June 17, 2013

  • Update on our Relaunch Xanga fundraiser!

    Thanks to everyone for your support for our Relaunch Xanga fundraiser!  With a month to go, we’re almost half-way there (~45%)… with $26,879 out of $60,000 raised.

    Thank you for your support!! It’s very exciting… and in the meantime, we’ve been hard at work preparing for the potential migration over to a new WordPress platform!

    We’ve gotten a number of questions, so I wanted to come up for air and share some answers here: 

    Why haven’t you guys updated TheXangaTeam blog?

    Sorry guys, I was going to post a bunch of updates last week but some crazy personal stuff hit me…  I’ve gotten it largely squared away though, and will be posting a lot of updates in the coming weeks!

    How is the fundraiser going?  Do you think we’ll make the fundraiser?

    We’ve been really amazed and touched by the progress so far! I really do think we’re going to make it. Things should really pick up this week too, I think (see next question).

    How have you been marketing the fundraiser?

    We’ve gotten a good amount of outside press on our fundraiser, and have also been promoting the fundraiser on the announcement portion of everyone’s private pages. We’ll be adding more promotional notices in the coming week!

    We’re also adding more FAQs to the fundraiser (to answer the questions we’ve gotten so far), and will be emailing all of our premium members this week. We’ll also be doing some press outreach in the coming weeks!

    How are you going to reach other members?

    It’s going to be tough to reach a lot of our members from earlier years, since in most cases we don’t have their latest email address. So in addition to press outreach, we’re also working on a marketing campaign that will help us virally send out the word on what’s going on!  More on that soon.

    I can’t afford to donate $48… is there any way I could donate a smaller amount?

    Yes, based on everyone’s feedback, we have created a $1 donation level. Many thanks to the several dozen people since then who have donated a dollar to the cause!  You can give a dollar, or actually just type in any dollar amount you want… a few people have given $3, $5 or $10.

    How can I download my archives?

    We got a lot of archive download requests immediately after we posted about this, and we’ve worked to add a bunch of archive generators. We should be fully caught up now – I just created a new archive, and it was generated within a few minutes!

    My archives are HTML… can you give me my archives in a database format?

    We’re upgrading our archive generators to generate an XML version of your data! The XML version is WordPress compatible, so you can convert it into any number of formats from there.

    Why did we do this? We just thought this was the best way to make sure that everyone could get a nice clean copy of their data. We’ll let you guys know as soon as the XML archives are available!

    I went to the site to make a pledge and the charge has already posted to my credit card?

    That shouldn’t happen! Your card will only be charged when we successfully reach our funding goal (of $60k).

    In the meantime, it sounds like what you saw was probably an authorization on your card to check if there were sufficient funds available in your account to make your pledge. It shouldn’t be an actual charge.

    I gave substantially to the campaign myself, and haven’t been charged yet.

    Can I see some mockups of how the interface is looking?

    I will work on getting some screenshots and/or videos made this week!

    What can I do to help out?

    If you’ve already donated and/or tweeted or liked the campaign on Facebook (thanks to the 1.7k of you that have!)… then you’ve done more than enough.  (And a special thanks to edlives and myxldove for working with Marc on our Facebook page!)

    But if you’re open to doing more, we’ll be creating some Relaunch Xanga buttons that you can add to your blog or post to other sites. More info on that soon!

    Thanks again guys for all of your support… and if you haven’t already, we could really use some likes and tweets here!



    John @ Xanga

Comments (66)

  • Thank you for the update.  It was something a lot of folks have been anxious about.  I’m glad that you’ll be updating more frequently.

  • Speaking of that personal issue that has been keeping you busy, did you get medicine for that STD?

    You guys are awesome thanks for keeping us updated.

  • SUPPORT !!!

  • I understand your concern about outdated email accounts, but why not just send out the emails anyway?  If there was ever a good reason for a mass Xanga email, I can’t think of a better time to do it.  I’m a bit annoyed that I had to find out about this through recs.

  • @coolmonkey – sending an email to a distributed list with many of them bouncing back is a red flag for most ISPs and possibly treated as spam. Personal experience from my last job. My two cents.

