Day 133-- on my gripe with Xanga

I distinctly remember something like this about a year and half ago: "I'm not switching to any other sort of 'blog; I'm staying with Xanga. <>."

So I've been writing primarily on Blogger for the past few months. I'm totally fine with this. I avoid Xanga as much as I can, updating mainly to get some warped satisfaction from seeing my little avatar floating near the top of the various BlogRings.

My Xanga avoidance, you see, comes from a botched attempt to write a review a few months ago. It might've been the beginning of summer '06, come to think of it, so it was longer than a few months. It was one of the best reviews I'd ever written. Ever. I'm serious. I was so pleased with it that when I hit "Post" I failed to realize that I hadn't backed it up because I was neck-deep in a cloud of bliss. Xanga ate it with an awesome "INTERNAL XANGA ERROR" message. Chomp! I was bummed to the point of speechlessness. I tried various ways to retrieve it, including me manually digging through temp files, but that was fruitless. (For the record, it was a review of the Vigilantes of Love's Killing Floor album. Great record!)

So that little incident was the catalyst that caused the glossy white protective coverings to lift from my eyes, exposing all of Xanga's flaws in one fell swoop. It was like some little man showed the city commissioner (me) how dank and slovenly Xanga City's alleys and gutters were, overflowing with pimps and drug dealers and dying dogs (Xanga in general). This is a possible exaggeration.

As much as I love some of the staff (one programmer was a regular reader of my reviews), the site feels like a hastily designed seventh grade art project. I know they're redesigning it. But it feels more and more cluttered, like the seventh-grader in question is layering more and more swirls of squeeze-bottle paint on top of his project to make it more artsy, but it still looks like poop. The design is just, well, bad. I want to find someone's photos. OK. I can do that. Oh, what's this, I have a message? I click on the link and get an error, so that it registers that I read the message but I did, so when I go back to find the "new message" it's impossible to find. Altering my site's layout was also a grueling process. I had to basically tweak code I didn't entirely understand to get something even REMOTELY uniform in color. Those little lines that separate each post were the worst. Oh, and there's not good way to organize old posts--if I want to read something old but don't remember the exact date, I can guess random dates and dig through the posts.

And this is the just the flour for the cake mix. I could go on and on, but I want to point out how wacky the site design is. It might be OK for Little Joey Punk Rawker, Angst Management in the 6th Grade, but it doesn't cut it when you're using it for something other than venting sprees.

Blogger isn't perfect; I'm well aware of this, and have been on the receiving end of some goofy rubbish the past few months. But at least I don't feel like screaming and clawing my eyes out every time I see my page. It's simple, spartan, and I can tweak the side bar and template with easy as I recline in my easy chair, pipe and brandy sniffer within reach, smoking jacket and manservant in their respective places. Wait, uh...nevermind.

So, one of my excuses for sticking with Xanga before was, "But, like, it--uh--it has those links to Amazon dot com that I can use for my reviews!" Great reasoning, Jason. Great. I wised up. Why don't you, Xanga user?

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 1/16/2007 11:26:00 PM,


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