Thursday, October 30, 2008

Looking for journals?

I have uploaded a file for use in Google Reader, containing 249 URLs for journals. Yep, 249.

Anyway, you can download it from here. You click on the link, and your window will fill up with code. Ignore that. Click on File, Save As and specify a download location. Ensure the file is saved as an XML-file, that's important.

Go to Google Reader and at the bottom left panel, you'll see a link "Manage Subscriptions".
Clicking on that leads to a page marked Settings.
Click on Import/Export.
Click on the Browse button by the heading Select OPML file
Locate your XML-file and click on Upload

Hey Presto!

You now have 249 journals in Google Reader.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Transferring journals

Journals that could not be transferred by their owner will be migrated by the AOL Journals Team tomorrow, Wednesday 29 October. Please leave a note if you have been unable to transfer your AOL journal on your own, including URL and your Gmail address.

Monday, October 27, 2008

AOL Pictures to close down

Dear AOL Pictures user,

In order to offer you a more comprehensive online photo service, we will be closing down AOL Pictures on 31 December 2008.

We have partnered with Pixum, one of Europe’s leading and multi-award winning independent online photo service providers, to provide all AOL Pictures customers with a free, improved and fully integrated ‘one-stop’ online photo service.

To ensure that you keep all of your photos, we recommend that you transfer your photos to the new photo service before 31 December 2008. Go and transfer your photos to our new photo service provided by Pixum and get up to 100 prints for free!*

Please note that to transfer your photos you will have to sign up for a Pixum account. By selecting the transfer option, you consent that your name, email address and AOL Screen Name are encrypted and sent to Pixum to facilitate the registration and the transfer of your photos.

Alternatively, you can download your photos to your computer.

You need to ensure you have either transferred your photos to the new photo service provided by Pixum or downloaded them to your computer by 31 December 2008. After this time, the site will be permanently closed and you will not be able to access your photos through AOL Pictures. So, do please ensure that you act now and go to AOL Pictures for continued access to your photos or to save your photos on your computer.

To have a look at the new photo site provided by Pixum, please click here.
To Learn more about Pixum, click here.

We hope to see you on our new site soon!


Your AOL Pictures Team

Transferring journals

If you are still experiencing problems transferring your AOL journal to Blogger, please leave a note with your Gmail address and AOL Journal URL. I shall forward these for manual transfer by the AOL Journals Team.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saving template

When you plan to alter your template, it is always a good idea to save a copy of it to your hard disk drive. The procedure is straightforward.

Sign into your blog and select Layout, then Edit HTML.
The option to Download a copy of your template to disk is displayed on that page.
The file is an XML-file, in order that you know which filetype will be assigned.

Should your alterations wreak havoc on your blog, you can restore the previous status-quo by returning to the same page to upload your original template file. Or a template that you found on the Net; googling for Blogger templates will yield quite a few sites. The usual precautions apply, in terms of security, viruses, malware etc.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Using Back Street Browser

Having retrieved the journal with this program, you cannot navigate through it the way you would do on the Net. The journal is saved to disk under the following directory structure

Name of journal (as in the URL)
Number of entry

You'll have to navigate through the journal using the directory structure, NOT with the normal navigational buttons. Comments cannot be retrieved, and certain graphics are also not displayed. Any graphics, linked to AOL Pictures or AOL Hometown will be lost after November 1st, 2008. With the amount of time until October 31st, it is unlikely to be practicable to relink all the graphics on a blog – remember your own transfer?

The restrictions of this method are particularly in evidence when viewing the saved journal off-line.

The front page shows the first 10 entries.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dormant blogs

The blogs of the deceased, and of others who are unaware of this change, will be uploaded to a dedicated account. Anyone who wishes any of these journals to be transferred to their account, please leave a note here. I'll confirm when the transfer is complete.