  • This cowgirl thanks you for the update.

  • Good to hear from you again, John. Thanks for the update! It’s reassuring hearing you say there’s a good chance Xanga 2.0 will come to fruition.

  • I was going to say the same as @StupidSystemus - 

    @coolmonkey - and this comes from someone who has run into a few issues with this and my email list is not 60 million

  • Thank you for the update! Hope all is well on the home front.

  • Thanks for the update!  I wait excitedly to hear about the rest of the questions!

  • Thank you for the update, John.  Let me know if Marc or you have time to come on my radio show so you guys can have more of a chance to talk to the community.

  • Thanks for the update.

  • Thanks for the Update!

    It charged my account too, but I think it is because I did it from my checking account. I bet if you put in a credit card it would charge it at the time. I just want to make sure I wont be charged another $48 on July 15th.

    Edit: ok ok, so I checked again and now the charge is gone. So, it was likely just checking to see if I had $48 dollars… but it might be good to let people know it will check so they wont be surprised when they see it online.

  • Hooray! Looking forward to more updates from the team. I’m really excited to see some screenshots and whatnot.

    I have high hopes in Xanga 2.0 :)

  • @StupidSystemus - I’ve heard of some mass emailers sending them to a low enough number at a time to avoid those flags and still getting to their entire subscribed list.  It probably depends on knowing what the limit is.

  • I still haven’t received my archives. How can I get those?

  • @jasonwl - My bad.  I read incorrectly.  Issue is too many sent back due to stale accounts, not too many sent.  Sorry.

  • Thanks for this update.  I’ll keep my eye out for more.

  • THANK YOU for the update and all the work! I want to help anyway I can and I love you and this community that you have provided us with these many years John. Truly, no matter what happens , thank you!

  • Well fuck me, you’re still alive after all!
    I was about to call some dairies to see about putting your face on some milk cartons.

  • A relaunch button would be cool. I could put it on my other sites.  Awesome!

  • You should offer more creative rewards for higher volume donors.  I know artists on Kickstarter will often do a house show for people give them $600 or more. Maybe people who donated $1000 or more could get a server named after them or get a thank you link and banner on a donor page.

  • Thanks for this update, and for alll the work you are doing to prepare for 2.0! I know it’s tough to do in the face of all the criticism, and appreciate that it’s made even tougher by “crazy personal stuff.”  I’d like to reaffirm my offer to assist with user testing or manual writing if that would be helpful when the time comes.

  • My account was charged the moment I turned in my pledge, and I haven’t seen it credited back.   It’s OK with me right now.  I hope there is no need to return it to me.

  • Thanks so much for the new set of updates. I know there’s a lot on everyone’s plate to make deadlines, so the time you take keeping us in the loop is greatly appreciated.

    One suggestion on your Crowdhosting page. You have a selection for $1, but there is a big gap between the next level of $48. I think those who can’t afford $48, while just donate to the stated lower option, $1. I think you could get more by including $25, $20, $10,and $5 options, or at least a $5 and $10 one. I’m sure the majority of folks who gave $1 also wouldn’t have had a problem with the next higher level such as $5. Even though they can do that now, seeing the option will promote a higher donation.

    Thanks again.

  • Thanks for the update. I have great faith in your efforts, and I am hoping that you will announce soon that we are almost to the 60K mark.

  • talk about awesome sauce!  thank you for addressing the most concerns that you can. :D  I still would love t-shirts.  I’ll of course try ;my luck with the contest but buying them is a grand thing :D

  • I’m happy to see an update, but all things considered I question the ability of Xanga to be run properly.  I’m sorry to hear you have had personal issues, but this is a company, there should not have been such a long silence of what is going on.  If the top guy at the hospital I work for were having personal issues his work would have been delegated to those under him, they would not shut down the hospital or stop all communication with their clients, especially not right in the middle of a limited massive fundraiser.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging on Xanga and prefer it over any others out there.  However, I’ve been disappointed in the way things get done around here (or rather how they don’t get done at all) for a long time.  I had a technical issue at one point and contacted Xanga.  Another newbie-at-the-time (but trolled so had a lot of traffic) user had the same issue and they fixed it for him within 24 hours.  It took 6 months for them to fix the same issue for me and I had to send a multitude of emails, most of which were completely ignored.  And I was a paying member at the time, in fact that’s when I stopped paying for premium. I stopped paying because whenever there was an issue there was little or no support, why pay for that?  This just doesn’t inspire confidence that things will be any better on the new Xanga, just that we will all have to pay no matter what.

