Making top blogs random did not do the job.

Xanga needs to embrace it’s top bloggers a bit more. Try and prevent people from ASM and DearSnippie (both of whom I truly miss) from losing interest. Xanga needs people like them. Love them or hate them, they make xanga an infinitely more interesting place.

On a much smaller level, your negativity is driving people away. This place used to be a lot more light-hearted. Even if people were being douchebags, we would laugh at it and keep moving. It’s getting harder and harder to simply laugh the douchebags off these days. And for me personally, if it keeps causing people like Lissa and Steph to leave, then I will eventually get fed up and say fuck everybody. The people who really care will always know where to find me, and I will always know where to find them.

Let me make one last thing clear. Even though I wrote this to you xanga, I did not write it for you. I have seen way too many people write fantastic advice to their fellow xangans that has fallen on deaf ears. From Dan to saintvi, it just never seems to make a dent with the people who need the most denting. I am writing this for me. Consider it a literary colonic if you will. If it resonates with someone, then so be it.

That is all. Good day to you xanga.

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118 comments

  1. I agree with this 100%. People are always looking for a reason to cry about something, and its gotten way out of hand. I never understood why people complain about not being on the front page. I have never been on the front page &I really could care less because that obviously means there’s more talented writers out there than me. I can accept that!I’m also quite confused at the number of people who choose to waste their time replying to people or blogs just to bitch and complain about something. Xanga has turned into a high-school piss-fest. It’s really quite sad.

  2. Haha I miss the lighter days. It seems like now everything has to be a “serious debate/discussion/argument”. And while thats fine and dandy it causes way too many flame wars. We need the happy days back.And I totally back you up on the top bloggers thing. I understand that new people want their time in the spotlight too but they need to work for it. If you write good posts someone WILL read it. And you need to be kind and good. You should give as much as you receive. Leave others comments and they’ll check you out.

  3. ……. oh and by the way I think the tags are funny but ummmm if someone takes you up on that your lady might not like it much…. just sayin’…………

  4. I’ve been around here nearly six years myself, and I have to say, that we’ve reached an all time low around here. It breaks my heart when people decide to leave.I try to keep myself out of the drama and I don’t read the stuff that bitches and moans about retarded shit, which is why I think I still have patience with this place. But honestly, I wonder how much of this was inevitable. Yeah, the front page is botched up and the way some of the important users of Xanga have been treated is just fucked sideways, but could this really have been prevented? Maybe I’m too negative, but I seriously wonder sometimes if this was inevitable. Maybe Xanga was supposed to end up this way.

  5. You think this is mean? It is just a fact and it been said before. This is not pot stirring it is screaming the truth. It is not even news. Would it be fair to have xanga point traffic to its biggest blogs. No it would not but it would show people the best xanga has to offer.Does the theologianscafe need more traffic?Yes it does, it is xanga’s forum and it’s good for xanga that people go there. Is it fair that xanga would promote your site heavily? You already have good traffic. No it is not fair but people would be impressed by xanga if they did. And xanga needs to stop losing 10% of its traffic every 3 months like it has been for a long time now.

  6. I agree 100%, and I miss Snippie and ASM too. SO much. And you’re right, the front page does suck, and I feel like there are so many people who just griped and didn’t want to earn readership or followers. I know working your way from the bottom up isn’t great but it definitely makes you more greatful for what you have. I don’t want you to leave, I hope you don’t cause I’d miss you a lot.So, I hope Xanga pays-a-bloody-tention. I want things back to the way they were.

  7. @trunthepaige – It’s true. And it’s awful. You know, I’m not one of those people that talks about old “glory days” and wishes it would come back.  I go with the flow, I can deal with change. But people leaving all of the time? That’s not right. That’s what I have a problem with.

  8. @mustardcat – High school piss fest.  That’s a great one. Dave’s right though. The Front Page being littered with all sorts of juvenile, moronic literary slop needs to stop. Why would any intelligent person sign up for xanga when they see a post in the top 10 about “How much Chicken and Potatoes I Ate”  or “How to Take a Dump” That needs to stop.  Reading some well written articles or something that has substance is more important to some of us.  Serving up a pile of slop thrown together, copied and pasted sometimes by people with no imagination does not make for a very fulfilling read.