Love and Light from HEALING Creek
I shaved my legs for this?
A Pennies Worth
Journal Enquirer
On Whining Well
Just One Girls Head Noise (UK)
Dribble by Chuck Ferris
The Diatom Project
Penny's Pieces of Ohio
My Reason for reasoning
There are no Sundays.
Lahoma's Laments

Update: J-land Directory

With apologies: the URL given in previous posting was incorrect. It has been rectified, and is working.

Jland Directory

Krissy has set up a Jland Directory, in which the list of new URLs will be incorporated. Please call round there and leave your first name, AOL screenname, journal URL and email address as requested.

Edit: URL has been corrected

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It has been requested that people leave an email address on their Blogger profile. This can be useful if you want to contact a commenter directly by email, rather than leave a comment on their blog.

On AOL Journals, an email address was provided automatically, as that was included in the screenname, which in turn was included in the URL.

There is one caution associated with this: leaving an email on a profile exposes you to the risk of spam. You may wish to set up an email specifically for the above purpose, and change it when it becomes clogged with junkmail.

Not migrated yet?

If you continue to have problems with the transfer of your blog to Blogger, please leave a note with your AOL screenname. A solution has been found, where the transfer will be done for you.

I shall email the details to you upon request (using the AOL screenie; please don't leave an email address on here).



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

9 days to go

I am emailing the following people, but am also asking anyone else who may be in touch with them to urgently point out that their journals will be deleted on October 31st. Should any of the people concerned read this, please leave a note with your new URL. Thanks.

ceilisundancer / Robin /
irisheyes1929 / Kellen /
wildautumn1 / ? /
ninareade / Nina /
rebuketheworld / Raven /
cgtperkins / Carrie /
cottoncandie / Mary Alice /
sunshines612392 / Sam /
sylviam4000 / Sylvia /
ljat1 / Linda /
pookyluvsu / Angela /
andie5987 / Andrea /
bowyerlori / Lori /
rayne1123 / Noelle /
katie39041 / Katie /
jan3145 / Jan /

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pictures without borders

In order to show your pictures without a border and a narrow area of white around it, you need to tweak the HTML of your template.

* Go to the Dashboard and click Layout, then Edit HTML

* Before you make changes to your template, always save a copy to disk in case something goes wrong.

* Using Ctrl-F, search for this string: .post img {
which starts at the period and ends with the {

* The second line may read border=1px solid $bordercolor;.

* Change this line to 0px solid (that is zero), omitting $bordercolor;

* Save your template and reload your blog. Your pictures will now appear without a border.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Posting pictures

Kat is currently posting a handy tutorial on the Blogger Community Photo Challenge blog for tweaking your blog template to accommodate large pictures. It involves manipulating the underlying HTML, but that's manageable I think. Have a look.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New blogs


Here are some of the links that I have laid my hands on in the past 3 weeks or so.
I have decided not to bother with the old AOL URL's, as they are for chop soon at any rate.
This list is seriously long, so if you're searching, use Ctrl-F.
Please add any journals that are not listed here; once added, your comment will be removed.
Please leave a comment if any information is no longer correct; quite a few journals have had to relocate to a new URL due to transfer problems.

