[Ed. note: this was originally published on Xanga, a mostly defunct blogging platform]

The world of technological change comes at you fast, and this is especially evident in the arena of web journalling or blogging. From AOL to homespun HTML (animated GIFs!) to GeoCities to Xanga to MySpace to Facebook to Twitter…and beyond! I don’t know why this is, but each of those technologies went from novel to awesome to the gold standard to a washed-up, outdated has-been within the span of an elephant’s gestation period. This is frustrating to me because I want to adopt one platform and, in return for staring at targeted ads or paying a monthly fee, watch it evolve into something more and more useful with the passing years as it becomes universally adopted.

Dave Barry is a comedy writer. He’s very funny. I have read (and own) many of his books. I used to read his weekly column; it was syndicated in our local paper. Over time, I began to see a formula in his weekly articles…he’d start telling a story or begin down a particular vein of humor, then switch subjects abruptly, tell another story or pursue another vein, and then, and then, wait for it…..

He’d fire his parthian shot, a witty closer that referenced his original story just as you were forgetting it. It was ingenious…and hilarious! The effect was that, in maybe 500 words or so, he’d pull off a humor coup: set you up, distract you with another story, and then crack you up with a self-referential joke on a subject to which you’d only just become privy. It was like an artificial inside joke, created and used for laughs all within the space of one article.

Xanga sucks.

How did I do?