Tonight I decided to move one of my blogs from the Blogs at PSU that I have stopped using over here to my main space. The blog I wanted to move is my iPhone blog that I set up during our investigation of the iPhone. There are a couple reasons I wanted to move it -- getting the content in one location and to see how easy it is to leave the Blogs at Penn State.
I have been writing quite a bit about ePortfolio at the University and much of my thinking has centered on the Blogs at PSU as the primary tool for them. One of the questions I get asked a lot is how can students take their content with them when they leave. One of the things we talk about is that since the Blogs at PSU publish static pages into a directory the whole directory could be downloaded and burned to a CD. I haven't tested that and while I think it would work, I am guessing it would take some tweaks to get the paths right for media and for the CSS. That method would also keep someone from updating their portfolio.
There are a number of commercial blog hosting spaces out there -- Wordpress.com and Live Journal are two of them. I wanted to see what would happen if I took my MovableType powered blog and simply chose to export it and import into a WordPress blog. The long story short is that it just worked. In the Blogs at PSU dashboard I was able to select export and it kicked out a downloaded .txt file that had my posts and all the comments in it.
Then in WP I was able to jsut go to the Options > Import screen and browse for the file.
From there all I did was select a user name for the files to be imported under. At that point I could easily edit the posts, add categories to them, or anything. Everything was preserved. I also just tested it out over at the free wordpress.com and it worked perfectly! So we do have an easy to use solution to let people take it with them when it is time to go.