  • Thank you for the update! Looking forward to seeing some pics/vids

  • Thank you SO much for your plan to provide XML archives. I’m hoping Xanga will relaunch, so I won’t have any need for them…

  • @SoullFire - John did share – “Yes, based on everyone’s feedback, we have created a $1 donation level. Many thanks to the several dozen people since then who have donated a dollar to the cause!  You can give a dollar, or actually just type in any dollar amount you want… a few people have given $3, $5 or $10.”

  • @edlives - Right, but you know how people are – if the donation button says “$1″, they are more likely to donate $1 rather than anything else. Making higher levels available puts the idea in their head that they could donate more.

  • What is the plan for keeping this community growing? There are free blogging alternatives out there; even the bare (i.e., free) option of WordPress is pretty good. Introducing a pay-wall will keep newcomers away. I agree that extras could be for a fee (analog to the WP model).

    So far your announcements are of rather technical nature, which is important, of course, but I would like to see more of a “business plan”, too.

  • @SoullFire - I understand. For now since John helped to clarify – we can at least promote what he shared in this blog post.   They may tweak these things as things move forward, but at least we know what’s up now.

  • Thanks for the update! It is appreciated!

  • Thanks for all your work. I look forward to seeing the first images of the potential Xanga 2.0

  • For me these are pertinent questions:

    (A) I have long used color coding in my blog that works well only against a black background.   That said…. WordPress doesn’t have black backgrounds that I have seen…. meaning all of my older posts are now going to be re-addressed at some point to make them visible (I sometimes use a beige color to offset a main thought).   What’s the likelihood of this actually happening and me having to fix 1,000 Posts? (I’ve been on Xanga nearly a decade.)

    (B) I lobbied to have Ref-tagger added to my Xanga and you guys allowed it.  It’s been one of the greatest helps to my posts, and one reason I am a lifetime supporter of Xanga.  Am I going to lose Ref-tagger when we switch over?

    (C) I have a WordPress account under the same name I use here… but I almost never use it (3 posts there, nearly 1,000 here, tell me which site is more important to me.) —- Since “JulieMillerFan” is already taken over there…. what will become of my Blog-name in the switch-over?

    (D) I have a few Xanga Accounts that I started for various other reasons (poetry, hidden thoughts, that sort of thing.)   I’ve long since lost passwords and even what Email address they were attached to.   What’s the likelihood of me getting the password now so I can archive those sites before the switch over?  

    Please…. I honestly want some answers to those questions.

    Last one… probably a FAQ, but I haven’t seen it addressed yet…. I pledged money for 2 1 year accounts (and I will probably do more later as funds come available) —- just where do I “donate” one of those accounts …. it was never made clear in the donation process.

  • Good to see this post . Personal stuff definitely happens. I hope more questions will be answered with future posts. Thanks! 

  • Finally an update! Excited about XML archives! Thanks :)

  • Wow, if you guys think you are gonna make it, I swear this totally made me feel happy! Even though some crappy stuff is going on in my life! It’s crazy how happy I feel actually!! ^^

  • Nice to hear from you.

  • Hopefully everything will go well :D

  • Sounds great! I logged on this morning wondering how the effort was going. I’d really like to stay on Xanga if I can. All the thought of designing a new blog on a new site and re-doing my banner was kinda giving me a headache. :-p Keep it up!!

  • I really do appreciate your efforts…

  • Ok…. now I have downloaded and saved my archive…. opened it up… and found that every single Blog-post title no longer exists…. only date stamps for when each post was originally posted.

