I LOVE Xanga. I ADORE Xanga. The Xanga platform has allowed me so much freedom to play around with my html, and it's more 'point and click' user friendly for my head than other blog hosts. I won't go into the 20 different blogs just on Xanga I've made over the last 9 years, etc.
I'm aspie. I've never handled being a social person very well, but a couple of my Xanga blogs wound up putting me in some spotlights that had me recoiling like a salted snail. Even when the interaction is 100% positive, my nerves get a little fried because I misunderstand the social dance. I've been very happy with just having lurkers. I don't whine about not getting comments, but I do think it's fun to play with plugz and trackers and cross posting media links between my Xanga blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on. I daresay I've gotten pretty good at driving traffic, as I have demonstrated to a friend who allows me unfettered access to his blogs and forums at syfydesigns.com, an experimental playground being watched by a few twitter peeps, including Snarkalecs and Wormhole Riders. In particular, Lexx fans around the world know my grandfortuna Xanga site as being synonymous with Lexx since 2006 and have tracked through regularly checking on it for years even during the year and a half I pulled it all into protected posting. (Alas, my sitemeter tracker host moved and lost my original count, it is much higher than what it shows on my page.) In my eyes, Xanga isn't dead so much as not being utilized to potential by bloggers who aren't cognizant of how to 'game up' their traffic by cross linking. I sincerely have no problem paying for my main blogs because I use them heavily, and will gladly pay twice the yearly fees once Xanga has moved over to WordPress.
Who I am on Xanga has been so important that it will be going into a book (hopefully soon). Learning to be a public person in media has been a huge challenge for me with my Aspergers, to the point of involving a psychologist since 2007. Autisable through Xanga was a big part of my personal breakthrough, and even though I rarely interact there now, Joel is a hero to me. I'm not good at fielding people contacting me personally when they find me and get excited about finding a fun and positive person on the spectrum, but I'm glad that whatever they find in me is a good thing.
I have talked to a number of people about their online identities and personalities (I have a sociology degree) and how afraid some of them are to be 'real' in public on the internet. It's a very scary thing to allow yourself to become vulnerable. While I don't think it's a good idea for people to post pix of kids and grandkids for many reasons, I also don't think it's wise to be so completely underground that no one has a clue if everything you put online is a lie. Part of the book I'm working on has everything to do with who we are publicly and privately. Some people like to make fun of bloggers posting pictures of what they had for breakfast, or letting the world know they got their laundry done. I think people who deride others for openness and honesty are hiding issues of their own, and one very interesting personal story in particular rocked a world fandom because I have a blog on Xanga.
Social media is a real thing, and such a big deal that psychologists actually study how people handle their interpersonal interactions on social media. My blogs over the last 9 years, both public and private, are a vital journal for me to go back through and see where I've been able to adapt and thrive, or where I'm stuck in a holding pattern indicating some difficulty in my personal growth. Blogging, for me, has been especially helpful since I have a social deficit, and I have learned to look back as a 3rd party and not only assess myself, but set goals. One goal has been to pare down my 10,000 word emails to a couple of sentences or a very short paragraph (or no email at all). I've been able to tame my compulsion to blab ceaselessly in print once it was pointed out to me. Setting my tone has also been a challenge, involving rewrites galore. And etc.
I use metaphors in my head all the time. Surfing the internet is part of what I've become very good at. So now I'm getting ready to shoot the curl with Xanga in its relaunch to an upgraded platform, and I'm not going to get knocked off my (key)board. I don't 'jump ship' easily because I'm aspie. I'm backing up my stuff just in case, because that's the smart thing to do, but I will first and foremost always be a Xanga fan no matter what happens next, and long after Xanga goes *poof* and is gone, I will remember it quite fondly. In some weird way, blogs are like my fashion statement, I wear them like clothes and change them with my moods. Here I am bluejacky. And here is the core of who I am. Bluejacky has by far been the most popular blog I've ever made, aside from Lexx. This time next year I want to be wearing a Xanga t-shirt and say I survived the move, like people wear weather disaster tees saying "I survived Hurricane Ike".