  9. I will not complain again..though it rare for me to do anyways. There is always improvement that can be done but xanga is a great place and I don’t ever want to leave..don’t plan to. (Though if I did, I be puny person, it wouldn’t matter much :D) I do miss a lot of those who have left already and it saddens me. Just yesterday someone shut theirs down and I am very sad right now because of it. Good post!

  10. …I was wondering why so many ppl were coming to my site from yours. lol.I hope you dont leave, you are a great writer and so many ppl on here look forward to a new post from you, including me.But It’s so much different on Xanga nowadays, such a shame….

  11. I hate it when good people leave.  I almost wrote a post about it then I figured it would just sound depressing.I think we always need to be careful to make sure we are giving thoughts on how xanga can grow without sounding like a complaining group.  Complaining helps no one and that includes xanga and the xanga team.  Ricebunny left xanga recently.  Youtube drives traffic to Ricebunny from their front page.  They see Ricebunny as a product and they build the product.  I might write a post about my thoughts although I tend to be a little less emotional and more to what I think will build xanga.I would hate for you to get so frustrated that you would leave.

  12. I’ve been here for four years and I’m not going anywhere. Yeah, the ish sites’ rubbish pisses me off and the top blogs are usually starving 13 year olds, but there are some bloggers still worth reading here. I’d miss them if I left.

  13. Everything you just said and more.  Along with the crap on the front page…you have the whole “no control over troll” issue which eventually gets people to the point of “who gives a rip about Xanga” and they decide to head for calmer and more peaceful waters.  I hear ya clucking big chicken and my finger has hovered over the “delete account” button for a few days now.

  14. I totally agree.I joined a year and a half ago(?) and getting selected for Top Blogs really meant something.We would message congrats to our friends who made it. Being FEATURED meant even more.I’m not happy with the downward slide.Great post Dave, well said.

  15. Listen, let me get my kids back to school and my house done.  …just give me two weeks …I’ll see if I can’t assist in some upliftingness soon.  I’ll drop my debate on not coming back (which I had seriously considered lately) and I’ll come up with something fun soon.

  16. I’ve basically given up on caring what Xanga does anymore. There’s only a small handful of Xangans I read on a regular basis anyway (like, maybe five). I’ll keep my accunt, just because I think it’d be foolish to shut down my site completely. I do plan on going somewhere else though. (WordPress has a featured section now. There’s something to shoot for!)I’ve gotten lazy with my own writing lately. I feel like I’ve been aiming too much at Xanga’s demographic (females between 13 and 19 with a taste for drama and senseless humor) just to keep a readership, and that’s not the readership I want. I feel like starting over would be good therapy.

  17. hear ye … hear ye … the front page does not reflect the incredible, insightful, inspiring writers on Xanga …i rarely look at the front page because i’m more interested in those I am fortunately subbed to have to say and the pleasant surprises I find in rec’d blogs … that’s the real meat and potatoes …

  18. You know, I would argue that when I joined Xanga in ’05, it was a much “scarier” place in terms of throwing your opinion out there. Once you did so, you never knew from whence the wolves would come, but–BUT–the wolves were always armed to the hilt and knew what they were discussing. There weren’t quite as many “trolls.” There weren’t as many people who were jerks for the sake of being jerks. The trolliest thing I remember is DMV, who ironically was a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. haha. I think you have a great point about the “bitching.” Granted, MrsProsa, from what I can tell, is actually backing away because of a time crunch issue (unless I missed something), but there have been a good many leaving due to lack of quality or a lack of friendliness. And you are right: that comes from the “bitching.” Everyone wants equal time, everyone wants Xanga to recognize them, yet not everyone (really and truly) is deserving of the recognition. I don’t say that as a “XangElitist,” but as a reader. Dan used to be featured all of the time because people were there, and people were talking. No one had, or has, a blog like his. Other featured posts from the past caused us to think, to cry, to laugh, to _____ with the person who wrote it. They were unique–in style, in thought, in some way or another. With everyone clamoring for “Top Blogs” status and attempting to be featured (even flat saying they deserve to be featured), the quality has gone down because the Xanga Team (doing what they are charged to do as a company) is replying to the demand. Can they be blamed? That is how they keep things afloat. The problem, for me, isn’t the Team at all (and I don’t get the feeling that they are the heart of your rant either. I could be wrong though…). The problem is, however, the countless number of people who want equal spotlight time and who don’t want to work the system. If you want to be a spotlighted blogger–work it. Don’t rely on the Team to work it for you. Make friends. Blog together. Encourage one another. Talk to each other about what you like and don’t. The thing about ASM and Snippie and anyone else we want to say is a Xanga-Celebrity is that most (most, not all) of them have made it to where they are (or were) by working the system–even Matt. Oh yes, BigShow…you had to work the system, too.