    This doesn’t work well …. I regularly did serial posts which were individually entitled and numbered for reference.  (In example, I serialized Paul Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” over 12 separate posts, over 6 months time, with each one carrying a title that gave indication for what that chapter was about.)  Even my latest post, from just today, is part 5 in a series on “the Judgment of God” that’s been running for 2 months now.

    Likewise…. the “Archive” download ended with May of 2012 —- Where’s the last full year’s worth of my blogging?!?!?!?!   The date on the Archive was 6/4/2013…. but it sure didn’t cover to that date…  Am I gonna lose an entire years worth of blogging??????

    Ummm… danger Will Robinson!!!   I honestly need this reproduced in some better format guys….

  • Crazy personal stuff hit you and no-one else could give an update even in the advent of the whole company shutting down ? OK, that’s it, there are officially =2= people employed by Xanga !

    BTW, your archives link images to this Online site so no images will actually show in these archives after the D-Date. So YES, you need to correct it so the .HTMs link to the local images for proper retrieval.

  • Will logins be encrypted?  Will site access for those logged in?  It probably doesn’t make sense to enable client-side caching of pages for logged in connections anyway.

  • @JulieMillerFan -  for 3 years i have asked Xanga to put our blog titles in the archives.  When i saw the site may go down, i started copy and pasting all my blog titles into my posts..  2266 of them. :O Finally finished yesterday.  (Like you, my blog titles often relate to my posts and i didn’t want them gone.)   It was time consuming and i’ve had to put my daughter’s birthday party on hold b/c i didn’t want the site closing down without me having these on there so had to work on that instead of her birthday plans.)   I’m not sure how many posts you have, but it may be something you have to do as well…  I felt like it was an insurmountable task when i started and there were some days, i think that’s all i did.  But they’re inside the posts now so will archive…

  • @dw817 - yikes!  Does it not link to our pictures that we downloaded?  (I’m not very computer literate.)  This is major for me if my pictures won’t show up correctly with my posts anymore!

  • @Superbuds - No it certainly doesn’t. If you edit the raw HTML for instance, in Notepad, you will see they are not linking it locally but remotely to their server, which according to their words – WILL be shut down July 15th of this year.

    Now I might be able to set down and write a utility to repair it so it links locally to the parent directory (as they have their tree-directory structured) but it would be a complex program indeed for me to write that, not impossible, but I’m teaching a class on advanced HTML ATM. If I write this project at all, tomorrow might be a good day.

    I’m hoping they make an update to their downloader however, to save me the trouble from redundant coding.

  • @dw817 - I’ve been looking into it since i saw your comment.  This has me very concerned.  About 2700 posts (with pictures of my kids) that I’ll lose!  I thought with the archives i was safe!  Just spent days (literally) putting blog titles into my posts b/c they didn’t archive.  I’ve tried copy and pasting the archives into a word file, but the pictures don’t paste.  :(  I need something!  Very discouraged.  

    I don’t know anything about xml files.  (I think that’s what they said they were working on.  Don’t laugh if i got it wrong.  ;))  If they go that route, will our problems be solved?
    If not and you write a program, you’ll be my new best friend.  ;)

  • @Superbuds - about 2670 posts.  Didn’t mean to exaggerate.  

  • @Superbuds - Well, you won’t LOSE them per se. They are saved on your HD, just that they won’t appear in your HTML if you decide to open them later.

    I’m done with tutoring for the day, I see my Dr tomorrow but when I get back I’ll see what program I can come up with that will recode the HTML to a proper local directory now that I see someone has an interest in this.

    As for XML, I’m not certain if that hard codes images directly into that single .XML file. If it doesn’t and they don’t change the image path, then no, it won’t be any better than it is now.

  • @dw817 - I  defintely plan to open them later.  This is my “record/journaling” of my kids.  Can’t imagine not being able to retrieve it.  

    I guess i understand less about this than i thought i did.  :O  My husband probably understands more than i do, but he’s not home.  I sent him a “panic email” when i saw your post earlier!  ;)  
    If you do work on something and come up with something…PLEASE let me know about it.  this is incredibly important to me.  I had hopes of one day turning my blog into a book (since i haven’t scrapbooked since the kids were born…this is what i have…) i would so hate to lose it.  
    THANKS for commenting on this.  I hope it works out for both of our sakes.   I can’t imagine we’re the only ones?  Sorry you’re the one having to do the work for it though…  :(  Thank you!!!!  

