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Summary:

Much like a migratory bird is genetically driven to fly south for the winter, I am driven to bloviate online. And so over the years I’ve accumulated my fair share of blogging accounts. I’m very active on Twitter, have a WordPress blog, a Flickr account, Facebook, […]

posterous_1Much like a migratory bird is genetically driven to fly south for the winter, I am driven to bloviate online. And so over the years I’ve accumulated my fair share of blogging accounts. I’m very active on Twitter, have a WordPress blog, a Flickr account, Facebook, and a rarely-used LiveJournal account. Keeping them all updated is frustrating, though. I’ve ended up just posting to WordPress and using the Twittertools plug-in to feed the post to Twitter (which also feeds into Facebook). It’s not elegant, but it works.

I’ve said before that my iPhone is the command center for my life, and at the same time noted that there’s no real end-to-end solution that will let me blog across all services on the iPhone. The full-featured WordPress site is unbearable, and the iPhone app for the same just doesn’t cut it. I can use the drafts method to get an article off my iPhone and into a better front end, I can use Tweetie for Twitter, and I can easily email photos to my Flickr account. But I was struggling to find a one-button solution, but now I have: Posterous.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you folks: While we at TheAppleBlog pride ourselves on bringing you All Things Apple, All Day Long, this post doesn’t necessarily require a piece of Apple-made technology to work. However, if you’re like me and just like reading fun tales of how people use their iPhones in their daily lives you’ll forgive me this one transgression.

Posterous is the latest entry to the micro/social blogging scene; its closest competitor is Tumblr. I’ve got a Tumblr account and have found it lacking, though I can’t quite put my finger on why. I think when I started using it I was trying to force it into being the one-stop solution it wasn’t. I could get my tweets to work with it, and I could get my WordPress account to suck up the feed and Tumblr to do the same, but it always felt like a duct-taped solution. Part of the problem is Tumblr has a counter called Tumblarity which goes up and down as you use — or don’t use — the tool. I’m OCD and that number’s lack of movement bugged the heck out of me because only posts that originated in Tumblr affected that counter; using the feeds didn’t.

Posterous is shining where Tumblr let me down, thanks to a very ingenious tool: email. I tell Posterous what email addresses to accept missives from and it will then happily feed all of my blogging services the contents of that message. It’ll dump them right into my personal blog, create a self-promotional tweet with a link, upload the photo to my Flickr account, create a LiveJournal post, and (something that keeps my OCD happy) create a Tumblr post in a manner that will make my Tumblarity go up.

If you click on this link to my Posterous account, and the links to all the sites I linked to above, you’ll likely see a post with a picture of a very nice motorcycle. That entire post was created on the iPhone and Posterous did the dirty work of cross-posting. So far, the only negative I’ve seen is just when the photo is uploaded to Flickr — I was hoping the message would get added as commentary.

Since my iPhone is always with me, Posterous is letting me carry through on ‘That’s neat, I should blog about that’ inspirations with a tool that requires no set-up or even an Internet connection until I want to upload. I love that I can see a picture of a neat bike on a street corner, snap the pic and in seconds have all of my blogs updated. With so many friends using different blogging platforms, Posterous feels like the Adium of blogging tools.

  1. Lame. I’ve been using Tumblr’s email posting for two years. I’m sure that’s where Posterous ripped it from. And Tumblr’s iPhone app is killer, so I’m not sure what this post is about.

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    1. Emailing to Posterous isn’t just a feature, like it is on other sites. It’s what we focus on, and where we excel.

      In a single email, you can send multiple photos, video, audio, docs, and links. We’ll do the right thing with everything you send us, there are no limits.

      Do you have an iPhone 3GS? You should try emailing us video. We’ll orient it correctly, and it even plays in mobile safari. It’s much better than what other services do.

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    2. Chief,

      Emailing to most blog sites is crap. It’ll get the text there, but that’s about it. Tumblr is no exception. Big deal.

      Posterous, on the other hand, uses the Rich Text formatting in your email and translates it beautifully to your blog post. See this example:

      http://thesmallwave.posterous.com/testing-rich-text-formatting-in-posterous

      The above post was written in email. Font size, bold, italic, indents, bulleted lists, even a font change were all taken perfectly from the email.

      I’ve also played with picture placements as well, you can center, left- or right-justify a picture pasted in an email. Further, paste in pretty much any file and Posterous just handles it like it should.

      As I said before, Posterous is actually better at posting on Tumblr than Tumblr is. The latter’s tools are primitive compared to Posterous, which is way out ahead of the pack on this.

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    3. The iPhone Tumbler app is killer. I use it to read my tumblr feeds.

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    4. Tom, Tumblr is the only one I’ve seen make email posts look decent:

      http://www.tumblr.com/docs/email_publishing

      And that’s where publishing ends for Posterous. Tumblr is a much more robust tool, and has been rolling out features much faster.

