July 18, 2012

  • Update on ISP issues

    Hello all.  I wanted to give an update on an issue we've been getting reports about.  Some ISPs have been unable to connect to the Xanga servers over the past day or two, which has made it difficult for those subscribers to connect with our servers.  The Xanga servers are 100% working normally, but some ISPs just aren't able to find us. :(

    We've been working to resolve this issue, and believe we are getting closer to a fix.  The good news is that we're making progress on resolving this problem! The bad news is that we have to work with various ISPs around the world and get them to do stuff. So it's taking some time.

    I'm not sure if the affected users will see this post, so thus far, we have just been emailing back the handful of users who have written in (we've gotten about 20 emails so far). But I wanted to write ths update anyway, because many users have reported that Xanga works for them at work but not at home (or vice versa).

    Because only some users are affected, this has been a very difficult issue for us to track down and reproduce — let alone to solve.  Our traffic patterns showed that certain ISPs have been affected; for example, Xanga is down for me in New York (I'm on Time Warner) but works in our office and on my Verizon iPhone.  As a result of the affected ISPs, yesterday visitors were down by a single-digit percentage.  We're working with network and ISP providers to resolve the issue ASAP.

    To all of our affected users: we're working to get the site back up for you ASAP! If you have Xanga friends who can't access the site, can you email them the text of this post?  Also, spread the word to try out our free mobile apps (Android, iPhone) and see if that helps at all?



July 5, 2012

  • Photos, Pulses, Videos Coming Soon to Your Xanga Frontpage + Unlimited Protected Posting

    Two quick updates for all of our users!

    1) Photos, Pulses, Videos coming soon to your Xanga frontpage

    We posted last year about our plans to have Photos, Pulses, and Videos show up on your Xanga frontpage:

    If I post a pic from my iPhone directly onto my Xanga... I'm going to want people to see it! But right now it gets sent to a separate "photo blog" on my Xanga site, where it gets almost no traffic (we've looked at the stats - more on this in a later post).

    We've addressed this issue in the mobile app by blending all updates - weblogs, photos, video and pulse - into a single, unified blog. For starters, it helps makes the app much more streamlined. But it also helps you find updates from your subs that you easily could've missed on the live site!

    This is part of a major effort to focus Xanga on blogging. And it's been so awesome to see in action during mobile testing that we're going to be offering this new unified blog soon across the whole site, starting with interested users. Soon you'll see my weblogs, photos, pulses and videos all blended together on my Xanga site frontpage, at john.xanga.com.

    We've made a huge amount of progress with our mobile app in recent months, and mobile uploads and posting is on the rise.  So the time feels right to move forward here, and we're ready to launch this update soon!

    If you'd like to keep photos, pulses and more off your frontpage, you can opt-out by tweaking your settings:

    • For Theme users:

      Click "edit theme", then click the little pencil icon to edit your main weblog module, then adjust the new "Content" setting...

    • For Custom Look & Feel users:

      Go to your "Look & Feel" settings page and adjust the new "Weblog >> Content" setting...

    2) Unlimited Protected Posting for all coming today!

    We're also working on allowing anyone to add as many users to your Protected List as you'd like. Previously this was a Premium-only feature. This update should be rolled by the end of today.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

June 5, 2012

  • Just a heads up on Premium pricing

    Please note: if you are an existing Premium subscriber with your account set to auto-renew, then you can ignore the post below!

    If you're thinking about upgrading to Xanga Premium (or are an existing Premium member *not* set to auto-renew), you may want to lock in Xanga Premium's existing price now:

    * https://register.xanga.com/premium/

    We're going to be re-investing heavily in Premium over the coming months, in addition to adding lots of features to the site in general (hello, multiple protected lists!). As part of that, we will be increasing the price of Premium with the release of our next mobile app (around the end of this month or so).

    If you'd like to lock in the existing rate, just click here (and make sure to auto-renew).

    Please note: if you are an existing Premium subscriber with your account set to auto-renew, any price increases would not affect you.  When you sign up for Premium auto-renew, your premium renews at the rate at which you purchased it.

    Just a heads up! For now, nothing will change in the short term as we're super busy working on some of our previous announcements

    P.S. As we discussed, Lifetime Premium is shelved for now. Thanks to everyone who upgraded!

May 21, 2012

May 17, 2012

  • Xanga Lifetime: Limited Availability (plus paying by check/money order)

    We've gotten a few requests asking if we'd allow people to purchase premium without a credit card:

    Several months ago I wanted to pay for a lifetime account, but discovered that once again there was no way to pay except by credit card. I do not have a credit card, and would not use it online if I did have one. ... A way to pay via check or money order might be good to have once again, so that people can pay for the accounts to be covered.

