January 19, 2006
A Growing Chronology of Xanga
1998 This is really an interesting "behind the scenes" perspective on the origin of Xanga:
That's Biz Stone, known as Genius on xanga, linking from his current blog, www.bizstone.com. to junklog.com which is self-described as " ...a site for logging and rating what you've read, watched, listened to and played."
Biz Stone, aka Genius, of course, was the original "Creative Director" of Xanga who then moved on to Google's Blogger and has now moved on to Odeo, Inc.
So what's Biz saying?
He's suggesting that Xanga as a blogging community is the result of his passion and NOT John's (current Xanga CEO) more junklog-like predilection.
If it wasn't for Biz, Xanga would be junk, too. So boasts Biz.
10/1998 Xanga starts up in a form that would be barely identifiable today.
Jewel is the first initially identifiable user.
11/1999 Xanga Alpha (not public).
05/2000 Beta Xanga (still not public) defines itself as a site for small online entrepreneurs to become affiliates (think: Amazon.com) and write/sharereviews.
10-2000 The Xanga testbed gets hotter, but still not public.
11/05/2000 First xanga post with a link in it. (...by John, Xanga CEO-type).
11/29/2000 The soon-to-be infamous ‘bianca’ (“Bianca Broussard”) is created and developed for PR purposes; there are several ‘bloggers’ about, but most, if not all, are apparently either 1) related to the Xanga enterprise by inside invitation or 2) fictional personalities created to shake out the testbed and to create a pre-public and fictitious sense of community.
12/18-19/2000 Xanga goes bigtime public as the first GeoCities members respond to a spam email recruitment from Bianca Broussard, a fictional PR personality of Xanga.
12/20/2000 ‘notforprophet’ is born; he gets the strange intuition that not everyone in the neighborhood is for real.
12/26/2000 I identify the first real “face” behind the Xanga enterprise.
12/30/2000 I identify more real “faces” behind Xanga. Membership climbs approx. 1,595 to 1,734 from 12/28 to 12/29 --which amounts to a one day increase of 9%.
3/7/2001 Blogrings are introduced.
3/10/2001 Angelfire spam recruitment underway (Bianca returns after 1-2 month hiatus).
5/2001 Many structural changes to popularity and ranking metrics; Premium ($$) appears.
5/8/2001 savvyweaklink host's Xanga's Weakest Link as a flaming spoof of the new wave of reality TV (Survivor) as well as "The Weakest Link." The challenge? "Who is allergic to intelligence? Whose typing is quicker than their mind? Who is running on empty?"
10/22/2001 "nfp, i think we have close to 40k members now... that alphabetical list started to be too much of a strain on our servers."
10/30/2001 Genius, aka Biz Stone, the former Creative Director (and father of Bianca) leaves Xanga. He eventually goes on to become part of the Blogger team at Google and now most recently resides at Odeo, Inc.
Winter 2002 “Xangalympics” is aggressively marketed by Xanga to its members, with the winner to get Lifetime membership, and the winning ‘Team’ to get other prizes. Winners are never announced.
2/5/2002 The first mobile blog webcam in the world is featured on Xanga. The WebCamMan streams live video into his post while driving down the highway and toreibjo, a blogger from Norway, comments live: "I can see the road from the inside of a car. You the movie! This is way way cool!"
3/5/2002 the great Xanga coder, the one and only seanmeister (since defunct, now just sean) discerns a code that allows the insertion of graphical comments (i.e., pictures, avatars, animated gifs, backgrounds, etc. along with words - see associated link for examples of what it looked like) on posts. Thus begins the short-lived Komment Revolution. Xanga would later "tighten up" the code to prevent such comments.
6/22/2002 Membership is estimated at 100,000 bloggers and traffic at a million hits a day.
7/2002 Xanga Store announced (never launches, now defunct).
Xanga Personals (date and mate-matching) started (defunct as of 2/26/2004).
7/29/2002 The Asian community on Xanga (now 95% of all bloggers) coalesces and ascends to the top of Featured Content.
8/6/2002 The first Xanga Blogchat is hosted on this blog. It finally brings assorted Xangans together for the first group interactive chat.
8/20/2002 Blocked Users feature is introduded for Premium users. CEO John toys with advertising Xanga's 10 Most Wanted (most often blocked) list, but the list never surfaces. Free Blocking (for non-Premium users) kicks in on 10/17/2002.
9/7/2002 Featured Content is divided into Premium and Classic views with Premium as the default. John believes this will guarantee "No more social propping - just stories, musings, pictures, fiction..." Ha!
10/15/2002 "International Xanga Meetup Day" is sniffed out and scooped by nfp before an official Xanga announcement is made. Monsur concedes that the scoop forces their hand and so Xanga Meetups finally birth
Heh, John set that up a while ago, but the original date wasn't convenient, so we held off on announcing it until it was all set... I was never aware that they rescheduled it... A weekend might be better, what with all the school kids on Xanga; and a lot of the venues (at least the NYC venues) seem like over-21 places. But now that you've scooped it, it looks like we'll have to go through with it!
1/10/2003 nfp subscribes Pres. George Bush to his blog. Xanga's CEO John passes the White House's response back to nfp.
8/25/2003 Xanga introduces Protected Postings. Condom use will never be the same again.
12/20/2003 In relative obscurity, this unfinished chronology of Xanga first gets devised.
3/12/2004 Xanga gets a Wickipedia entry. Current one here.
10/2004 BlackCat69 goes Protected. Henceforth, all the sex he is having with underage xangan females (that he has used his xanga to lure) will be safe. Somewhat later, blackcat69 morphs into Gucci_Man. The world population of cats is relieved by the disassociation.
10/10/2004 Xanga Metros launched. Xangans in small towns feel even more distanced (j. kiddin )
10/22/2004 Featured Content gets filtered to bar Adult Content.
12/30/2004 Attack of the Killer Xanga.
Various, 2005 Xanga bloggers make the news (as Xanga bloggers)...
In April 2005, the Fresno Bee reported that students at Buchanan High School in Clovis, California were using Xanga to insult and threaten their classmates. Also, cyber-bullying at classmates and family members was reported.
7/29/2005 "the dancopalypse" is upon us. (See post below)
8/23/2005 Xanga finally has a Search that works. But it only has a 2 month memory.
12/12/2005 Xanga hosts an estimated 21 million blogs.
12/20/2005 'notforprophet', upon his 5th xangaversery, reckons that he's 120 cyber-years old. (based upon observation that 3 years is the normal span for a PC under warranty, of support for "supported" software versions, and for the average serious blogger to hang on to dear bloglife. And yes, lcsaph, was there with him at the start - and it was not a coincidence.
12/31/2005 Say goodbye to Lifetime Premium. It's shelved as Xanga introduces Premium Plus.
1/18/2006 "the dancopalypse" starts a rumor? No, it must be true!
There is a xanga virus going around and I wanted information on what to do about it.
update: It turns out the TheTheologiansCafe blog was the unwitting host of a phishing attack upon his readers this morning; it was not a virus or a blogworm. And his blog alone appears to have been the sponsor. The phisher has been outed. All's lala in Xangaland again.
1/20/2006 "the dancopalypse" finally redesigns his blog-replacing the profile pic, putting up a banner, getting rid of broken links and the hideous blue background-and then immediately retires from Xanga. Thousands of proppers huddle to bid farewell.
Got input? I'll update. Really, has anything happened in the last 2 years? Or did I miss something important earlier along the way?
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