Monday, 4 May 2009

MetaxuCafe is dead. Finally the link, clicked, ends in a 404. It has been several years since I first found MetaxuCafe - a literature social community on the Web with lists of lit bloggers, a post facility, and threaded comments. But today the 'image missing' that had been indicated in my blog's right-hand column (reserved for favourite sites) was replaced by a blank space. No longer was the image just removed from the target server; the URL it was sitting on had completely disappeared.

I tidied up, removing the link to MetaxuCafe from my blog's Template page. I had been waiting for the 'This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.' message to change. It did, but instead of the site returning in full flower, the 404 appeared. MetaxuCafe is officially dead.

I had posted many times on MetaxuCafe. I posted in native mode and I posted links to posts on my blog. In this sense, MetaxuCafe was the first 'aggregator' I had used, a long time before Facebook came along. It must have been early in my blogging career, which started in January 2006. I didn't join Facebook until two years later. This is surmise (there's no record of when you joined in Facebook, and I never thought to make a note) but I guess it's pretty accurate.

Nevertheless, I stopped posting on MetaxuCafe outright some time in 2007. There wasn't enough action to satisfy my need for connection. I'd post a link and wait for comments which never came. I saw comments - trite I thought - on others' posts and scoffed inwardly. Where I once visited daily I stopped going altogether. Thus the world turns.

Literary blogging is a healthy but under-recognised segment of the blogosphere. There are even fewer culture blogs, but these seem to get more accliam than their purely literature-focused counterparts. This may have to do with the low profile - apart from the occasional blockbuster - that literature possesses in society generally. It's not just middle aged women who are interested in books, however.

MetaxuCafe may be thought to have been killed by Facebook, which is at the 200-million-plus mark in terms of membership. As one social site went downhill, the other rose supreme. And it seems that other social networking sites, like Twitter, are failing to keep up the pressure. "But Facebook is like sooooo January 2009" I heard tonight at writing class. "Why don't you write about Twitter instead?"

I cringed inwardly. I'd hate to think that my fellow lit blogger Reading Matters was right after all her intransigence. Having resisted the urge to sign up for Facebook, the blogger recently started tweeting, and posting the tweets on her blog.

My blog is completely separate from my web page but I often post links to it in Facebook. Occasionally one of these links will result in a click-through, but not often. I'm not too concerned. I blog because I enjoy it, am stimulated by the writing exercise and entertained by the clicks I get. I don't blog out of vanity, just as I don't use Facebook out of vanity. They serve different purposes but are both relevant to my personality and persona.

As for MetaxuCafe, it seems that it didn't serve enough purposes for enough people. It has gone to its grave quietly, like a slowmo projection of a sinking ship, and all passengers escaped in liferafts.

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