Please note: links will continue to be added

My own Google Reader OPML download
Comments to previous entry on this subject on this blog
Comments on Where are we now? Linda Sugar Amy Andy Bea Regina Carol Astra Guido Rosemary Barb Barb Ken V eronica Sharon Dawn Cathy Yasmin Cindy Christopher Sharon Dannelle Joyce Helen Phyllis Christy Emmi Diama Diama's Tags Chris Becky Angela Angie Sandra Missie Missie's tag blog Pat Monica Carleen Kara Creative Corner A call for support Jeannette Jan Vicky Lisa in Kentucky Martha Donna Lynne Lynne's weight loss blog Al Donna aka LadyMagnolia1963 Tags by Angela Kelly Sonya Gillie Maria Linda Marie Traci Indigo Ally Jeanne (Private) Amanda Cindy Kath Marleen Terri Louise Shared - I stand corrected Lori Lori's book reviews Cathy Sharon Stuart Cathy Joanna J-land Angels Sher Bethe a place for AOL Refugees Robin TerryAnn Cassie Linda Carol Kat Debbie Meg Liz Winivere Linda Julia Dan Marie Connie Joan Monae Gaz Dorn Carly Michelle Linda Kathy Sam Gerry Gina Penny Jan Carol Beth Hollie Carlene Michelle Sunny Michelle Jeannette Magic Smoke Joann Judith Kasey Kelly Barbara Linda in WA Lisa Kathy Lori Katie Lu-Anne Natalie Lyn Helen Jeanie Mamacita Kathy Mary-Louise Morton Gina Robyn Betty Sonya Jenny Jenny Cece Beth Ada Jeannette Patrice Marie Morgan Liz Barb Michelle Sal Sandra Anne Laura Sharon Shelly Stevie David Eler-Beth Sheria Kathi Val Janie Gayla Liz Mary-Louise Greg Claudia Connie Lisa Robin Kat Kat Cindy Monica Mary Kath Cheryl Rose Shelly Shelly's Photo blog Lainey Paul Betty Nance Kath Coy Kris Betty Tammy Sharon Rosy Rose Rose Birgit (German blog) Pam Freda Marty Leigh Leigh Deb Teresa Myra Celeste Debbie Ellie Cerise (French blog) Bill Tawnya John Rebecca Kathy Jamie Dawn (Nomads) Brian Karen Astaryth Char Mark Kate Lainey Lainey Sandra Donna Joyce Nina Krissy John

Friday, October 17, 2008

Download your blog

It is possible to download your blog from the Web using the Back Street browser. You download the software to your PC, after which it will download your blog to your desktop. You need to "Copy To" to finally save it. Please be aware that comments do not appear to be saved. Clicking the comment links in the downloaded blog will not show the comments.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Can I ask everybody to go through all the links of journals they used to read on AOL, and check whether they have been copied to Blogger? If you find any that have not, and have equally not been updated for a long time, let me know. I am currently saving these journals on my PC, where they will be quite safe for now, until there is a way of uploading them back to the Web.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Old and new

Two requests:

1. Please spread the word about the existence of this journal. Its URL is

2. Leave a note with your first name, AOL screenname, AOL Journal URL and corresponding new Blogger URL (or whichever provider you use).

A journals directory will be built in due course.


Transferring journals

Don't forget your journals.
Have you forgotten which ones you have written, and which you need to transfer yet?
There are two tricks. In the address-bar of your browser enter either of the following:


You need to be logged into the relevant screenname to see all blogs, including private ones.
Check all your screennames; you are allowed up to 7 on AOL.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First entry

Hello, this is Guido (ADB on Blogger, pharmolo on AOL) with the very first post on Magic Smoke @ Blogger. I have been given permission to write on this journal, and will continue where I was cut off on Magic Smoke @ AOL 2 weeks ago.

The transfer of AOL blogs to Blogger is hitting snags, and it seems to affect blogs with large numbers of posts in particular. If the troubleshooting does not help you, leave a comment here or on Magic Smoke @ AOL. The Journals Team is on the case, and will ensure that anyone who has problems will see their blog migrated.

I have made it my business to ensure that as many dormant blogs as possible are transferred or saved. I have repeatedly posted about this, but will once again raise the flag: do you know a journal, written by someone who is away, has died or for any other reason will be unable to migrate their journal themselves: please leave a comment.

A first technical tip for Blogger:

Do not host your graphics on Blogger. Storage space here is limited, and you'll very rapidly run out. Use an external host, e.g. photobucket.

When you put in the image, switch to Edit HTML (top right of entry window) and enter the HTML tag: < i m g s r c = " [spacing deliberate], followed by the URL of the image and the closing tag ">. If you do this through the Blogger equivalent of Add Image, the URLs can sometimes not work (no fault of the URL!) and you get a heck of a lot of unnecessary garbage-HTML added to it all, which throws your journal's lay-out sideways.