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June 23, 2006

So here I am on WordPress. I can thank Jen for bringing me here. I’ve had a blog since the term was still six letters prefixed by “we” (circa late 2000) and some kind of website since my first GeoCities page in 1996 (long before they were bought out by Yahoo!). For the past 5½ years my site has been on Xanga. Xanga planned to be a site for users to publish reviews, with the opportunity to keep a weblog as secondary; inevitably, though, everyone began to use it as blogging site and hardly anyone posted reviews. This was in some part due to a rather devious marketing plan which I will not detail here, but Xangans from 2000 know of what I speak. Anyhow…

Xanga held a lot of promise in the beginning, as it hosted a community of talented, engaging, adult writers. But as the decade continued and seemingly every teenager in this country (and many others) gained apparent 24/7 Internet access, this demographic essentially took over the site, and Xanga became a precursor to MySpace, which it now tries to emulate through extended profiles, chatboards, photoblogs, et. al. I can’t begrudge the Xanga Team their desire to grab a share of MySpace’s phenomenal success. They are a corporation, after all; they’re in business to make money.

Towards this end, what has plagued Xanga the most, from the beginning, is that it’s always been a shoestring operation. They started with maybe half a dozen staff and haven’t much more than doubled that. That wasn’t such a problem with a couple thousand users; it’s very much an issue with 50 million. The balloon is bound to burst. There’s been a range of technical issues from the beginning. For example, lately, the posts on my page have taken to cutting off right in the middle when displayed– and thus leaving no link for comments.

Over the past few years I’ve looked at other bloghosts: LiveJournal (too much like Xanga), TypePad (pretty, but not free: that’s a problem), Blogger (fairly attractive look, but little community feel), and the entries from the corporate heavyweights: MSN Spaces (offers nothing I’ve seen to recommend it) and Yahoo! 360— which I was so excited about– because I really like Yahoo’s products. I even tried to keep my blog there, but I just didn’t care for it. It doesn’t offer much customizability, and after over a year they’re still in beta; what’s up with that?

I’m a grown-up, thirty-one years old, and about to start my professional career, finally. I want to be taken seriously as a blogger, and as a writer in general. That’s why I have this username– jasonwrites; it’s as simple as my first name and the verb. But the verb, for me, is in the imperative mood. If I put this name out there, I have to live up to it; it’s intentional self-motivation. I’m hoping it will work a bit better for me here on WP.

What will you see here? A lot of personal stuff, to be sure; your basic journaling, recordings of my everyday life, which, though hardly adventurous, is never boring, at least for the one living it (me). But I also reserve the right to discourse on a veritable plethora of topics, including the big no-no’s for “polite conversation,” religion and politics– and especially why they shouldn’t mix. In the meantime, I’ll just cheat and copy-and-paste from my other sites– how’s that for instant content?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2006 12:42 pm

    You’re welcome 😉

    Glad to see you here! I think I will keep my blog here after my Sweden trip. Xanga may just become a void for me, and LiveJournal has always been just a way to keep up with a few friends (the privatization modes are really good; you can choose which lists of friends for which type of post). Greality is just there because of my time at the Trib.

    I hope you stay here. It’s a great place for blogging, and I like it the best.


  2. June 24, 2006 1:31 am

    I’m diggin’ this layout. It’s perfect!


  3. July 9, 2006 2:17 pm

    Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging at WordPress. I am new to blogging–only 4 1/2 months, but take tremendous interest in my work…and in the work of others.


    Shirley Buxton



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I teach, drink coffee, and occasionally write stuff.

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