To start your own personal blog on Xanga, you'll have to create an account with the site. This is just a simple one-step process, in which you choose a username and password, enter your e-mail address and date of birth, verify that you're a real person by copying a bit of CAPTCHA text and agree to the Xanga Terms of Service. The regular version of Xanga is free to join (we'll talk more about what you might want to pay for on the next page).
Once you're logged into the site, you can jump right into sharing your thoughts and opinions. When you first sign into the site, there's a link in the middle of the page that reads "New Weblog Entry." Clicking on it leads you to an editing page, where you can write whatever's on your mind at the time. Once you're finished spilling your guts, clicking on the "Submit" button publishes the post to your Xanga home page.
One popular feature for users on Xanga is the ability to design their own personal blog pages. It's similar in nature to how members of the social networking Web site MySpace can change certain aspects of their profile, like the background color or music played from the page. Using markup language like HTML, Xanga users can add a unique background to their pages, too. After getting permission to use a chosen image, users can take the image's file URL and paste it into the "Background Image" section of the "Look and Feel" editor. Xanga users can also post background music onto their pages by pasting in the host URL of a music file (MP3, MIDI or WAV). The site acknowledges, however, that unless the music has been written or recorded by the user or the user has received permission from an artist, it's probably illegal to share the tune.
So is there more to Xanga than just blogging about your thoughts? We'll talk more about Xanga's community aspect on the next page.