      I don’t get why you’re so hard for this thing. Use whatever you’d like, but don’t diss Tumblr.

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  2. Hi Mark … nice review but poor content on your Posterous once that one goes there searching for “food for thoughts” ;-)

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    1. Yeah, I got in a catch-22. I submitted the piece a while ago and wasn’t sure how editorial was gonna screenshot it, and I wanted to keep it “fresh” for when people went to compare.

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  3. My problem is that I am anal-retentive and I want my formatting exactly perfect with justified alignment and the picture in the spot that I want it, so I think I would use the app on iPhone to read other blogs, but continue to post through email and then once the post uploads, go back and format it. Heh heh.

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  4. I’ve been using Posterous for quite a while now and I love it completely. Sachin and the team are quick to respond to requests and added AudioBoo for example just hours after I contacted them about it.

    The only thing that bugs me is the lack of formatting in iPhone Mail in terms of justification (for photos), bold, italics and linking. Hopefully soon. Otherwise, the iPhone and Posterous are a fantastic blogging swiss army knife.

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  5. [...] What’s more, I was thinking I’d like to write a piece for The Apple Blog explaining the power and simplicity of using the iPhone’s own, Apple-made Mail app for simulcasting via this service. Only, Mark beat me to it. [...]

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  6. I think this is a great site and idea but I have two problems/questions:

    1. Why is the video in Flash when you can use h.264? It means that other iPhone users can’t view the video.
    2. Can you upload to Vimeo or YouTube because I didn’t see it on the site?

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    1. 1. The flash thing is a little annoying. The player isn’t bad, but I wish it was viewable on the iPhone. Agreed.
      2. You can add YouTube and Vimeo. I use both.

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    2. Our video is not in flash. We encode to h.264 mp4 files. We wrap this in a flash player for desktop browsers, and use quicktime to play it on the iphone.

      In other words, video files posted to Posterous do play on the iPhone fine.

      Yes, we also upload to Vimeo and Youtube

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    3. @sachin weird. Having seen a flash wrapper I assumed it wouldn’t work in Mobile Safari, so I re-jigged the code on my blog to be YouTube embedding just in case.

      Thanks for letting us know!

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    4. Thanks for the info. Will sign up tomorrow. :) I’ve seen both Leo Laporte and Andy Ihnatko both use Posterous so Iwas wondering about this site.

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  7. Dude nice rehash of Andy Ihnatko’s Sun-Times article on Posterous…plagerize much in high school and college? Jeez do some frickin’ research, and think for yourself. You level of gratification for sharing your own thoughts and ideas is guaranteed to go higher…or not.

    http://www.suntimes.com/technology/ihnatko/1693010,ihnatko-posterous-blog-platform-wordpress-073009.article

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    1. two people having the same problem, and finding the same solution is.. plagarizing?

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    2. Bret,

      For writers, plagiarism is a pretty serious charge, and you’re way off the mark on this one.

      Ihnatko’s review came about three weeks after mine. Did he plagiarize me?

      http://thesmallwave.com/2009/07/11/posterous-blogging-the-easy-way/

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    3. Don’t worry about it, Bret Knight is a notorious internet troll. He runs a tiny Mac shop in Beaumont, California, and due to lack of customers, he spends the entire day surfing the internet finding things to whine about.

      By the way, never use his shop, I took my macbook there about a year ago and he kept it for almost two months before returning it to me with the exact same problems that it had. In addition, there was what i can only assume could be Chee-to dust all over my once pristine, white laptop.

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    4. Dude LMAO, jokes on you. I don’t have a shop in Beaumont. I’m a consultant, I work from home. I never NEVER take anyone’s equipment. If I work on hardware at all (rarely) I service it at the customer’s site (their home or office). By the way thanks for the link, the more traffic that gets driven to my web site the busier I am and the less time I have to troll the net for loser’s like you.

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    5. “Notorious Internet Troll” ROFL (: D that’s soooo f*ing funny.

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  8. Good article on Posterous Mark. I have really just started using it and am very pleased with how it is simplifying the publishing process.

    The fact that Sachin (Posterous) has responded to users on this thread more than once today shows just how engaged and connected this service is with its users.

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  9. After reading this article on the AppleBlog I decided to test out the claims made about posting to Tumblr and Posterous. I have had accounts on both for sometime (a bit longer on Tumblr) and use Posterous as a mirror for my Tumblr. The image (should be aligned to the right of this text) is a screen capture from the AppleBlog posting. I emailed this post to both Tumblr and Posterous from Mail.app with text coloring and sizing.

    Tumblr loses this one. See the results here: http://khurt.posterous.com/ and here: http://khurtwilliams.com/

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