Friday, October 3, 2008


I'm posting today to try and make sure that everyone who has me on alerts is aware that J-land is going away November 1st.  In making my rounds in J-land, there are many that do not appear to know about this.  Maybe they do, and they're either just not saying anything about it, or planning to just let it go and not journal anywhere anymore.  Here is a copy of the notice:

Attention AOL Journals Users -- United States

Dear AOL Journals user,

We're sorry to inform you that on Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Journals will be shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

It is very important that you save your Journals content before the shutdown. We're working on a way to easily move your Journal to another blogging service -- you can expect an email within the next week with more details about how to do it. We want the transition to go as smoothly as possible for you, so you'll have two choices. You can either save your information manually and find another place to blog on your own, or let us handle the migration for you and automatically transfer your Journal to a different blogging service.

In the meantime, please bookmark the People Connection Blog, where you can find out more about AOL Journals. You can also subscribe to the People Connection Blog RSS feed to stay informed about any changes. We'll be updating the People Connection Blog often, so please check it regularly.


The AOL Journals Team

You can get up to date information on MAGIC SMOKE and there will be instructions posted on how to copy your AOL journal to BLOGGER.  If you are planning to copy your journal over to Blogger when it becomes available, I STRONGLY suggest you save your journal to the hard drive of your computer, or save it somehow before doing it.  I would not depend on the migration to Blogger alone.  As is the case with computers, computers can still stump even the best techs by doing something off the wall.

This is definitely the end of the community we enjoy here.  I've seen comments from a number of J-landers who are not planning to copy their journal over to Blogger and to stop journaling altogether.  I hope those will reconsider, at least copy their journal over so it won't be lost.  Others are going elsewhere, and still others are copying their journal into Blogger, but will stop journaling.  I can understand how they feel.  I haven't decided if I will continue journaling or not.  That's why I haven't given a URL of my new journal location in Blogger.  All I have there is a test blog, and so far things are not going well.  The option to add a background of your choosing is not there.  There are only a few very plain fonts available, and using the 14 point font I use here is out of the question.  Not enough horizontal room in the entry area (I've always used the large fonts so it won't be tedious to read, and I've had one journaler who was visually impaired that appreciated it).  Blogger is anything but user friendly.  It's not even close to the user friendliness of AOL.  Even at that, it took me a year to become somewhat proficient with AOL journals so I could improve the appearance of my journal and hopefully make it more interesting.  I really don't know if I can put that kind of time into Blogger just to come back up to ground level. If I decide to continue journaling on Blogger, I will send out my URL by e-mail to those on my AIM e-mailing list.  If you're not on that list, or are not sure, e-mail your address to me.

Like many others, I left a comment on Magic Smoke stating my objections to this decision by AOL.  I got a response from Vish saying "thiswas a business decision", hence the title of this entry.  The reason I saw from the CEO was that AOL Journals wasn't making enough money.  Individuals don't matter with AOL.  No consideration about those journals that are still here by people who have passed away.  These journals are here for many to share in these people's lives.  Not for long though.  GUIDO tried to have AOL save these journals and transfer them to a location Blogger.  He made an entry (click on his name above) that it won't happen.  Figures.  AOL doesn't care.  The only way these journals can be copied is if someone in their family has access.  Some will be lost forever come November 1st.  It will be like just wiping away any remembrance or legacy like they never existed.

I think in the end, AOL will regret this decision.  I've seen comments from many J-landers who are paying subscribers who have said they are discontinuing their subscriptions.  Not making enough money? Well, AOL, you'll be making less now.

Now that I've vented about this, I just wanted to thank all of my readors over the past year and few months for your readership and comments, including those with differing viewpoints.  In addition to a forum where I could provide information literally on a world-wide basis, readers presented viewpoints on both sides of issues really did fulfill the mission of my journal - exercising our FIRST AMENDMENT rights!


luvrte66 said...

