We are crawling the Internet all the time; monitoring the latest trends and technologies, seeking, discovering. If you’re like me, during your web travels you often come across treasures you want to share. Some deserve a tweet; some belong on your pro blog; others on your personal blog. But sharing what you find can be time consuming and hinder your productivity.
Posterous takes care of this problem for you by making it extremely easy to post content to the social media apps you use.
Doriano previously described how you can use email to share photos through Posterous, but I’m going to talk about how easy it is to use the Posterous bookmarklet to share any content across multiple platforms.
To create a Posterous account, you don’t fill out a registration form, you send an email. Then you get a confirmation email that will take you back to Posterous to add your social apps accounts to the service.
Once you’ve added the accounts to which you want to be able to post, the next thing I recommend you do is install the bookmarklet. On the “Manage” page, under the “Posts” tab (the default) scroll down and find the “Posting” box. Click the bookmarklet link and follow the very simple instructions to add the Posterous bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar.
Now go to some content that you want to share and click the bookmarklet in your bookmark bar. In the window that pops up, you can customize the info you’re about to post:
Posterous grabs images, videos and sometimes text from the site and lets you pick which you want to use. You can add your comments and click “Post” if you want this item to go to all your social media accounts, or you can click “Advanced Options” and pick and choose which accounts to post to. For example, I only want this link to go to my Twitter account and a personal blog:
Tips: If you want to use a specific text excerpt from an article, select the text before clicking the bookmarklet, and it’ll be added to the image/excerpt options. Choose it, and it’s neatly inserted as a blockquote. If you want to send the item to a blog where you have categories, in the title field, type ((tag: Category1, Category2)), for example, and it will automatically be categorized on your blog.
Note: Unless you want the cute puppy video you sent to your family blog, the excerpt of the article on agile programming you sent to your pro blog, and the photo of Freddie Mercury in an eyeball suit you just tweeted all to appear together in sweet cacophony on your Posterous site, you need to create multiple Posterous sites. This is easy to do, and you only have to add your social media accounts once. Then when you choose Advanced Options in the bookmarklet, a drop-down lets you pick the Posterous site you want the item to appear on:
I have only tested sharing with Posterous to a blog, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you post something to Twitter or LinkedIn, Posterous inserts a link that takes people to your Posterous site, not to the original site online. I assume the same is true of other social media apps, too. On a blog, the links go to the original item wherever it appeared online. I recommend testing Posterous a little bit at a time to see how it works for you.
I’ve only talked about the bookmarklet here, but do check out the email options. The first thing I did with Posterous was take a photo with my iPhone and email it to Posterous, which automatically autoposted it to every service I’d added. Doriano explained how to email content to specific sites in his article, so check that out as it’s actually kind of hard to find the info on the Posterous site.
Have you tried Posterous yet? What tools do you use for social sharing?
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Social Media in the Enterprise