  19. @TheTheologiansCafe – yeah RiceBunny was one of the people I had in mind too. That is a great example. Her youtube page is awesome too.I think you really need to write that post Dan. Xanga has some GREAT writers and it should be looking to those writers to increase their traffic. Instead, those great writers are looking elsewhere to grow, and that is taking traffic away from xanga. I am very close to joining those ranks becuase I feel like I am going backwards on here from a growth standpoint, even though I feel that I have become a better writer in the past year.

  20. @MySecretLoveAffair – yeah Jess. I do miss you. Your baby is super cute though.’=@Bricker59 – that is a great point about featured. Seems no one gives a rat’s ass anymore. I know when I used to get featured back in the day I could look forward to an extra 100-20 comments at least. Now maybe 40 more. @wherethefishlives – you know Sam it’s a damn shame too. Cause those of us who really enjoy reading you can feel the difference. I’ve been fighting that same feeling of not caring for a while now. It comes through in the writing. It’s still very good, don’t get me wrong, but that joy is missing. See I can appreciate the amount of work you put into certain blogs. That is what alot of people don’t get. That shit took work sometimes. It was a labor of love, but it was still time consuming. I just don’t feel inspired to do stuff like that anymore.

  21. Your butt is more brown than black I would gather…Xanga is conforming to meet the needs of the masses, and usually, the masses suck.  Only makes sense Xanga would soon follow suit as well.

  22. I like that about making a dent with the people who need the most denting. Don’t leave, Dave. If all the good bloggers left because other good bloggers were leaving, it would become the blogging version of White Flight. Write Flight, if you will. Xanga needs people like you who can get angry and still be funny and and thought provoking, and people like Dan who can dole out rational advice and all those people who quietly nudge and gently suggest. It even needs the bad writers and self-centered bloggers who make the good blogs shine even more by comparison. Don’t leave. Don’t become part of the problem. Stay and be an example of what blogging should be.

  23. I miss the days when EVERYONE got like 40 comments to a post…that was back in the day though…times they are a changing…but keep in mind things always get worse before they get better.

  24. @windupherskirt – yeah but that is a shame. The front page should reflect what great writers we have here, shouldn’t it? That is exactly my point! Why should users have to sift through so much bs to find it?@Krissy_Cole –  Y’know whenever I used to bitch about traffic being down around here, Dan used to joke to me, “Well maybe your post wasn’t that good today.” Okay, maybe it may have been half jokingly. All these people who used to bitch out ASM missed the point that she was a good writer. Forget whether or not you agreed with her, she was good at what she did. You think it’s any coincidence that things have been going a even more downhill since she left?I don’t blame the team. This is what people asked for. This is what they harassed them for day after day after day. The people just didn’t know what was good for them. However, I will blame the team if things do not change around here. Xanga is still unique in it’s community feel. Of all the blogging sites I have experienced, and I have toyed with a bunch, it is the only one that does not feels personal. I think xanga can still be great, but it is not so great right about now. If you take bloggers like ASM and Sam and Dan and Matt and treat them like assets to Xanga, which they are, maybe you will see better results. Maybe more people will be able to see the greatness that lies here.

  25. @vanedave – I couldn’t agree with that more. And ASM was good. That’s how she could grow so stinkin’ quickly. (If I am correct, she was on here less than a year when she hit gold.)  Speaking of treating bloggers like ASM (et al) like the assets they are, perhaps people could stop whining about Xanga listening to them more than they do the rest of us. I haven’t ever felt like that happens. @DearSnippie – Well, hello out there! How’s tricks?

  26. To be frank, I can’t wait for you to leave.  I’ve never found you interesting, funny, or amusing whatsoever.  Xanga is better without you.If you truly cared for Xanga, then you would quit blogging here immediately.