    5/15/2012 11:07 PM moniet

    Thanks for the reminder, moniet! We just added a way for you to order premium by certified check or money order.  (The check has to be certified though; we had too many bank charges from bounced checks when we allowed personal checks.)

    Get Premium with a Certified Check or Money Order - New!

    In related news, we're going to stop offering Xanga Lifetime soon. It's such a deal that we usually only break it out of the Vault for limited time periods. For various reasons though (mostly involving software), we've kept Lifetime Premium avaialble for quite some time now.

    That said, we're going to stop offering Xanga Lifetime after we sell the next 100 memberships. After that, we may bring it back sometime next year.  We won't be offering it in the meantime, so if you're interested... please buy it now instead of waiting until we sell out and then emailing us to ask for an exception!

    Get LIFETIME Premium while you can - less than 100 accounts left!


May 15, 2012

  • A Sustainable and Growing Future for Xanga

    We have a few announcements today.

    First, we're excited to announce that we are going to make Protected Posting part of our free Classic offering, so that everyone can have an unlimited number of people on their Protected List. In other words, you will no longer have to upgrade to Premium in order to share a protected post with more than 10 people.

    This is part of our ongoing effort to better support Protected Posts. For example, we recently added a feature that ensures that protected posts appear in other people's feeds and in the mobile app.

    Before you ask, we’ve been dying to add Multiple Protected Lists to the site for the longest time and this is a big priority for us.  Why haven't we done this already?

    We Want To Add More Privacy Features Without Hurting Xanga

    Well, adding features like more Protected Lists (and related things like Signin Lock, Footprints Lock and Friends Lock) usually ends up lowering Xanga's revenues.

    These privacy features have been immensely popular and have quickly become widespread throughout Xanga. As our users have embraced these features though, it's become difficult for us to run a sustainable community — especially given our ad-supported revenue model. It's just hard to grow Xanga with so much of the community’s blog posts hidden away.

    I also think the feeling of community has also suffered; I can't count the number of times someone has subbed to me and when I clicked over to check out their site, I found out that it's Friends Locked.

    We Want To Keep Offering Locks

    We've really wrestled with how to address this issue.  Our current path isn't sustainable, so we're at a fork in the road.  After brainstorming as a team, we've realized we're looking at two distinct paths:

    1. Stop offering locks over time
    2. Keep offering locks, but find a revenue model which supports them

    You've probably noticed there are a number of websites that are going down path #1: reducing the amount of privacy options and locks available on their site over time.  That's not a path any of us really want to go down.

    That leaves path #2: keep offering locks and our extensive privacy options, but find a revenue model which supports them.  We considered making locks available only to our Premium users: this would let us invest in more privacy options. In addition to Multiple Protected Lists, we also want to add IP-based Geography Locks, so you can ban particular IPs (die trolls!) or even “anyone in New Jersey” (or whatever state your ex lives in). But we felt strongly that we wanted to find a way that our free Classic members could keep using locks.

    Our Solution: Free Locks For All, But With Pageview Caps

    Finally we came up with a solution that we felt balanced all of the above: Free Locks For All, But With Pageview Caps. We’re still sifting through the data to figure out a reasonable cap - ideally we can find one that may not even impact many of you. Whatever the specific cap turns out to be, here’s how it would work:

    • Classic Member That Doesn’t Use Locks: This wouldn’t affect your site.
    • Classic Member That Uses Locks: We’re trying to find a pageview cap that wouldn’t affect most users, who would continue to get free usage of locks on their sites.  But if you had more views than the cap, your site would become viewable only by you until the next month (or until you upgrade your site).  Please note that you could still view and update your site in the meantime!
    • Premium Members: Whether or not you use Locks, your blog would be unaffected by this change. 

    Or Possibly No Pageview Caps at All? A Way for the Community to Work Together

    One of the things we hear most often about Xanga is how it has such a strong sense of community. Almost every day you see posts on the frontpage about Xangans helping each other out in times of need. And we wanted to find a way to embrace that sense of community.

    So in addition to being able to upgrade your own site at any time to get rid of any pageview caps (and get all the other features that come with premium), we thought we’d set an overall premium goal (e.g. say, 5 % of active users upgrading?) that the whole community could work toward reaching together.

    If the overall premium goal is met in any given month, then we could remove the pageview caps on *all* locked sites - even non-premium sites - for that month (or perhaps for the subsequent month, so Xanga gets a full month of benefits from reaching this goal).

    Remember, our goal is to be able to invest in major upgrades to the site and to our mobile apps (which are exploding in usage).  For example, as we mentioned earlier, we’re dying to add Multiple Protected Lists to the site and will finally be able to do so. These upgrades would benefit everyone, so we thought it’d be nice to provide a way for the whole community to work together toward making them possible.

