February 27, 2014

  • This May Be My Last “Xanga 2.0″ Post

    Last Post2


    My premium account is set to expire and with that, my ability to post or make any update to my Xanga account.

    I’ve put in a request to have all accounts expiration times frozen while Xanga is in a transition state.

    In my opinion, it makes no sense to have people’s accounts expire while Xanga is only semi functional to the point where standard free WordPress accounts have much more features and ease of use.  To have folks accounts expire now means people would have to submit payments to renew their account- and what would be the motivation to renew an account in this current state?

    The benefits of keeping all current accounts active is that it gives folks at least the opportunity to see the finished state of Xanga when that happens so they can make an educated choice of if the new version is worth paying for. It also gives Xanga a set of “beta testers” while they make improvements to bring the site up to speed.

    Assuming that this is my last post-

    I’ve posted it before, but it doesn’t hut to do it again – my updated blogging site is on standard WordPress:



    I’ll be posting my investing/trading/etc… thoughts and actions there.


    I’ve also posted a suggestion there on how to make standard WordPress more “Xanga-like” (old Xanga) while Xanga is rebuilding during the transition phase:



    Standard WordPress has more features working now which makes it easier to form a community at this time.


     I hope that Xanga does the right thing and keeps current accounts active, but if they don’t, remember free WordPress remains a good alternative.



November 30, 2013

  • “Unofficial” Xanga Update

    Since Edlives has been gracious enough to provide several non official updates because the XanaTeam is “behind the scenes working on issues”, I’d thought the least I can do is offer one as well…


    It’s been 3 months now since the original Xanga site closed and was replaced with the “new” version. The site has been without a “frontpage” or any group meeting area for that whole period. For a social site that “claimed” it’s focus was on “community”, this is a very disappointing situation.

    A check of what’s working:

    Much of basic WordPress features and functionality is still inoperable such as real time comment notification or search tools to find other active users.

    What updates have we received from “The XangaTeam” in the last three months?

    Let’s check….


    1) Front page updates?

    Nope. The Xanga Splash/Front page (Xanga.com) hasn’t been updated since the first week of the shutdown.



    2) Facebook updates?



    Nope. No updates since September 9.


    3) Twitter?


    Nope – also no updates since September 9.


    So no updates for months, and many features still out of commission.


    There is however, one feature that IS working- the subscription expiration counter- as in, all current paid members are being billed as having access to a fully functional working system and will be required to pay up to renew when your subscribed time runs out.

    Folks are currently getting booted when their subscription time expires….


    There have already been cases where current subscribed Xangans with less than a year of premium membership remaining from the old site have been notified that their subscription is expiring, or have been already reduced to “reader status” only.

    Does this seem fair and reasonable to you? To charge people access time for a site at the current level of operation?

    Those who have paid for what was promised “A superior alternative to basic WordPress”, need to let their voices be heard to Xanga management immediately- that is,  if you can locate them.

    Meanwhile, EdLives claims that it’s mostly up to you to make things better – that Xanga is counting on YOU to be the force of change.  Does that seem reasonable?

    Those who bought full year and multi-year memberships – how long will you continue to sit back and accept what’s being served out? At the very least you should tell them to freeze the “subscription clock” until you get a sufficiently functioning system.




August 29, 2013

  • Today is the Final Day of Xanga 1.0: Site Going Down at 12AM EST

    Xanga 1.0 Closes Today 8-29 at Midnight EST



    The “goalposts” have been moved yet again, but this time- SURPRISE- the schedule is moving up slightly.


    Rather than waiting until after August 31 as previously stated to move over to Xanga 2.0, they are shutting down “1.0″ tonight at midnight EST.


    If you haven’t backed up/archived your stuff, the clock is ticking!


    Some other interesting info from the global update today is that they will only be doing direct blog transfers for CURRENT premium members and those who have pledged for new memberships.


    Remember the older info that ALL past/present premium blogs would be migrated over along with as many “TRUE” accounts as they could as well?

