semi-private or secret personal blogs
September 3, 2015 8:35 PM   Subscribe

I used to be part of a group that blogged anonymously and read anonymous blogs through xanga, which effectively shut down a year or two ago. I really miss this community, as well as the opportunity to read these sorts of semi-private blogs. How can I find a similar community?

Xanga allowed me to blog to a very select audience of people (in my case it was no more than 3-5 people) and also follow the blogs of a few people. I followed these blogs for almost a decade, and ended up making some good friends in the process. They weren't anybody special or famous or with any particular skills or remarkable lifestyle-- they just happened to match my demographic*. It was so nice to read material that isn't written with the number of comments/likes/views/retweets/whatever in mind, and to be able to limit my audience to a group of people who I trust will understand the context of my content.

The most common way I would come across these blogs was through "blogrings." I recall there being a blogring called "I have a secret blog" and it consisted of semi-private diaries. I didn't follow the entire blogring, but I would browse the blogring from time to time to see if I liked any of the blogs fitting that genre.

I don't find this arrangement be well replicated in Wordpress, which I believe lacks blogrings (but correct me if I'm wrong!). I suppose I could browse Wordpress by tags, but tags are sort of by definition publicizing, so somebody who was posting a semi-private personal blog might be harder to find via this approach.

Does anyone know where this community went after xanga evaporated? Any suggestions for ways to find a community like this again?

*Specifically, the community I belonged to could pretty much be summed up as "high-achieving sorta-secretly-unhappy Asian-American women, mostly in medicine," so if you know where this group hangs out online now, I want in!
posted by gemutlichkeit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Well, what happened to those 3-5 people?
posted by crazy with stars at 8:49 PM on September 3, 2015

Response by poster: Oh, I am still in contact with some of them and it's awesome! Some, however, did remain 100% anonymous so we lost contact.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 8:52 PM on September 3, 2015

I posted about this for fandom and none of the answers were quite the same, but what you're talking about with xanga could totally be redone on dreamwidth, which takes privacy pretty seriously. You'd have to reach out to the people you wanted to reconnect with and get things started, possibly just as a community. You could do a Facebook Group, but I find those bleed over to RL (there needs to be an acronym for RL-me online vs different me-online) too easily.

I set up a Tiny Letter and randomly send updates off to a group of people from LJ, after I put a note about the tiny letter on my last LJ post. It's not close to the same, but it helped enormously a few times. A mailing list has a different feeling though from a blogging community because it's more of a circle than taking turns at a mike sorta.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:55 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

In limited forms tumblr can operate this way, partly because of the general anonymity - people can change their blog names at will and be essentially unfindable unless you're already following them. Also tumblr is not great for *per se* blogging as the mechanisms for commenting are not really there. You can like and reblog and leave comments in a limited form, but it's not something a Xanga user would recognize as the same experience.

Livejournal sort of has this, kind of, but that product is not as strong as it used to be.

I'm genuinely curious to know if you find something that works for you or at least what you try and what works and doesn't.
posted by artlung at 7:46 AM on September 4, 2015 might have what you are looking for.
posted by rpfields at 2:05 PM on September 4, 2015

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