NOTE: This was a post over on Vox that I’ve exported over since the service is shutting down.

Edit: Upon re-reading my post, I realize I sounded a little bitter and accusatory of SixApart.  I am sure their decision to scrap Vox and move everyone out is not one they made easily or without consideration for the dedicated members of the Vox community.  The efforts they have gone through to provide export tools to TypePad and Flickr shows that they do care about the people that made Vox great, and they hope that those folks will have enough faith in them to follow them over to the platform that they DO plan to focus their attentions on.  I’m revising my post below to be a little less negative and try to focus more on what people can do to keep their content, wherever they decide to go from here.

I’ve been away from Vox for quite some time now, for work reasons and family commitments.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t even be posting this today if it wasn’t for the announcement that Vox has decided to close its doors and bulldoze the community that has been slipping away quietly in dribs and drabs as people became dissatisfied with what in the recent years has become a sort of pariah of the SixApart group.  As support for the Vox platform declined, so did the number of users who cared to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the tools, poor server loads, and influx of spam comments.  But now even those who stuck around through it all will need to make a decision.  The word is out folks, and it’s time to pack your bags hit the road.  Luckily, there’s a lot of handy tools and helpful instructions out there to insure that you don’t lose your content, and can hopefully transition on to bigger and better things on another blogging platform.

SixApart’s primary suggestion is that you transition your Vox blog to TypePad, another one of their blogging products, and one which, based on Steve’s recent post and comments below, looks to have A LOT of good people and support behind it to make it a fun and worthwhile product.  Although I have not used it (and thus really can’t express an opinion on it), I do recommend you give their Export to TypePad tool a chance and see what all the hooplah is about.  If you don’t like it, there are other export options that you can do that I’ll go into more detail about.

Right now, your options to export your Vox blog are as follows:

1) Export your blog (posts, photos, and audio) to a free TypePad blog
2) Export your photos and videos to a Flickr account (free or paid Pro)
3) Export your blog (posts, photos) to an alternative service such as WordPress or Posterous

Note: These are not mutually exclusive – you can export your blog + photos and audio to TypePad, and then export your photos + videos to flickr, and do another export of your blog to WordPress or the like)

Vox has #1 and #2 covered in pretty good detail – while logged in, go to www.vox.com and read the info there to see the links to export to TypePad or Flickr.  Also, more info can be found at closing.vox.com – including details of when you’ll not be allowed to post anymore, and when you’ll not be allowed to get your data any more.

As for #3, my suggestion?  Export to a WordPress blog.  Even if you don’t think you’re going to use WordPress, they will automatically import your Vox blog (posts and pictures – sorry, it still doesn’t do video or music) using their import tool.  Once there, you can easily export your entire blog contents to a single file that can be imported to almost any of the big named blogging platforms out there (there’s either direct import or conversion tools).  Plus, your pictures will be hosted by WordPress until you can find somewhere else that you want to host them.

Please note that you can either do a WordPress.com blog (i.e. they host it there) or a self-hosted installation of WordPress on your own site.  If you want to import to a self-hosted wordpress blog without any intervening steps, follow the instructions here to install the import plugins on your self-hosted installation and go to it.

If you’re not a WordPress fan and don’t want to try TypePad, you can also check out Posterous.  Vox has details and the link to export to Posterous here.  There are also tools that will allow you to import a WordPress blog into Blogger, if that’s more of your thing – just export to WP and then use one of those tools to transfer over.

I’d love for my Vox neighborhood to leave me comments to this post for where I can best keep in touch with you.  Just because I’ve been absent from Vox doesn’t mean I want to lose touch with those folks I used to converse with regularly.  It’s still going to be a little bit before I’m back in the office and around a computer all day (and thus have time to start posting again) but I’m not giving up on blogging and don’t want to stop reading everyone else’s funny, insightful, and entertaining blogs just because SixApart decided to nix Vox.

If you guys want to find me, I’ll be porting my blog over to http://rossotron.com .  I’ll transfer over any comments from this post, too, so if you want to use this as a reference for where to find people, you can check for the related post over on that site to see where people think they’ll end up, at least in the interim.

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