    Erase that.



    Here are the NEW CHANGES:

    Accounts that have been active in the last 5 years have been “ARCHIVED” and will be “available” IF the user has pledged to pay $48 or more for Xanga “blogging rights”.


    This means that the only blogs that will be visible come “2.0″ will be just current premium members and those paying $48 to blog. It’s gonna get real “cozy” and exclusive in the new version.


    Fare thee well Xanga 1.0…


     Xanga 1.0 Closes Today 8-29 at Midnight EST



August 23, 2013

  • Has Anyone Received an Email From Xanga Yet Regarding Blog Transfer?

    I think I already know the answer, but here’s the question-


    On July 31, Xanga updated and announced they would be mailing notifications “imminently” to folks who contributed to the pledge drive with multiple blogs for them to select which blog(s) they wanted moved over to the new version.


    “We have also successfully imported the blogs of all of our current premium users… and are now working on importing the blog posts of people who have pledged to support our fundraiser.  (If you haven’t gotten an email already asking about which accounts you’d like to migrate over, you should be getting one very shortly!)”


    I haven’t heard of anyone having yet received any notification yet, and there is basically just a week left before the end of the month and the supposed “last day” of Xanga 1.0 before they upgrade to the new version.


    There have been no additional updates so……..


    Has anyone received an email from Xanga yet?

August 8, 2013

  • We Now Have a “Preview” of Xanga 2.0

    A quick check on Xanga’s contribution page shows that they have exceeded the pledge goal of $50K (modified) which means “Xanga 2.0″ will be a reality. As a matter of fact since they once again extended the “deadline” (can we really call it a “deadline” if it keeps moving further out?), people are still contributing – pushing the amount pledged in excess of $50K.

    Now that “2.0″ is a done deal, all that remains is the actual eventual transition to the new version, at which point non paying “1.0″ users will be cut off leaving only paying “2.0″ users. As such this will be my final critique on the matter (on “Xanga”, that is, haha cool) – since it’s really the “2.0″ folks who should be voicing their opinions going forward.

    For those new or nostalgic for my past “observations” about this entire campaign, here they are:

    1) The Xanga Paradox and Some Proposed Solutions

    2) Xanga Team Q & A: Are They Thinking Clearly?

    3) Open Letter to the Xanga Team

    4) The Argument Against a “Free” (Ad Sponsored) Xanga

    5) A Plan to Keep Xanga Free

    6) John, The CEO of Xanga Speaks!

    7) Alternative Free Websites Review



    I have to say that waiting until the last day (July 31st) to inform the community on what was to become of Xanga was another horrible decision and the height of disrespect and disregard for the needs of the users. Why would they do this? Well, if you think like an engineer and not a marketer, you’ll probably conclude that by waiting until the last day before saying anything, you’ll get the maximum amount of people pledging by the deadline – thinking they will hold back if they knew they had more time. That’s likely true, and worked as expected.

    However, from a marketing and “trust” perspective to the community, what was the cost? Answer- continued erosion of trust of the community towards the XangaTeam and another great loss of net traffic. By maintaining an information blackout from July 8th until July 31, the deadline, the XangaTeam forced EVERYONE including those most loyal and faithful – those that already paid to blog on “Xanga 2.0″, to make back up plans by selecting/moving to an alternative blogging site just in case the pledge drive was unsuccessful. Driving your best customers into the arms of your competitors is never a good idea. wtf

    I saw many blogs of people stressed out, very upset, and/or in tears of the thought that Xanga was in its final days. Was the extra money that important to put the most devoted folks through the wringer like that?

    The excuse received was that they were busy, and finally “came up for air”. The Xanga volunteer “spokesman” said it was a continued communication “issue”, but it’s clearly more than that.

