January 19, 2006

  • A Growing Chronology of Xanga


    1998    This is really an interesting "behind the scenes" perspective on the origin of Xanga:

    "This was john's idea for xanga back in 1998 but I was crazy for blogs"

    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).


    4/28/2001       Bianca is deactivated!


    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."

    Posted 10/22/2001 at 1:50 PM by john


    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.


    1/25/2002       James, the daily fix for a strong following of Xangans,  "leaves" Xanga (returns 2 weeks later).


    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!"


    2/6/2002      urnightmare (now banned) becomes the 1st Grand Flame, the first grand disrupter of  Xangatown.  After he moved into the hood, you could never totally trust your neighbor again.


    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! 

    Posted 10/15/2002 at 1:13 PM by monsur - delete - block user


    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 March 2005, 2 students at Grand Ledge High School used Xanga (and Myspace) to post entries which included death threats against a teacher.

    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.

    On May 17, 2005, police used a murder victim's last Xanga entry to identify his and his sister's killer

    In September 2005, Our Lady Of Peace Middle School in Columbus, OH expelled a student for insulting both teachers and students on her Xanga.

    Recently on December 8, 2005, Students of Taft High School of Chicago, IL have been suspended for posting threats about teachers and students.

    In early December 2005, police in Dublin, OH arrested a 14 year old boy for posting death threats on his Xanga site, threatening to kill classmates and teachers.

    1/14/2005          fuck gets totally Featured !  then fuck gets immediately banned (fucked?).  (followup: fuck knew the xangods and has since phoenixed once again.)


    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.

    Posted 1/18/2006 at 8:52 AM by TheTheologiansCafe


    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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