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AOL steers Journals bloggers to Google service

The Time Warner site has begun notifying users they need to move their blogs by October 31. Also: download those files at Hometown/FTP.

AOL has begun notifying bloggers who've used its Journals site that they should move their content to Google's Blogger or bid it adieu.

The company, which is winnowing down its properties to improve its financial performance, published a notice last week that it's closing its AOL Journals blog site as well as its Hometown/FTP site for hosting Web pages on October 31. And now it's begun sending users notices that it's time to move.

AOL set up a partnership with Google's so that people can migrate their blogs, and Jack Krupansky is one user who made the move successfully. "It was mostly painless since I already have a Google account and a number of Blogger blogs," he said in a blog posting. He did have to manually republish all the old blogs, though.

Krupansky also quoted a reminder letter AOL sent him:

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 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


The AOL Journals Team

AOL didn't arrange such a smooth transition for the Hometown service. "Unfortunately, we're not able to offer a replacement Web hosting option at this time. If you go to AOL Search and search for "Web Hosting," you will find reviews of different services and viable options," the company said, and members need to manually download their files stored at the site.