  • 2 Eprops for Xanga. I miss this. 

  • I’m sorry about the personal issues and hope you are ok. Thank you for all you have done. 

  • Ok….. so now that I am following comments here —- Xanga…. what WILL happen when you transport our blogs from here to WordPress?

    (A) will you set up a new account in our name?  And what about the password(s)… will they be the same?  And what if, like me, my username is already taken (by myself in my case) at WordPress… does my account now become “JulieMillerFan2352345kl;j”?

    (B) What about the subject or title headers?  Will they import over to WordPress as well?  And what of the original date of publication?  Is it going to show that I posted 1,000 posts in a single day or is it going to follow the original flow of time?

    (C) Internal links….. I have long tried to help my readers grasp a concept by linking to a previous post dealing with the topic.  now that Xanga is shuffling over to WordPress…. what happens to all those unusable links?

    (D) Pictures — do they follow over with the original post / account?  So pictures I posted up years ago… will they now carry over into my new blog, or will the picture links be “broken”….

    (E) Audio links… same as above.

    (F) As someone pointed out, your archive of my posts links me back to YOUR archive… of my posts…. which means that in less than a month this archive will no longer function because you’ll no longer be here?!?!?!?  Yes or no.  Please give a straight answer and see point (H) below.

    (G) I renewed my blog archive last night… I’m downloading it now… because I am still wondering…. Where is this years blog posts?   That said, now that I have finished downloading…. all that I am missing is this month.  Sooooo when will your archive catch up to all that we’ve CURRENTLY written?  .

    (H) all that said…. would it be better if we just started importing our Xanga blogs over to WordPress ourselves and save the headache and hassle this is bound to become?   If we do this — transport to WordPress all our blogs — what happens when you do so on July 15th?  is that a bad move or a good move for us?

  • Thanks for the update, but there are still a ton of unanswered questions left before I consider donating. Also a working alpha, which you should have had a LONG TIME AGO.

    Please hire some competent devs and marketers. I don’t want Xanga to fail again.

  • I have all the same questions as JulieMillerFan above, especially about the archives linking back to YOUR ONLINE ARCHIVE – which means downloading our archives was just a joke, and how do we access our sites after the change-over?  Same usernames?  Same passwords?  What if our username is already in use over there?  And I just noticed, as someone else posted, my “updated” archive didn’t include the entire last year.  CHECK YOUR ARCHIVES EVERYONE, SOME ARE MISSING THE LAST YEAR!

    Honestly, I get the feeling that financial goal met or not this is not going to happen.  Considering how Xanga has been run in the past, and the obvious lack of commitment and communication with this project, I have very little faith this will succeed.  

  • @Superbuds - @TheXangaTeam –

    Let it not be said that Xanga doesn’t listen to us.   Superbuds, I just re-requested my archive because there was no posts from this year…. well…. the newest Archive update has the blog titles include.   It’s not totally up to date… my June posts are not included… but every blog title is now intact.

    TheXangaTeam —- While I do have many questions (as you have no doubt seen…) …. let it not be said that I don’t recognize your hard work.   Thank you for updating the archive files so that they now include the titles… you have no idea how important that is all things considered.

    Here’s hoping the rest of my concerns are just as easily and quickly addressed…. not merely for my own sake, but for the sake of others who likewise have the same questions.  Thanks Guys.

  • @JulieMillerFan - that’s great news.  (Wish i hadn’t spent DAYS putting my titles into posts…but oh well.  :)  lol.)  Hope you get your June archives and your questions answered.  I too appreciate the work they’ve put into this.  I understand it’s expensive…wish things could have stayed the same…

  • @TheXangaTeam-when i do my archives, some of my photos don’t show up.  It’s really important to me if the site goes down that they’re ALL there.  (They still show up when i look on my web page.)  Is there any way this can get fixed?  Please?    Thanks!!!  

  • Thank you for the update

  • Are personal url’s purchased being carried over to Xanga 2.0?


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