Yes, yes, yes... I know I promised stories from my great adventure, but I seem to have returned to find something of a disaster happening in J-land. It seems that AOL has decided that the Journal product, along with all of the Hometown stuff, is to be discontinued. In other words they are kicking us out. I can't say that this is totally unexpected. I have been pessimistically mirroring all of my entries on a Blogger Blog for a long time now, every since the Banner fiasco. After the way AOL handled that, I wasn't sure I trusted them to stick around and support the Journals product. It seems that unfortunately my paranoia was not so unfounded after all.
At first glance this seemed to be a pain, but I have been playing around with moving away from AOL for a while now and this is just the push I needed. I tend to go with the established (read easy) path unless pushed. With Journals and FTP space gone -- and I am sure AOL Pictures soon to follow-- the only thing left that I really use on AOL is my e-mail account. I will probably continue to always have that e-mail addy as long as AOL continues to support e-mail because it is the one I've had since like 1995 and everyone has it, but I see it becoming the account I check like once every couple of weeks to be sure that nothing ended up there. Why? Because:
- I have a g-mail account, which I plan to migrate all my e-mail traffic over to
- Blogger will now be my main Blogging platform -- at least for now and until I decide to do the whole domain/host thingy -- again, I've always preferred the customization over at Blogger anyway
- I have a free Flickr account, which I will take Pro tomorrow. It's a better platform than AOL Pictures anyway and the only reason I haven't been using it is just pure laziness of habit. Plus I have been wanting to do more with my pictures over at Flickr anyway and maybe this will be the push I need to do so
- I was only using AOL FTP to host my animated graphics. I will now move those over to Photobucket
- AOL alerts were always lousy, so I have a Bloglines account up and running and have been using it for years already. Now it is just a matter of getting everyone's new Blog accounts into Bloglines and deleting out the old AOL Journal ones
- AND Live Writer is integrated with Blogger and it was always a pain having to copy and paste the entry into AOL anyway. With Blogger all I have to do is hit the publish button
So... I'm thinking maybe I should THANK AOL for being butts and kicking us out. My only fear is that some of the people I enjoy will either not continue to blog or I will miss finding where they have gone. Otherwise I think this may actually turn out to be a good move, at least for me.
If anyone who is making the move needs any help with getting their new Blogs set up, or have questions about Bloglines, Flickr, or Photobucket feel free to ask.
Another place to get help is here. Rachel has set up a bulletin board for people to help each other, ask questions, and post their forwarding links. You have to sign up for an account to post, but it is free.
This will most likely be my last post that I 'mirror' over at AOL Journals. From now on I will only be posting here. I will put one last entry up over at J-land directing all my friends over to my Blogger Blog. Eh, and an era ends.