  27. I miss the old front page. You know, the one that had Sam up almost every week because, damn it, he deserved every one of those features. When top blogs actually meant something. I used to have a readership, but that died down years ago. You know why I didn’t give a shit? There was always something good to read. I might have only gotten five comments on a post, but those five were Nori, Rob, Matt, Dan, and you. People who gave a damn about the product they put out there. I figured, why bother putting all the energy into building up a readership that’ll just leave Xanga again? So, I worked on and put out quality posts that stayed out for almost a week before being sniffed over by the few readers I have, but it didn’t matter because Sam, Nori, and Arie were ALWAYS out there blogging.You know who I really fucking miss? Eadie, danteCARAX, and ELBOWpasta

  28. but, i’ve yet to show my ugly mug to the world anyway, it is true that we need more users like them. there hasen’t been a lot of users that i’ve break out of my way to read every day compared to last year when i joined =/

  29. We’ve lost enough good people, let’s not lose you too, okay? It’s hard enough staying on here some days when you see what the home page is now putting out. We can’t stand to even look any more. If this is the kind of writing they want to be know for, then we’ll just stop writing and shut down. We hold on only for those we enjoy (like you) and make stopping by worthwhile.

  30. Agreed. I hate that the same people over and over again get featured, if they don’t have anything relevant to say.I’m fairly sure noreen or theologianscafe could make a post saying “I farted and it was awesome”, and they’d STILL get front page. 

  31. @manilajones – You sir, are a complete ass.  I can’t even think of anything else to say to you.  You’re not worth my thoughts or my breath.  I will speak to Dave however.  Don’t leave us!!!!  Pretty pretty pretty pretty please ?  I’ll start posting nothing but funny stuff I find on the net if you want me to!!!!!  Don’t go.  We WILL miss you and it won’t be the same without that stupid cartoon on the top of your blog to look at when I log in in the morning!!!!  PLEASE DON”T GO!!!!! Yes, I’m resorting to begging.  I am on my knees in front of my computer begging you.  =*(

  32. Hey Dave – I’ve been saying recently “God its so boring on here lately” well no matter what I’m still gonna blog for myself and my friends who appreciate my blogs. Things need to improve definately, well said to you. I have been glaring at delete account now and then, but I put effort into alot of my writing and don’t really wanna leave. I ignore the bitching and get on with my own stuff. Glad you wrote this though.

  33. oh, that was so harsh. i like xanga now though, but i only recently rejoined. i like the new front page and the featured weblogs (kind of). it’s cool though. but yeah, uh, it would be cooler if it had more stuff with lulz.

  34. The problem with any community is invariably the people.  I don’t think there is any real solution to this.  Anyway, you said a thing which I’m sure needed said, in a way that made me nod my head and agree, even though I technically haven’t been here long enough to have a clue what you are talking about.

  35. Hm. You know, I both agree and disagree. So, I guess I’m conflicted, then. :pWhile on one hand I do agree. There are an awful lot of featured posts/bloggers that seem to really not know how to form a sentence or use correct grammar. I’m not talking about the typos. Type gremlins get everyone sometimes, but there’s a difference between actually making an accidental typo and just really not knowing how to spell.And those blogs are annoying. Take, for example, the pro-smoking posts on healthkicker. While I respect their right to post whatever they want, and since there are anti-smoking posts there may as well be pro-smoking posts to get a diverse perspective on things, that doesn’t mean that the ones being featured need to make your head hurt trying to decipher them.I can understand why people would eventually leave over some of the things that are featured (due to their inability to type coherently). I had no idea that Xanga used to do things differently.I do think everybody should get an equal shot, and this is a blog community that is also a lot like a journal community and anybody has a right to bitch about whatever they want to, and if someone doesn’t want to read, they don’t have to. But, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with taking a little care in who is chosen to be featured.Is there any way to actually submit a complaint or suggestion to the Xanga site itself? I’ve never had reason to look for something like that, so I don’t know. If there is, then I think you should submit a suggestion to Xanga that they change their method of how they choose featured bloggers or blogs. Since sometimes, a person only gets featured once, or once in a while.And if you are chosen at random to have your blog featured and do not feel it should be, is there a way to opt out of that? Are you even notified before it happens? Or do they just do it without asking? That doesn’t seem very fair either. I know that I wouldn’t want mine featured. They aren’t good enough, really, but even if they were I prefer not to be in the immediate spotlight.

  36. Xanga is NOT going down the tubes. The young people (teens) are coming here more now than they have for awhile, because the boomers are taking over Facebook. The pendulum swings…

  37. Xanga seems more like high school. I don’t understand all the top blog this and troll that. You blog or you don’t. It’s not a popularity contest. That’s just what I think.

