Posterous: Full-time Lifestream, Part-Time Blog


posterous-logoAs I’ve said before, if I had my way, WordPress and Posterous would marry each other and have beautiful blogging babies. Though, as much as I’d like to see that happen, it seems clear that Posterous seems quite happy to keep its independence and be the hot, young upstart, so I’m also not holding my breath on any acquisitions or mergers any time soon.

I’ve been using Posterous exclusively for the past week or so and I can definitively say that there is no better mobile publishing platform out there. Simplicity and ease of use is the key to Posterous’ success. They took what used to be a convoluted, messy task and turned it into something so simple it’s beautiful. It’s hard for me to imagine not using Posterous on an almost daily basis now. The simple fact is, why not? It’s too easy not to use.

Posterous not only takes whatever media you send it (photos, audio recording, videos, documents) pretty much anything you can think of, and packages it nicely into a a gallery, video or audio player. It will also automatically post to whatever sites you’ve set up, from Facebook to Twitter to Flickr, Picasa of Vimeo, your content will find it’s place to the right spot.

Make no mistake, Posterous is still a work in progress. What it makes up for in mobile publishing it lacks in web publishing, but web publishing is not the “hair-on-fire” problem that Posterous set out to address so it’s not all that surprising that they’re still behind in that category.

I can’t say enough about Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan, the co-founders of Posterous. It’s obvious that both of them are very passionate about what they’ve created and are determined to see it succeed. Garry and Sachin are still very hands on and extremely helpful when it comes to developing your site on Posterous. Often an email to support@posterous.com will be followed up by one of them directly.

Posterous will always be my mobile publishing platform. In fact I registered jamespoling.mobi and have it aliased to my Posterous (a free tool that Posterous provides its users).

Posterous allows you to have up to three sites associated with one account. Right now, my biggest gripe with the actual functionality of Posterous is that you cannot control on a granular level where each of those sites posts to. Right now your “post to everywhere” options are based on accounts, not on sites within those accounts. The good news is I’ve been assured by Garry that is definitely on their feature list and something they are working hard on.

My other beefs with Posterous are, as previously mentioned, a very weak web publishing experience, and the inability to customize your css or skin/theme your site. I’m sure all of these things are on Posterous’ radar. They’ve been adding features at a blistering pace and recently added the ability to import your current blog into Posterous. That is a clear shot across the bow of every other blogging platform out there that Posterous isn’t going to be content to be “just” a mobile publishing platform.

For now I’ve developed a compromise of sorts. Publishing on Posterous full-time right now isn’t an option for me. There are just too many key features/customizations not currently available.

In lieu of having Posterous publish straight into my blog, which can create content issues since the content that ends up on your site looks nothing like the clean, gallery or player that you’re used to on Posterous, I’m using a Posterous widget embedded into my sidebar which will show my latest content.

Speaking of which, that’s one other custom feature that Posterous is missing. Strong, embeddable widgets. Posterous relies on a third party company to provide it’s widgets and unless you’re willing to dole out a few bucks a month be prepared to have ads and a credit button attached to your widget. I’m not sure if this is a business decision but it seems obtuse to most other ideals that Posterous puts forward. I hope they resolve this issue soon.

If you’ve been waiting for a dead simple and convenient way to start publishing on the go, there’s no reason for you to be waiting anymore. You don’t even have to go to the Posterous to sign up. Just send an email to post@posterous.com and they’ll lead you through the rest.

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6 thoughts on “Posterous: Full-time Lifestream, Part-Time Blog

  1. Hi James, Completely agree with you here. Talking with Sachin, themes/CSS styles are on their way but I couldn't hammer down an exact time.Also, another part of the equation I wish was better in the WordPress/Posterous relationship is taking the audio/video files that get published to Posterous and when autoposted to WP it shows a player instead of a download link. This is more on the WP side, I realize, by needing a plugin but I wish somebody had something to help. Now that Posterous has its API available, maybe somebody will do it. I know I don't have the skillz for it.

    Reply
    • Absolutely right Brad. One of the main reasons I stopped using Posterous to post to my blog is because the photos and videos look like crap when translated from Posterous to WordPress. You don't get the gallery or the player on either one.Thanks for the comment Brad. Hopefully as Posterous sticks around we'll get someone to address this problem for all the people that have decided to use WordPress and Posterous as their main publishing tools.

      Reply
  2. Hi James, Completely agree with you here. Talking with Sachin, themes/CSS styles are on their way but I couldn't hammer down an exact time.Also, another part of the equation I wish was better in the WordPress/Posterous relationship is taking the audio/video files that get published to Posterous and when autoposted to WP it shows a player instead of a download link. This is more on the WP side, I realize, by needing a plugin but I wish somebody had something to help. Now that Posterous has its API available, maybe somebody will do it. I know I don't have the skillz for it.

    Reply
  3. Absolutely right Brad. One of the main reasons I stopped using Posterous to post to my blog is because the photos and videos look like crap when translated from Posterous to WordPress. You don't get the gallery or the player on either one.Thanks for the comment Brad. Hopefully as Posterous sticks around we'll get someone to address this problem for all the people that have decided to use WordPress and Posterous as their main publishing tools.

    Reply
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