    We are not children, so lets get real, shall we? There is truly no reasonable excuse not to give the community any updates until the very last day. The “too busy” excuse is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

    Here are all the updates we got on July 31st:

    1) Pledge drive to be reduced to $50K since John was pledging $10K

    2) Deadline moved to August 31st due to an agreed extension of the current lease


    In order to justify waiting until July 31st to update the community, the ideas of trying to extend the lease to move the deadline and making a “big donor” pledge, would have had to just come to life on July 30th, and then good fortune smiled on them as they were able to resolve those issues and update us the next day. whatevah

    Here are some quick and dirty updates that could have been easily sent out:

    1) We are still on track to delivering “Xanga 2.0″.

    2) John is contemplating making a big donation at the end to help out.

    3) We are trying to get a lease extension so we can move the deadline back.


    Each of those updates only took seconds to write and would have been great stress relievers to those worrying about Xanga’s final fate. Instead, nothing was sent out and folks were left to make their own conclusions.

    To me, this seems more of a lack of trust between the XangaTeam towards the community- as in they don’t trust us to be responsible with information. I’m willing to bet that they held back saying anything because they thought people would use it as an opportunity to delay pledging, not trusting the community as a whole to keep trying as hard to raise funds if they knew they had more time.

    The end result was they may have extracted a bit more money than they would have by including updates, but in my opinion, they lost a lot more in community respect as well as community members themselves. Figuring the end was near, many folks have moved on to other blog sites and have no interest in returning.

    Something also happened this time that was a big paradigm shift, but not that surprising when you think about it – I’m now seeing formerly gung-ho super devoted users that were psyched for “Xanga 2.0″ now becoming ambivalent about whether they even want to stay. I see users expressing buyers remorse over having paid for more memberships in advance. What does it mean when the most loyal and hardworking volunteers for Xanga no longer seem to care?

    While we never received the official “mock up” version of new version as promised, we do have a preview of sorts of what “Xanga 2.0″ will be like in terms of net traffic and remaining community. Just viewing your personal page or “Top Blogs” makes it all too clear of how much this place has slowed down.

    You see, when there are no further updates and a site closing deadline gets close at hand, a mass exodus tends to happen, and just giving an “all clear” signal at the last possible moment won’t magically get people to return.

    And just think – the current community has both future “2.0′ers” and remaining “1.0′ers”. How much quieter will it be when all the remaining 1.0 folks are gone?


    Without having at a minimum a free trial for ALL community members, Xanga has ensured the loss of their greatest asset, the built up community base as potential conversion customers. Creating a free trial after the fact of moving to the new version is really too late as those who would have been interested have moved on and won’t likely be returning now that they’ve already relocated.
    So Xanga will have to basically start from scratch, like a start up company rather than one of veteran status.


    I’m now passing the baton over to official “Paying Xanga 2.0 users” – they will have to be the ones to convince Xanga of the benefits of having some level of free blogging, and that they won’t feel cheated if Xanga changes plans with a free trial or free blogging announcement prior to the big move.

    In my opinion, the last best chance of pulling in current “1.0″ users is to announce a free trial or free blogging NOW before the switch. Afterwards, it will be much harder after the last remaining “1.0″ people have left.

    Good luck “Xanga 2.0ers” – it’s your future now – make it count.








July 31, 2013

  • And Here Comes the “Hail Mary” – Xanga Finally Chimes In on Pledge on the Last Day

    We finally heard from the XangaTeam, notably CEO John, on the last day of the scheduled pledge:



    They waited until the last day to give us an update. whatevah I suppose it could have been worse – they could have waited until late in the evening or perhaps a few minutes before midnight to make things ultra dramatic…


    When we hit the 2 days to go mark, I listed the following possibilities for the XangaTeam:


    1) Another “last minute” extension of the deadline, which is July 31st.

    2) “Hail Mary” last minute donor stepping in during the next two days to fill the gap.

    3) Xanga unceremoniously pulls the plug after not meeting the pledge drive goal and sites are inaccessible on August 1.


    As it turns out, they combined options 1 and 2 with a modification thrown in:


    1) The deadline has been extended to Aug 31st.

