Joel Sutherland

Why I Chose Posterous: a Quick Review

I finally decided to start a blog last week and needed to select blogging software.  My first reaction was to use the software I helped develop at New Media Campaigns .  Ultimately, I decided it would be more valuable to experience other software instead.

With that goal in mind, I looked for software that took a new approach to blogging.  As it turns out, the search wasn't long and the results were clear:

Posterous is the most innovative blogging platform available today.
So what is posterous?

Posterous lets you post things online fast using email. You email us at post@posterous.com and we reply instantly with your new posterous blog.

If you can use email, you can have your own website to share thoughts and media with friends, family and the world.

Posterous has designed a blogging platform where the entire focus is on email. Your email client is the admin interface.  For those of us that have an email client open all day,posterous seamlessly inserts blogging into the day's natural workflow. At any point, I can jump over to my drafts folder to start or continue a post.

Other Cool Features:
Attachments
When you attach files to an email post, posterous acts intelligently.  Photos are resized and become slideshows, videos are flash encoded (!) and embedded, mp3s are added to a flash player and links are parsed.  (i.e. youtube links are replaced with an embedded player)

Autoposting Elsewhere
For those that claim that posterous is just a feature, (and I might agree) it's possible to configure posterous to automatically update your blog, twitter account or flickr account.

This feature makes posterous perfect for me.  Ultimately I'll need to add more to jsuth.comrequiring a more sophisticated platform.  Once I make this transition, I will continue to use the straight-from-email posting functionality.

Where posterous Fails:
Theming and Custom Design
Forcing every account to look and behave the same way is extremely limiting.  A serious website simply cannot be run without more functionality. I would suggest the developers look at the theming implementation Shopify uses.  They have done the perfect job of providing a range of tools for users of all levels of sophistication.

Basic, Non-Temporal Pages
Since posterous has focused so directly on the email problem, all other features were seemingly ignored. Adding static pages (or links) to your site is only possible in the "About Me" sidebar.  

This requires that a posterous account is used exclusively as a mini-blog, positioning it somewhere between twitter and a full website.  If this is how things stay, I have a hard time believing users will find the time to manage their posterous account as well as their other online identities.

Exporting Data
My primary concern with using posterous as a stopgap for jsuth.com is the lack up an export method should I decide that I want to take this data elsewhere.

Feed Abstraction
I am a big fan of feedburner .  Currently there is no way to use it with posterous.

Conclusion
Posterous is a good stopgap for jsuth.com.  It was extremely easy to set up, allowing me to start my blog right away.  Using email as an blog interface makes perfect sense and I will enjoy using it even if I migrate to a different platform.