From Xanga to MySpace to Facebook

The evolution of social networking has always fascinated me. I still remember the “good old days” of high school (around 2005 or so) when everyone started using this thing called Xanga (pronounced “zanga”). You could start your own online journal, connect with your friends in groups called “blogrings”, comment on their journals, and give them something called “eProps” (similar to the “like” button on Facebook) if they posted something you particularly enjoyed. Everyone was “up in everyone else’s business.”

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Then there was the mass migration to MySpace around 2006/2007. I think everyone left Xanga because it was mostly a platform for blogging and writing journal entries. A lot of the people I knew who had been on Xanga really didn’t like to write whole entries. They’d write a few lines and that would be it. MySpace offered a whole new array of services: blogging, posting pictures, comments, and a profile that utilized HTML and was therefore 100% customizable (not like Xanga’s pre-designed templates). MySpace just had more. There wasn’t so much of a focus on blogging and writing.

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Then Facebook came about and took over the Internet. In late 2008 and early 2009, everyone was starting to get on Facebook. I think we were all tired of ugly, cluttered MySpace profiles – people abused the HTML feature and added so much stuff that each MySpace profile would take ages to load. Facebook was a much simpler and cleaner interface and had many of the same features as MySpace. It didn’t seem as time-consuming as MySpace because there was no HTML code you could add and no customizable layouts. As more and more people discovered Facebook and created profiles, the more time-consuming it became. There were more friends to check up on, more pictures to be uploaded, more profiles to stalk… and Facebook added games.

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Now it feels like we can’t live without social networking in some form. It’s become one of the primary ways we communicate with friends and those who live far from us. Kids as young as 12 have never really known life without social media. Everyone knows what everyone else is up to and we can all be found online in some capacity. That’s a little scary.

How much of your life do you share online? Is social media an annoyance, useful, or both? What social media platform did you start with? Which is your favorite? ๐Ÿ™‚

6 thoughts on “From Xanga to MySpace to Facebook

  1. I’m feeling old. Of course, I felt that way when I was in high school and watched the change from DOS to Windows back in the late 80s. I use Facebook as a tool for announcing my blog posts, and when my writing gets published, I’ll trumpet it on there too. I’ve never understood the need to report my daily activities, and that’s my belief in privacy talking.

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    • I never talk about the minutiae of what I do all day, but I know a lot of people who do – and that’s what’s scary to me. The line of privacy is quite blurry these days… Thank you for commenting, Gregory. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Hello,
    I love your blogs by the way!
    Social Networking…. You forgot to mention. Yahoo 360. For those of us that wanted something, instead of MySpace. It was a nice medium platform. The suggested move was to Multiply, which didn’t seem that catchy. Facebook – has it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. I guess where you socialize on the internet, has a bit to do, with where you socialize in reality. Everyone has a different comfort zone. Sometimes, sharing the negative things, is really, the positive thing to do. Other times, sharing the positive information, is a negative thing to do. Care2 – has a really nice social aspect with a profile page. You can be there for good causes and meet others, with common – good intentions.

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    • Strangely enough, I have never heard of any of those you mentioned… Yahoo 360 sounds vaguely familiar, but Yahoo really gets on my nerves for some reason so I try to avoid it. That’s true about the comfort zone – most people I knew were more comfortable with posting pictures and things like that rather than blogging…

      SocialVibe is similar to Care2 – you can support your chosen organization and talk to others… I like happy social networks like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m glad you like my blog. Thank you, Mindy!

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  3. I’m with Greg ~ I use FB to announce new posts on SLTW and to speak when spoken to by one of my FB friends.

    I occasionally share what I’m doing, but more often I share infomation and leave conversation for SLTW.

    BTW: If you are interested in reading an excellent blog about social networking, I recommend Kristen Lamb’s Blog. She’s on my blog roll, but here’s the link:

    http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

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