Dirk, I hope you'll take another look at Blogger. The more I play around with it, the better I like it. The best thing I figured out was how to make the page wider. There is a template that expands the page. From there, you can adjust the setting to change your background and text colors. I DO wish there were more fonts (I miss my Comic Sans!) but once you dig a little deeper, I think you'll find that there are lots of options, and some pretty cool features. Go see my new look, and see what you think.

All my best,

domsmom27 said...

Dirk, I read your Journal and get your alerts.  If you continue to "Blog"  don't leave me out.  You have the best info.                                  Marlene

buckoclown said...

Dirk, hope you will make the transition.  Blogger is not bad, and the goolge reader function is great.  :o)

wwfbison said...

Dirk, I really hate to hear that you are considering not coming along with the community to blogger.  You always have such important words & points for us.  I know Nelishia is a bit frustrated herself - I am only getting around in blogger now and am finding it easier each time I do something.  I agree about the fonts & the size of the space but I've seen some folks make their journals larger using one of the templates.  As I said, I do hope you reconsider but in the event you dont' do stop by once in a while to say hello, of course I'll be keeping up with Nelishia so I'll know what you are up to.  It has been a pleasure reading & learning from you.
I will miss you.

my3gifts said...

I'm not sure why you seem to be having issue's with blogger, the options for layouts and backgrounds far exceeds anything aol has EVER offered and the ability for 14 point font is absolutely there. If I can help you just let me know, I've been on blogger for a few years and like it far and wide better than aol. So many more options. It's a different template, most definately, but once you get used to it you'll be far happier with it I think. I do hope you'll move on over as so many have (I don't feel like I can include myself in that group since I've been blogging there for a few years already). But...come, keep sharing.

God Bless

PS I hope I'm part of the group with your new address.

queeniemart said...

I can not and will not put this journal or my other 4 AOL journals on my hard drive. What i have written for 5 yrs is private and if i was to die, i can not bear to think my kids would see what i have written. So i have to depend on AOL or blogger to make the change work. Then again, i can not afford to even for one minute go public long enough to move them due to what am i to do? Magic Smoke or who the hell ever sucks and does not reply to EMAILS asking what to do. Figures. Just like only a chosen FEW were told we were all being screwed over and whoever they were then told others. SO, this is all terrible. Unless some bonehead comes forward with a way for a private journaler to move their words, i lose it all. I deserve the same as a public journaler.

tschuckman said...

So... please tell me in your own words what 'J Land' is.

There has got to be a solution-- and we OUGHT to start a 'Think Tank' to figure this out.     We could have some serious minded Bible student start a FORUM to continue the J Land community communication / input and comments.

Tom Schuckman

lifesabench6 said...

Dirk, I really hope you reconsider as well.   I love the way you write, the passion you have for all the same things I do and bringing new insites on so many things going on.  I've loved your blog ever since you started and met Nelishia through you too!!! I know it's hard and there are a lot of things we need to get used to AGAIN, but I do hope that you will find a place you feel comfortable with, even if it's not with Blogger.  I've found some of the same deals you talk about with limits, but I'm learning slowly how to change things around to where I'm happier with them, and with my lousy eyesite, I do like the larger font I can do.  I'll support you what ever you do, but I hope we still can talk to each other about things we have in common!  God Bless you Dirk- you've been a wonderful friend, brother and I do so appreciate you!  Carolyn

riversharki said...

Hey Dirl, thanks for the info.

I wasn't aware of it. Just checked your link from my email. It was broken, so I went by way of rat hole and gpt to you.

Sorry to learn friendly fire just wiped out our troops. Ben away a while.

I've used Google's blog for a few months and love it compared to this. But a village is a village and there isn't anything like our own family and community. We bond.

Now with all I've got going on, I've got to race in transferring my journal to backup.

Thanks to you, for bringing it to my attention, it will also give me time to save the email addresses to all of my friends.

If you loose touch just contact me at or

Good Luck
River (Cliff) (You too Gunner!)