    2) Xanga (ie, John) has revealed itself as the “Super Donor” and is going to contribute $10,000 to the campaign.

    3) Since Xanga is pledging $10K, they are going to lower the Pledge threshold to $50K, so when the meter hits $50K, the goal will be met – that’s about $2k away.


    Since we have August to make ~$2K, it should be obvious to all that Xanga 2.0 is now basically guaranteed to be a go.


    One more piece of important info – they will now be moving the blogs of ALL donors, not just those who pledged $48 or higher. So if you want your blog to be transferred and you were never a premium user, any donation will now get your blog transferred.


    Here’s is the bottom line info again:

    1) John from Xanga has announced he is going to contribute the last $10K of the pledge amount.

    2) Because of this the pledge goal is now going to be set at $50K, and we are near $48K now.

    3) The deadline has been extended through August to give them time to complete migration.

    4) For non premium members of past or present – a donation of any amount will now get your blog transferred over.

    5) With the pledge goal now reduced to just ~$2K, for all intent and purposes, Xanga 2.0 is destined to become a reality



July 25, 2013

  • Every Beginning has an End – My Final Post on “Xanga 1.0″

    The Matrix Revolutions – Every beginning has an… by MyMovies_International


    This will most likely be my last post on “Xanga 1.0″ bummed

    Since I’ve upgraded to “premium” with my credits, that should allow me some time to check out “2.0″ for a little while anyway, IF it happens.

    Will the pledge drive succeed for “2.0″? We have no direct updates since July 8 (shocked) so it’s still in the air, but the fact that it’s been reported that they are working on 2.0 now and feel confident they will reach their goal makes me think the new version will get the green light. I guess all will be revealed at the end of the month.

    How and if this happens and how “smooth” the changeover will be is anybody’s guess.  Since a mass message never went out, the biggest surprise will be for the folks who still don’t know about the pending changes.

    Regardless of what happens with Xanga 2.0, I have to say I enjoyed Xanga 1.0 and the friends I’ve made here. Thanks to all my subs and friends for reading my economic snoozers and my documented efforts to succeed at trading for a living.

    The journey will be continuing here:



     It’s been a pleasure, Xanga 1.0… cool heart





  • Attention Anonymous California Browser -Don’t Be Shy

    The last several weeks I’ve been conducting an experiment of sorts…

    There’s an “anonymous” user from California that is apparently interested in reading my blogs, but only wishes to remain anonymous. No comments are left, but I can see blog after blog and different pages are being casually browsed or read.

    When I turn sign in lock on, activity stops. When sign on lock is off, first browsing is slow (as they discover they can access it anonymously), then picks up the pace as they start reading more blogs systematically and running searches of key words and well as going through archived material looking through older material.

    I can tell the difference between a “robot” search and a “human” search. =)

    I typically run an open blog that’s open to anyone to see, but there’s a difference between someone casually clicking on your blog and reading the current entry and perhaps some linked entries, as opposed to someone clicking blog after blog after blog, searching for blogs via tag words and going back to read past blogs in archives.


    So to the person really “interested” in my blogs….

    While I don’t really mind anyone looking at my current blogs as I write them, if you’re going to to keep going past a few days, multiple link clicks, run searches, or go though the archives for dated material, you really should identify yourself and say “Hi!” and leave a comment or two. Otherwise it comes across as “stalking” with a mixture of being rude/creepy- especially when the behavior is repeated over and over when I turn off sign in lock.

    After all, blogs are not general “public libraries” – it’s a person sharing their thoughts – so if you find something interesting share your thoughts on that subject as well, or at least give out a greeting. =)


    Don’t be shy – say “Hi!”


July 21, 2013

  • Let’s Stop the Xangan on Xangan Violence: Tough Love Vs Enabling Behavior


    As the clock ticks down to the end of “Xanga 1.0″, Xangan’s are faced with the stark reality that the landscape will be dramatically changed. Assuming the pledge drive succeeds, the new Xanga 2.0 will not have “free” (ad sponsored) blogging.

