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!