My first forays into blogging started eleven years ago on the old blogging platform Xanga.
Setting my site up just five months before I joined Facebook, it was the place where friends shared thoughts, updates photos, and news. It was our primitive form of the News Feed. The community of friends involved was so much fun, in a way that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have never been able to replicate.
Many of those friends who had Xanga sites have blogs today. Some update them regularly, others, well, don’t. Most of us are on Facebook too, but still not the same.
For some reason, on Monday I decided to log on to Xanga, which is going through some sort of transition. But I found that I could download my old content and migrate it into this blog. I wish I would have known this would be possible three years ago when I spent several weekends taking screen shots on Evernote of each post on my old blog because I just had this feeling that Xanga wouldn’t be around for ever. I know, it’s weird. It’s the historian in me.
Anyways, I did migrate the old posts from Xanga to this site. Every post that you find on here pre-dating 8/14/2008 (my first post on this blog) is from the Xanga site, a glimpse at the musings of a younger me.
Reading through a handful of these posts brought more than one smile to my face, and an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I don’t know if it was because I was still naïve as to the power of the Internet to impact your reputation (professionally or otherwise), if I was just more idealistic, or if I was just young, but I found my posts from the collegiate era of my life to be, if sometimes shallow, also very authentic and open. Not carefully guarding identities and activities. Just an open window into my life.
I don’t know that I will ever be that open again. Time, wisdom, and caution have informed the way I interact online these days. But I hope at the very least that the authenticity that characterized my early writing will continue to be exhibited as I share now.
Also, despite some people’s desire to withdraw from the blogosphere and social media, I still long for a return to the community of the good old days of Xanga. I hope that the friends who blogged will pick it back up, and we can engage in interesting and authentic discourse online.
Do you have any old blogs, journals, letters, or other recordings you love (or cringe) to revisit? What have you learned or how have you changed? I’d love to hear about it.
And do you have a blog where virtual cobwebs have been collecting on the World Wide Web? Write something! Come back to the community.