    As a result of this new policy, many Xangan’s have chosen to jump ship to other blogging sites that continue to use the free blogging model. Other Xangan’s have decided to stay under the new terms of “pay to blog”.

    The problem is I can’t help but notice the rising hostility from those among the “stay and payers” towards those choosing to leave.

    Before I continue, I’d like to add that I walk the line between the two groups – I made a pledge donation, and I also have no plans to continue blogging here under the “pay wall” model once my current premium time expires. I made the pledge because I’d like to see Xanga 2.0 make it out the door for old times sake and to help those choosing to stay. I choose not to stay because I also believe that their decision to end the free blogging business model is a serious business error on their part that’s counter to community growth and development.

    Casually browsing blogs and comments you can’t help but notice that battle lines are being drawn between those leaving and those staying. What’s worse, is that the attacks from those staying are becoming increasingly personal and nasty. Those leaving are getting branded as:


    1) Malcontents

    2) Ingrates

    3) Spoiled Children

    4) Free loaders

    5) Nobodies

    6) Clueless folks who fail to understand there is “no free lunch”

    7) Traitors

    8) Cheapskates


    I could go on  but you get the idea. I haven’t seen that type of rise in resentment of those leaving towards those staying. To be clear, I’m not including “Trolls” who eagerly cheer for Xanga to fail – for anyone who does that clearly wasn’t part of the community to begin with.

    First, this reaction is a clear indicator of the community damage Xanga has caused by their actions.

    Next, as someone who is among those “leaving”, I want to make some things perfectly clear to those staying who are attacking those leaving in this manner:


    1) If you are currently paying for premium, you are NOT paying for others to blog “free”. You are paying for increased service and functionality. Xanga 1.0 is based on the “ad revenue” model where they get paid from advertisers – along the same lines as “free” TV and radio. Xanga made a good income from this model until their net traffic fell to current levels.

    2) Those pushing the “no free lunch”, or one of its variants, see above. Xanga was getting paid by advertisers so please stop framing it as if free blogging was “charity”. Understand the business model.


    3) Those who practice pejorative name calling to those who disagree with Xanga’s actions need to get off their high horse and stop. Those leaving have as much right to voicing their views as those who are painting a positive picture with staying. Again, I’m not talking about completely negative trolling which should be called out, but people pointing out valid problems and concerns. Calling these folks “traitors” or saying things such “if you’re not happy, leave already” reeks of intolerance and attempted bullying rather than positive community values.

    Blogging in and of itself is also “paying” because it creates content for others to read and enjoy. Take a look at some of the bloggers you like to read and see if they are staying or leaving – won’t their absence diminish the “value” of your subscriptions?

    Why do you think the free blogging model even exists? The answer is simple – people are more likely to join a service where they see others going/hanging out. Empty places don’t attract people. Just about every social site (physical or web) knows this, but apparently Xanga has forgotten this “minor” fact.

    It can be argued that those who appreciate the community care enough to leave to show Xanga the error they are making. If Xanga wants this to be a thriving business, they need to do things that will attract people rather than repel them. Actions speak louder than words and a sizable drop in users is a clear signal that the current direction may not be a good one.

    If everyone were to just “suck it up” and stay regardless of their feelings on the matter, that would just be enabling Xanga to stay on their present questionable path. Sometimes “tough love” is needed to get someone to see the error of their ways and make the needed corrections.

    I can all but guarantee you that come August, the “new” Xanga will be strongly considering bringing back some type of free blogging, largely in part to the also “new” largely depopulated landscape.


    The true tragedy of this is they will have the learn the lesson of why free blogging is needed the hard way, causing great damage, strife, resentment,infighting etc,… to the community in the process.





July 18, 2013

  • Wall Street Arrogance/Stupidity & Government Enabling

    The country and much of the world is still reeling from the financial meltdown whose cause can be pinpointed to the major Wall Street banks and their toxic financial products they peddled throughout the globe. Today Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the largest US city on record to do so. 

