Well, I'm loadin' up the truck and movin' to Blogger...eeeee
Blogspot, that is.
Okay, probably not the last so much, but not too many platforms had the wide open space we've enjoyed here on AOL Journals. I don't know of any, as a matter of fact. It will be missed, but I'll adjust.
I'll still be posting here for a while, too, as we all make the transition. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question about going to Blogger. I'm definitely no expert, but I might be able to help. I certainly will if I can.
A couple of things I've learned so far:
While there's no true equivalent of Alerts, you can "follow" a blog, either publicly or privately. So far, I've been choosing privately, just...because. I don't really know why. I'm not quite sure where that info shows up, and I'm not into collecting friends like on MySpace. But the nice thing is that if you click on "follow" on a blog, it adds it to your "reading list," and includes the first few lines of new posts. (Unless your journal is private; then the text doesn't show up.) Hmm, I just looked and realized I don't have a "follow" on my blog...is it because it's my own? Someone let me know if it shows up when you look at mine.
Anyhoo, it's not as easy as getting an alert by email, but it'll have to do. Oh, also, if you use Google Reader (and I have been for some time now, with this journal, as a way of archiving my posts), "following" a journal will add the feed to your Reader list. That way you can read a whole bunch of blogs at once.
As for getting started, first you need a gmail account, if you don't already have one. Go to Google and click on "gmail" at the top and do what you need to do. Again, I've had a gmail account for some time now, but only because I use Google Docs, Google Reader, and Picasa. I don't use it for email, I'll be retaining my AOL email address, and that's how to reach me.
Once you've got your gmail address, the easiest way to create a blog seems to be to go to blogger.com, and it should be fairly self-explanatory from there. You can fiddle with lots of different settings, and when I first started this a while back, I had already set my layout, background, etc., so it was easy for me to start right up. There do seem to be lots of neat options for backgrounds and layouts, so just play with it until you find your grail. Ha ha! As for the privacy settings ("permission" in this case), you can set it so that anyone can read it, no one can read it but you, or that people whose email addresses you provide get an invitation to join you (i.e., a private journal).
One nice feature I've noticed is that to leave a comment, you have to type in those squiggly letters. I've always thought that was kind of a pain, and sometimes I'm like, "Is that d or cl?" but it also will cut down on unwanted, spam-type comments.
Oh, and you can name your new blog what you want--maybe you want to keep the same name as you have here (if it's available), or a similar one, or start with a fresh new look and name. I was happy to be able to get the Nutwood Junction name, so as I wrote to friend Pat, Nutwood abides. <wink> Here's the URL:
Stop by and say hi, and see what you think of the layout, and if it's one you might like to try. Oh, and although I can't confirm this, I'm getting the impression that if we're on Blogger, AOL may be able to migrate our archives over there. I cannot confirm that. I hope we'll hear more soon. Vish and Guido are keeping us informed over at Magic Smoke, so check there for updates.
I'll also let you know here if I hear any scuttlebutt that I can repeat, and I'll try to pass along any helpful hints, or things I discover with Blogger. And don't hesitate to leave me a comment or email me at Luvrte66@aol.com if you're wondering about something. Like I said, I'll help if I can.