The tool to transfer your AOL blog to Blogger.com is now available. Read the post on Magic Smoke for more details. Those of us attached to AOL USA, Canada, or Mexico received an email updating us about the change, and directing us to the Blogger page where the import process begins. Those who are members of any other AOL service (e.g. AOL UK, or Europe) will not have gotten an email. Never fear, the import process will work for your journals as well (so I have been told). You'll just have to spread the word throughout your communities yourselves.
I experimented with the import tool by transferring my poetry blog, (not cowboy poetry), to Blogger this evening. This was my experience.
I went to the AolToBlogger page, and began following the directions there. I signed into my Google account. I entered the journal address of my blog in the box provided, and clicked on the "sign into your AOL account" button. That took me to an AOL sign in page, where I entered my screen name and password.
If you are concerned about the security of your password, don't worry. You are signing into AOL's secureID service, so all Blogger gets is a message back from AOL saying you are who you say you are. They never actually see your login information.
After that, I was taken back to a page where I was invited to click to begin the transfer process. I clicked, and was taken to a page that said my journal was being transferred, and that it might take a few minutes. I waited for almost fifteen. I never got an error message, nor did I ever get a message telling me the transfer had been successful. I got nothing.
I gather that the next step should have been my blogger dashboard page, where I could complete the publication process of my new blogspot blog, but that never happened. I closed the page, and manually logged into blogger, where I found that my new blog was there in my dashboard, with a message that said, "click here to complete the import process." So I clicked there. And it completed the process. And now (not cowboy poetry) lives on blogger.
The reason I chose to use that blog for the first test was that there were not very many entries in it, so it would be easy to tell how successful the transfer was. As far as I can see, every post, and all of the comments were successfully transferred over. One note of importance. All of the pictures and graphics are still hosted on AOL Hometown, so when that closes at the end of the month, they will all turn into little red Xs. The pictures will have to be moved to a new home, and all the posts will need to be manually edited to redirect the urls to the pictures' new home. That'll be tedious.
So, I was successful, but with a couple of tiny snags. The process was certainly not completely seamless, and I can see that many who are computer neophytes may have problems. My suggestion is not to wait. Start now. If you have difficulty, you'll have a couple of weeks to get it worked out before the axe falls.
I'll try to transfer another one of my journals tomorrow, using a slightly different path, and report on how that went. Stay tuned.