    Cities around the globe are dealing with the pain of the one two punch of toxic products that were sold to them from the big banks and the collapse in property tax revenue from the flood of home mortgage defaults.

    Yet, despite the great carnage and ruin to people’s investments, homes, lives, and futures, you’d be hard pressed to find any one of the bankers or hedge fund players own up to any errors or wrong doing.

    Believe it or not, they largely place the blame on the blow up on the masses for not continuing to pay their mortgage. Forget about the fact that the banks had a hand in inflating home values to a bubble level, falsified income levels on loan applications so that the loans would qualify, fired appraisers who wouldn’t play ball and appraise homes well above what they really thought they were worth, and conned people with their sweet nothing songs of “you can always get a refi if you need to cash out or adjust your loan payments”. But when things went south, the defaulting homeowner gets the bulk of their finger pointing.


    The truth is Wall Street suffers from a case of terminal arrogance, thinking they are the “experts” at all times and never take blame for any mistakes, even as they siphon off funds from the citizens in the form of government bailouts. The growing government debt becomes “our” problem with pressure to cut medicare and social security benefits while increasing taxes. But when Wall Street firms make money, they would laugh at the notion of sharing their wealth with the general population. So despite their claim at loving capitalism, they are hypocrites that actually seek to socialize their losses onto others rather than own up to their mistakes and take direct accountability for them.

    Their mantra is “Heads, we win, tails, you lose!”.


    The reality is they aren’t as smart as they “think”, and arrogance is a poor substitute for having actual brains. Take the majority of hedge funds out there, upon scrutiny you’ll find just a handful of folks if any that actually know what they’re doing and the rest are just parasites sponging off the knowledge of others.The sad part is these parasites “think” they are as good as the folks who actually know what they are doing – that’s the problem.


    Here’s an example- you get into a conversation with one of these types about market or economic related matters- if they feel you have dared questioned their “all-encompassing” market knowledge, they will respond not with a knowledgeable answer that shows they actually know something, but they throw an arrogant “mine is bigger than yours” attack. You’ll hear such drivel as “Our firm has assets of over uptyump billion, we’re globally located, how much do you book in client wealth, we’re the largest this, the best that, etc…”

    While these are nice “sounding” attempts to make whoever is saying them seem superior, upon closer analysis, it’s all a bunch of garbage and a dodge from showing any “real” knowledge. What they are attempting to do is make the case that they have soo much money or assets that they must be sooo smart. Good con artists can also make the claim of great wealth from the money they gleaned from their victims, and that’s the meat of it really. Just because someone may be good at getting someone to invest with them, doesn’t mean that actually know what they are doing. It means the hedge fund or banks has convinced the prospective victim investor that they know what they are doing.


    Take these would be “geniuses” and put them in a separate room and make them prove they can generate real performance and not just spout out text book portfolio theory mumbo jumbo, then you will see just how “smart” most of them really are.


    And therein lies the problem- Wall Street has more “con artists” than actual smart people and being they are given so much power and deference by our Government, don’t expect our economic woes to go away anytime soon. Isn’t it interesting that it’s been over 5 years since the meltdown and there are KNOWN cases of intentional fraud and wrongdoing, and yet, not ONE bank exec has faced criminal charges.  Any case brought against the banks have been civil, and and the penalties small in relation to the overall profits made.


    This week another civil case opens up against Fabrice Tourre, one the sellers of toxic investment products that led to the meltdown. But he is just a “low man” on the totem pole of blame.



    I’m still waiting for “criminal cases” to be brought against the top execs, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Our government and attorney general  seems to be too afraid to rock the boat and cause potential economic upheavals with administering “true justice”

    … and so the arrogance continues, and we are all but guaranteed that there will be another Wall Street originated crisis because no one was made to pay for their misdeeds this time.






    Watch The Untouchables on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.