  38. Wow, I leave for a couple months and this is what happens. Thanks for the post. I started wondering about why the quality of blogs had gone down the drain….I whole-heartedly agree with the principles behind your arguements. What I’m interested in is, “Can we find a good solution?” I should probably finish all the great comments here. Nevertheless, I think one solution may be to have the old solution (“The Great and Exhalted” section), and another section of possibly lower quality (“The new but kinda profound” section). This way people can still read great blogs, but others can get a bit of the limelight.

  39. @Krissy_Cole –  “The problem, for me, isn’t the Team at all(and I don’t get the feeling that they are the heart of your ranteither. I could be wrong though…). The problem is, however, thecountless number of people who want equal spotlight time and who don’twant to work the system.”@vanedave – “I don’t blame the team. This is what peopleasked for. This is what they harassed them for day after day after day.The people just didn’t know what was good for them. “I understand the pain of watching people leave. I hate it too. And I am deeply concerned. But with what you said here, I actually completely disagree. Why absolve Xanga Team of responsibility? It’s THEIR system. The users don’t come out of thin air. They are attracted to Xanga or repelled by Xanga based on the nature of the features and style and tone of the community Xanga creates relative to other blogging system. And Xanga Team is largely responsible for setting that tone. If Xanga creates an environment that suggests absolute egalitarianism is the rule and the goal, then why is it any surprise that users clamor for egalitarianism? If Xanga implements policies that particularly reduce traffic to the top bloggers, that’s THEIR decision and there’s no doubt what the results will be on the top bloggers. Don’t imagine they were simply naive about that. Yet they did it anyway.  Whether people asked for it or not. Xanga Team is not bound by the opinions of its users, neither the most popular nor the most plural. They totally have it within their power to implement policies that would increase traffic to the top bloggers. That they choose not to, means it isn’t for whatever reason important to them. Perhaps they thought it was a worthwhile experiment to try it this way. I don’t know. Whatever their reasons, those decisions have consquences. Consequences for which they are DIRECTLY responsible.This is just like politics. If Health Care reform doesn’t get passed or ends up watered down to the point that it is absurd, that’s absolutely the responsibility of the leadership in the White House and Congress. Sure we can say they just responded to the people who blew up against health care reform. But the fact that they blew up about Health Care is ALSO the responsibility of the leadership.Xanga needs to show REAL leadership and not hide behind its users opinions using them as a cloud to divert criticism. Just blaming everything on the ubiquitous “community” is the easy way out. And it doesn’t change anything because everyone just assumes that you aren’t talking to them but to those OTHER Xangans out there who lack our obvious intellect and sophistication. It makes everyone feel good but nothing is changed.That’s exactly like people saying the Iraq war wasn’t a direct product of the Bush administration’s behaviors because “Congress authorized it” or at the time “the people supported it”. No. Just no. It totally IS their responsibility. They CREATED the Iraq war. Yeah people were stupid to fall for it. Stupid to trust their leaders and their intelligence services. Stupid to be so afraid that they wanted their government to do something no matter what. But that’s just people being PEOPLE. Having moments of profound stupidity is the dominant characteristics of being alive.The people are NOT to blame. Problems like declining memberships and the loss of top bloggers are *systemic* problems.  The popular behavior be it whining or bitching or complaining or just quitting are all just symptoms of the deeper underlying problems.  Correcting that underlying problems is absolutely the responsibility of the people who created and manage the system. The buck stops with them.Though it is our responsibility as a community to help them do it. No. To MAKE them do it.  By providing good ideas, and making strong arguments for what needs to change, and providing direct incentives to change, such as reducing their revenue stream by leaving. And to educate each other about why certain changes would benefit everyone. That’s a collective responsibility. No less the responsibility of the whining n00b than the xangalebrity. Except for those who choose to leave, we’re all in this together. There are not bad Xangans and good Xangans. We’re all Xangans.

  40. @nephyo – To a degree you are right, the team does hold responsibility for the way everything is set up; however, to the other degree, I completely disagree with you. Xanga is set up the way it is currently because they do need users to generate revenue and the USERS complained and moaned and groaned and threatened to leave (in some instances did leave) over the way Featured Content used to be set up. Then, we had Top Bloggers. Now, we have the revolving 100 top bloggers. So, perhaps our answer is not that it is solely the users or solely the team, but BOTH. I still maintain, however, that the team listens to its users. That could be both its greatest strength and weakness in the end–especially if, as Sam pointed out, most of those users are between the ages of 13 and 19 and have little to no sense of how the set up affects the revenue.

