Remember Xanga? Well, it's about to go the way of LiveJournal, Friendster, MySpace, GeoCities and Angelfire soon. Social sites that were once hot that are now very, very cold. Xanga shutting down is inevitable unless the early social blogging platform can raise $60,000 from its few remaining users by July 15.
Valleywag, who called the site "a relic of an older, poorly designed era of the web" said "it almost certainly won't" raise the necessary funds.
Xanga launched a long, long time ago, pre-Y2K in 1998, if you can even imagine such a thing. Mark Zuckerberg was a high school freshman and David Karp was a middle schooler, both probably unaware that they will revolutionize social media with Facebook and Tumblr respectively. At its height, Xanga boasted 30 million active users, per Valleywag, which was a lot of users at the time.
Xanga shutting down was announced on the Xanga team's blog on Thursday, in a blog post titled "Relaunching Xanga: A Fundraiser." The Xanga team writes: "We've soared to great heights ... and then come back down to earth. Through it all, we've stayed with the site for over a decade now."
The reason for Xanga shutting down, is the New York City-based company's lease is up soon on the networking facility where they've been hosting their servers and the company cannot afford to renew their lease. The option the weblog community site would like to take is to port Xanga to open source blogging software like WordPress, and keep the community together. But for this option to work they would need roughly $60,000.
To prevent Xanga shutting down, the social blogging site will be turned into a paid model, where bloggers pay for hosting for their blogs. The Xanga team says that just being a Xanga member will continue to be free so other can subscribe to your site without paying a fee. However, it will be a hard sell to switch to a paid model seeing as there are so many free blogging platforms.
A huge plus for the paid model to prevent Xanga shutting down is that the Xanga team claims that they wouldn't have any ads on the blogs. And who wouldn't want an ad-free experience.
The Xanga fundraiser to prevent Xanga shutting down kicked off on May 30 and will be open until July 15. A year-long Xanga blogging membership will set you back $48 with a five year-long membership costing $240. If the company doesn't reach their target of $60,000, they will have to shut down shop and help users, who haven't already done so, download their data for free.
The Verge noted that "even the Xanga team doesn't terribly optimistic about its future," that Xanga shutting down is the most likely course. "This could be Xanga's chance to rally its supporters," Adi Robertson of the Verge writes, "but somewhere, my teenage self is crying."