    Nothing is going to change for at least a month or so.  We wanted to give everyone an early heads up, and also provide a way for you to purchase premium through our mobile app (we’re working on this now - especially important for our users who don't have access to credit cards.)  We anticipate this will take at least a month or so, so nothing will change until June at the earliest.  

    We Believe in Xanga

    It's been a dozen years since we launched Xanga.com. There have been ups and downs along the way, and most of our competitors have sold out (either financially or in other ways). We've stuck with Xanga over the years because we firmly believe that it’s a great and unique site  With your help and support, we hope to make it even better!

    Marc and the Xanga Team


    I'm not a premium member and I don’t use locks or protected posting.  Does this affect my site?


    I’m not a premium member and I *do* use locks, but my site doesn’t get many pageviews per month.  Does this impact my site?

    Probably not. We’re still sifting through the data to settle on a specific monthly pageview cap. But we’re hoping to find a reasonable cap that doesn’t impact too many users.

    I’m not a premium member, I *do* use locks and my site gets a good number of pageviews per month.  How does this impact my site?

    Once your site has reached the monthly pageview cap (we’re still determining the specific cap - see previous FAQ), your site will be viewable only by you.  You can still update and view your own site and wait for the next month for the cap to reset.  Or you can upgrade to premium, and your site cap will be reset to infinity.

    I'm not a premium member and don't use any locks, but I *do* use protected posting. Does this impact me?

    When these updates go into effect, all classic members will now have an unlimited number of users in their Protected List.  Please keep in mind that pageviews of protected posts *will* count towards monthly pageview caps for classic members.  Again though, we’re currently sifting through the data to try to find a reasonable monthly pageview cap, so this should not affect most of our users.

April 27, 2012

  • Preview: Upcoming App w/ Photo Effects, Faster Uploads, Easier Sharing

    Usage of our Xanga Mobile App has been exploding as our smartphone users have really embraced the new app.

    We've been busy upgrading the app as quickly as we can, adding loads of new features and bug fixes! The new version will be available within a week or two on both Apple and Android platforms.

    In the meantime, we wanted to give you guys a preview of what's coming soon:

    Photo Filters and Effects

    Now you can edit your photos right in the app:

    Photo Effects - BeforePhoto Effects - After

    Faster Upload Options for Big Photos
    Photo upload options make it a lot easier to share photos over a slow connection:

    Photo Resizing Options

    First Few Photos from Weblog Entries Now Shown in Feeds

    People have been uploading lots of pics, so we wanted to better highlight them in your feed:

    Weblog Photos Shown In Feed

    We also added a number of other features:

    • Faster Browsing - the app now remembers your last place in any feed when you click in and out of it to view individual posts
    • Easier Sharing - you'll see a new share button on the bottom of each comment page, letting you email or SMS a link to friends and family
    • User Search - a quick way to jump to a specific user who might not be on your subscriptions list

    … along with a bunch of other little fixes and enhancements.

    We'll write another post to let you know when the new version is available, but keep your eyes peeled for new updates on your phone!

    - Marc

March 10, 2012

  • Quick Update on Today's Server Issues...

    Hey guys!

    We were at our server facility yesterday and today doing site upgrades and maintenance. Unfortunately this morning a circuit flipped that wasn't supposed to and we had to restart all of the site servers to bring it back up. Sorry about that!

    Things should be back to normal, although we'll be ironing out a few smaller issues over the next few days. Please let us know if you're noticing anything unusual, and we'll take a look.


February 9, 2012

  • Protected Posts in Your Feed!

    If someone writes a protected post and puts you on his or her protected list, it usually means the post is important for you to read.

    But until today, the only way to see protected posts was to click into your subscriptions and then click on the "protected" filter. These important posts were pretty hard to find and sometimes completely missed!

    Now protected posts should start showing up right in your feed (aka "Universal Inbox"):


    They'll be marked as "protected" to make them even easier to spot.

    This update should work for all new protected posts that you write; it should make them a lot easier for the people on your list to find!

    - Marc (with thanks to Justin)

    P.S. you should start seeing protected posts in the Xanga Mobile app now too.

January 26, 2012

  • Quick Update about Message Counts

    Earlier this evening we started seeing a lot of errors from our messaging system. It turned out to be related to the way we calculate the message counts for daily/weekly stats and number of unread messages.

    As a quick fix, we've temporarily set all message counts to zero. It should let you all keep using the messaging system while we figure out the underlying problem with the counts.

    We'll try to get the true counts back in place asap!