Xanga 2.0 Preliminary Review

Xanga_2

 

Today I’ve been able to log onto the “new” xanga both as a premium user with full blogging rights and as a non premium users who can only read and comment of other blogs. I’ve done enough to be able to give a “start up” review on “Xanga 2.0”.

The new Xanga is still very much a work in progress and they freely admit that. They listed 4 phases of the transition to “2.0”, being

1) Data Migration

2) Site/System Tuning

3) Feature Building

4) Community involvement with site tasks.

They’ve stated that they are done with phase 1, and phase 2 is underway.

My initial reaction was, it wasn’t what I was expecting. We were told that WordPress would be the engine on which Xanga would be running, meaning the look and feel of Xanga would remain consistent to what we were used to. This isn’t the case as new Xanga is a lot closer to operating like a standard WordPress account than a “Xanga 1.0” account. Anyone expecting to dodge the WordPress learning curve will be disappointed. If you are already familiar with WordPress, the layout is similar in many areas.

Here are the features “1.0” had that are currently not present in “2.0”

  • No “Frontpage” displaying Top or Most Rec’d Blogs
  • Private messaging is gone
  • Profile details have been reduced to basic WP format
  • No credits or Mini’s
  • “Ish” sites appear to be offline
  • No footprints or tracking
  • No “Rec” or “Like” comment options

Friends and Subs have been combined in a weird way.

In Xanga “1.0” the typical user has 3 lists:

1) People they subscribed to

2) People subscribed to them

3) People they were friends with

All three lists were usually not identical, meaning that people were not friends with everyone they subscribed to, they may not be subscribed to all those subscribed to them, and the ones they subscribed to may not be subscribed to them. So the lists may have common names but also have their differences.

Xanga “2.0” combined all three lists into one super group of “Followers/Approved Followers list” . “Followers” can read your blog, but only “Approved Followers” can comment. The problem is the lists have been combined so you are now subbed to everyone who subbed to you, and all the folks you subbed to are now subbed to you. So basically your new “Friends” list is now everyone you subbed to plus everyone who subbed to your account in addition to your original Friends list.

You are limited to only seeing other “Xanga” blogs and don’t have access to other blogs like Blogspot, Tumblr, or WP blogs outside of Xanga yet. This means pickin’s are pretty slim in finding active users that only exist on Xanga. The vast bulk of the users I had subbed to are non premium and hence have no blogs  to be read.

Like WP, there  is no “user search” function so you can’t do a search to find other users- you’re basically limited to your sub/follower list as a quick searching tool.

Commenting features look to be still under development as you can’t directly reply to a comment made on a blog, but have to use the “Dashboard” to access the comment to make a reply- convoluted. Regular comments can be done with no problem.

If you are a non premium user that doesn’t have blogging rights, your Dashboard control is limited to just reading/commenting on your subbed blogs.

The biggest gripe in the current help section is…guess:  shock and concern about “missing blogs”, which is what I predicted time and time again since the big message to all users alerting folks to what was going on never happened. Now you have a ton of folks wondering what happened to all their blogs and data.

Overall, the new Xanga at this stage feels more like WP and without the front page, “Ish” sites, and user search features, the community experience is nullified. It will depend on who is still active on your sub list. At this point in time, WP has more community than Xanga since WP’s interfaces are fully operational while Xanga is still working on theirs.

As I’ve said, this is an early review which could change if Xanga makes good on their improvement goals. But at this point in time the case for paying to blog on a site of limited people and access and lower capability than its free counterpart would be a pretty hard one to defend, even by the most devoted users.

Lets have a moment of silence for “Xanga 1.0” it leaves behind big shoes to fill.

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21 thoughts on “Xanga 2.0 Preliminary Review

  1. Actually, WP has a like feature. Anyway, things like Minis, messages, friends don’t exist on WP, and I am not surprised the Xanga people never communicated that properly to those who pledged.

    Like

    • The WP “Like” feature doesn’t currently exist on Xanga. That and the other features will have to be added through software mods. WP is only supposed to be the operating platform to run Xanga – WP.com is just one particular version of the WordPress.org software.

      Like

  2. now that you’ve seen what I’m talking about, it’s pretty obvious that there’s nothing to even ‘encourage’ a user to make a premium account. I almost feel spoiled over here and more likely to contribute money to real wordpress at this point. :\ Can’t recommend this blog enough though! Those people that paid premium won’t have any clue what freebies are looking at when they sign in.

    Like

    • They clearly should be embarrassed charging folks for this level of functionality, or I should say lack thereof. It would have been better to keep everyone on board – at least they would have a lot more beta testers that they sorely need if they hope to eventually duplicate “1.0”. Instead they charged folks to beta test instead. I never expected it to be operating at a lower version than free WP, since that would make everything “you know who” was saying look HIGHLY inaccurate. At this point a case can’t even be made for attracting folks with a free account let along charging for one.

      Lots of folks doing their best to make “lemonade” over there for the time being.

      Like

  3. Pingback: When Xanga… Hits the Fan. | Illuminate

  4. I can’t even see what you are describing so well, since no link I at least can find gets me to the new Xanga site at all. From israel at least; haven’t tried a proxy. All I can access is the gaudy splash screen with the undated ‘We’re gonna be up at midnight.
    Glad I waited to send money; I do trust your reactions here, and thanks

    Like

  5. So I checked out Xanga 2.0, and you know what? I was really impressed! I mean, this whole time I was wondering, “Hmm, I wonder what the prototype for WordPress looked like back in the day,” and now I know!

    Seriously, the “revamped” platform is only further solidifying my suspicions that the Team is purposely setting up a situation in which it’s almost impossible for Xanga 2.0 to survive, all so that they can say, “We tried our best,” instead of “We quit.” There is just no way anyone can be this bad at business management. No freakin’ way.

    On the bright side, the 2.0 blogs will probably be much easier to export to WordPress now, so the Team won’t have much trouble moving them over when they shut Xanga down for good. Because you know that’s coming.

    Like

  6. I’m so unimpressed with the way the xanga 2.0 turned out. Even though I can still post entries, there’s no hope of me ever wanting to use it. That site is so FINISHED! And what sucks is that you can’t even delete it. That’s how badly I don’t want to be associated with that site. Xanga 1.0 for life! Oh the irony!

    Like

    • The current condition is certainly not going to attract people to their site, especially to pay to blog. If they can’t fix their current problems in a relatively short time, they will likely lose what’s left of their base, which doesn’t seem to be much.

      Like

  7. I can’t imagine they’re serious about xanga. In the present state of the internet it would crazy to kill off your free writers, especially on a site that has so few to begin with.

    I would have asked the community to pull x dollars together so that we can work together to keep the site going. Losing more posters wasn’t something xanga could afford.

    Like

      • I know. I told them recently on thexangateams page that it was a terrible idea to kill off all the free writers. There’s nothing to read there anymore. At least before it was a ghost town, but now what do we call it? A tumble weed town?

        Like

  8. Pingback: Xanga 2.0: 1st Year Full Review: The “Anti-Social” Network | Soullfire

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