  41. I have been here since Xanga opened its doors. All my friends are leaving. I have stayed because of my friends here now they are leaving what have I got to stay for. Judi

  42. @Krissy_Cole – What you say only re-enforces my belief that Xanga Team should be held more accountable. And trust me, in the past I’ve *usually* gone out of my way to *defend* Xanga Team. But in this they are being ridiculous.  There’s a difference between listening to your users and being CONTROLLED by them. And NOT all users are created equal. If *I* threaten to leave Xanga because I didn’t get a feature I want, Xanga should be laughing its way all the way to the bank. Even if my five regular readers or whatever leave with me, Xanga will barely be touched.However if theTheologiansCafe threatens to quit, Xanga should give it more credence. He brings in far more viewers and hence more revenue. That’s a simple fact. Likewise if a few random (mostly American) kids choose to leave and get their friends to go with them. Big deal. They are getting this service for free. Their loss is not the end of the world. If Xanga doesn’t understand that simple distinction then they have absolutely no business sense whatsoever.That being said nor should Xanga Team automatically do what theTheologiansCafe promotes or any of the top bloggers. It has to create a deeper compelling underlying vision of what it wants Xanga to be and how to get it there and present it to the people. Those who believe in that vision will flock to Xanga. Those who don’t will find some other blogging service that better suits their needs. It just needs to be a vision that attracts good bloggers. If it doesn’t appeal to Dan or Dave maybe it will appeal to other great bloggers as of yet undiscovered. But it has to appeal to SOMEONE. Right now it feels like Xanga has no vision at all. It feels like it’s in stasis. Nothing is happening and nothing is changing. All we’re doing is arguing back and forth over top blogs and trolling and in the meantime every petty squabble is being magnified all out of proportion. And slowly our friends just slip away….Also I want to make a note that the users are not really Xanga’s customers. Xanga is selling users to advertisers. The advertisers are Xanga’s real customers. Xanga goal ought to be to attract as many users as is possible to have a huge base to sell to advertisers. They do this by attracting popular users who in turn attract other users some of whom will in turn become popular. Listening to their users is not necessary OR particularly relevant. To the extent that they do I think it’s a great thing. More democratic systems are inherently more Just. But they don’t have to and nor should they in every situation.In the case of Top Blogs, Xanga CREATED the controversy. They really did. They brought up or at least publicized the whole idea of random rotation. They didn’t have to. And then they presented it in such a way that it pre-informed people’s opinions. They didn’t provide a scientific survey of a random sampling of users with a careful set of neutrally worded questions. No. They presented one question with data that obviously would suggest a particular conclusion and then asked for comments on their barely visible blog most of Xanga doesn’t even ever visit.  They then acted on that?? That’s Crazy! This is a clear example of “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”.Xanga Team has  at times shown itself to have remarkably thin skins when it comes to user opinion. They take listening to their audience to an absurd extreme almost as if they see all criticism no matter how small as devastating and worthy of action. Why for  example do they keep old versions of their private page up and usuable for so long? It’s absurd. How much time is wasted dealing with out dated systems few use anymore. Things MUST progress eventually. Yes some people will be alienated, but that’s a price that must be paid. Xanga can’t please everyone.And at other times the team just seems wholly absent. Ideas go without implementation. Xanga Team blog is barely updated. Nobody knows what the heck is going on.And for all that I still prefer Xanga to any other community I’ve been a part of. And like you said their listening to their users is their advantage as well as their disadvantage. I’d rather be here where there’s a chance however slim Xanga MIGHT listen to me, than somewhere else where it isn’t even clear how you would even go about communicating with the leadership. I just feel Xanga has gone too far in the other direction. They react to much to their users instead of showing leadership and vision to create a real and meaningful dialogue that might result in change for the better.

  43. I’ve been around xanga for about 5 years, with a two-year absence in the middle, and came back to start fresh with a new account. I’m looking to become a little more routine in my updates.But yeah, I have noticed all the bitching from when I was active a couple years ago. :[

  44. you know, this is one of the better metablogs i’ve read in a long time.  nice.  very heartfelt.  i like.and no usertag!  very nice.  everyone needs to laugh more, rather than get mad and offended so easily.  a lot of what people hate and complain of is just dumb, and not really THAT BAD.  i mean, i’m tired of pop-culture blogs, too, but i’ve learned to be amused.

