I think the current defining issue for John and Xanga is that they are still collecting complaints from potentially money-spending Xangans on their horribly static portal Help page. It is their spider web for gathering complaints and raking in more money from daily stragglers who return surprised and then decide to pay the $48 to get their blog back. So though it is terrible and socially-constraining for us not to have an interactive portal page, it is good for Xanga’s bottom line.
I don’t believe they think they can draw potentially paying stragglers back through a simple link or box on an interactive front page. If returning stragglers got to see (interactively) how little of their social friendship base remains, they might not be enticeable to pay to return to blog. So Xanga has erected a cyber-curtain and teases non-payers that there is something great going on behind the curtain. And I don’t believe the xangagods have figured out how to have “xanga.com” interactive for current members but redirect to a static Help/Problem page for potential members. With some work, it could be designed. But we are talking about a commitment to hard work that’s little evident anymore.