I just received this email message from AOL last night regarding the status of AOL Journals since AOL is shutting down that blogging service this month. They have decided to facilitate migration of AOL Journals over to Google's Blogger blogging service. The letter:
Dear AOL Journals user,
As we wrote in an e-mail on Sept. 30, AOL(R) Journals will permanently shut down on Oct. 31. It's never an easy decision to shut down a feature, especially one like AOL Journals that some of our members have used for a long time. But with a decline in Journals usage, we have to look carefully at all of AOL's features to make sure we're providing as much value to our members as possible.
Though we know this might be an inconvenience, the good news is that we've partnered with Blogger.com to provide a smooth transition for your journal. Blogger is a free service from Google that makes it easy to share your thoughts with friends and the world. Blogger supports most of the features you've come to expect from AOL Journals, and it's easy to get started. If you wish to transfer your journal to Blogger, they will move your posts, comments and photos to your new blog on their service. When you're ready, go to this link to get started.
Remember, it's very important to save your Journals content before Oct. 31. If you choose not to move to Blogger, you'll need to save your information manually (for example, by copying and pasting its contents into a word processor).
Again, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we make this transition, and we hope you enjoy using Blogger.com.
The AOL Journals Team
I went ahead and moved my old Poli Ticks "journal" to Blogger using the link in the email. It was mostly painless since I already have a Google account and a number of Blogger blogs, but it took me awhile to remember my AOL password since I haven't used it in over two years and then it took me awhile to realize that my old posts were not showing up since I needed to manually re-publish them. I even set up an AdSense advertising block in the blog.
I do not intend to do any fresh blogging in the transferred blog since I already have a newer blog for political commentary, but I did want to keep the archival content since I did put a fair amount of effort into it.
The remaining question is how long the old "journal" content will remain online at AOL. It seems to me that if they simply disabled new content creation, it would be cheap enough to keep the old content online and since it is real content it could be a source of revenue since the content pages have an ad banner. In fact, it would seem to make sense for Google to offer to run two banners there, one for a normal ad and one for Google itself. It would then also make sense to have a link to the transferred "journal" on Blogger, if any.
-- Jack Krupansky