  45. i’m a fan of the “if you don’t like it, don’t use it to vent about it” policy. i mean, i’d miss you dave, but creating hype about how xanga should entertain you or you will leave doesn’t impress me at all.

  46. I’ve stopped caring for a while now about getting the most attention, as you can see from the increase in disabled comments posts I write.  I almost left, but I decided I still like a means to keep in touch with a few people on here.  In fact, I’ve privatized my Xanga to now only protected posting.  I only write for those I care to hear from.  Anyway, like I’ve told you before, your blogs are very much appreciated for its organic quality.  We need more of that to come back here.  Thanks for writing this, Dave.  I hope it reaches the people who ruin it for many of us on here.

  47. Eh, I rather like the Frontpage now…except for those twits who always advertise their “pussies” and their condoms or whatever. I see them a lot on the Recent Tab.Right now, it’s not perfect, but it’s quite better than before wherein the only people I see are the SAME top bloggers. At least for the past weeks, there’s been new content everyday.

  48. You know, I’ll be coming up on six years here, too…and I’m thinking the same thing…Not that the OLD featured page was much better.  I think the front page of Xanga has always reeked of immaturity and drama queens who want to say something controversial in a “So there” type of way (aka.  I’m a smoker and I’m not going to quit.  So there…)  Sorely lacking is actual CONTENT – interesting things to read from people who care about what they write.  Not controversy queens saying something like, “I hate fat people!!!  Discuss!”Heck, I’ve grown up in that 6 year time period…I kind of hoped Xanga would grow up with me a little.  Enough so I could tell people that this is where I blog without feeling embarrassed when people say, “Isn’t that a kids’ site?”  Yikes.  I love Xanga…I hate that perception of Xanga, though, and people who give me crap because I don’t have a www domain with my own blog.  I’ll admit.  I don’t know the first thing about setting things like that up.Equally annoying are the people who try too hard to make the front page.  Why can’t people just write blogs for themselves, not the whole world?  I love that…A good blog, to me, is like reading a really damn good memoir….in real life!  With an author you can actually interact with and know your comment is heard, not some kid saying, “I cut myself today.  I like it.  It gets me attention.”  I just don’t like fakeness – what makes Xanga great are real stories from real people, not posers.

  49. i agree. i kinda keep out of all the big stuff cos i’m one of the little people. 😛 but i do hope you don’t leave. i do really care but i dunno where else i’d find you, except Youtube, but that’s not really a place i could “read” you. 😀

  50. Good luck, you aren’t saying anything different than what a lot of us have been saying for a long time.  Newsflash – XANGA doesn’t care.  THEY don’t comprehend that the front page is critical for anything other than their precious -ish sites and the advertising money they allegedly bring in.  THEY don’t understand that if they lose Xanga by neglect, the -ish sites are going right behind it.  

  51. @Devildogs_Doll – This is true. The fakeness is probably one of the most annoying things to me too.@c_jamaica – yeah well people are leaving and traffic is down. Things need to change.@elelkewljay – you already know I gots nothing but love for Thu.@beetunes – I didn’t mean for it to come across that way. I was just voicing my displeasure at seeing some good people go. I just want this place to be better. That’s really what this all boils down to.@TheBigShowAtUD – and yet still, no rec. You are so ashamed to be my friend.

  52. @nephyo – Hmm. I guess I would have to agree in some respect. Ultimately it is up to the xanga team to know better, even when we don’t. @tenshii_rage –  I like your optimistic view. I think I’ll adopt it myself.@jassmine – hmm. Therein lies the problem. If you don’t find someone worth reading on a constant basis, someone to have a dialogue with, it makes it hard to stick around.

  53. well, like i said.. no usertag.  geez.for love of the game, dave!  real life is not about recs, you know… unless you’re seeking a job promotion.  besides, everyone who’d read this after my rec has probably already read it.  we’ll see.

  54. I was away for a long time and obviously i have missed a lot of changes here..But drama is still drama and you seem to try to right some wrongs here..Nice post man..I hope it all turns out to be better..and soon

  55. Exactly. Hit the nail on the head, as they say. I miss the people that aren’t around too…I haven’t blogged in a few days because I’ve got so much going on and don’t have the time, but I always come back =]Hopefully things will get better the more people read this post…I think it belongs smack dab on the front page right at the top.

  56. You make a good point.  While I love posts about serious topics, it does get annoying when it turns into a name-calling contest and when every single post is about said topic, with very few people writing about anything else.

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