Damn. I really like Posterous. NOW what?

Damn and blast. It’s been almost a month and I’m still using Posterous.

 This is practically unprecedented. I’ve signed up for every blogging service ever released. Squarespace is a typical outing. I signed up, I created a site, I posted to it for a while…and then the testing was over and I never considered signing up for a “real” account. My head remained in “testing something so I can write about it mode” and never wandered into “using a tool that I value and enjoy” territory.

 Which is not to say that Squarespace isn’t a fab service. But there’s a difference between evaluating an Ariel Atom as an automotive journalist (“What style! What engineering! What performance! What FUN!”) and then switching hats and evaluating it as someone whose current car has about 90,000 miles on it (“Oh, man…that open cockpit is going to _suck_ in New England weather. And am I going to have to hook up a trailer just to get three bags of groceries home?”)

 

 But no, I’m still using Posterous and liking it. It makes blogging simple, spontaneous and fun. It also gives me a one-dropbox conduit to all of my most important services: my WordPress blog, Twitter, and Flickr.

 So: Posterous is here to stay. Now I need to think about what its proper role ought to be. And this sort of musing only goes to show what a wonderful little service it is. The two extremes:

 1) Pull the plug on my WordPress blog. Just transfer Ihnatko.com to my Posterous blog and be done with it.

 (No, of course I won’t. I want to promote my books and other projects through my blog, and design flexibility isn’t a goal of Posterous. But maybe more than anything else: using a service like Posterous represents a hell of a leap of faith. I value a lot of the writing I’ve done on Ihnatko.com. It’s no good to keep it all on a server that I can’t back up and which (according to Posterous terms of service) could disappear at any moment. But strictly on a technical basis, Posterous could serve as a “real” blog. That’s quite a compliment.)

 2) Use Posterous as sort of a “SuperTwitter.” I could simply see WordPress, Posterous, and Twitter as three different tools and use the right one for the job at hand: Twitter for snappy little confections and “interactive-ish” dialogue with followers, Posterous for appetizer-sized observations (longer than 140 characters but still under a paragraph), and send “real” pieces like this one to Ihnatko.com.

 Good. I like this idea. One of my limitations as a blogger is a simple one of mindset. I don’t think in terms of Dorothy Parker-esque “doo-dads.” I think in terms of articles. That’s what I’ve written regularly since I was 18 or 19. I think I’ve taken to Twitter because it imposes a HARD stop at 140 characters…otherwise, I get to the end of the second or third paragraph (conventional doo-dad bloggy length) and I just keep on writing.

 (Witness this post.)

 So if I train myself to send something to Posterous when I’m trying and failing to convert an idea or an observation to a molecule-sized Tweet, hell, it might save myself a lot of time and frustration.

 3) Use Posterous as a conduit and not a destination.

 Another great idea. Posterous has a fabulous hidden feature. You post to your Posterous blog by sending an email to post@posterous.com from your registered email address and if you’ve told the service about your Twitter, WordPress, Facebook (etc.) accounts, it’ll be copied to those other places as well. But! You can put specialized routing information there to the left of the @ sign.

 I’m writing this post in my mail client and planning to send it to Posterous. If I change the “To:” address to blog+twitter@posterous.com, this post will only appear on my WordPress blog. Posterous will also post a Tweet containing the title of the blog post and a link to it…umm…

 …Actually, I’ve never really tried it. Let’s see what happens if I send an email to blog+twitter+private@posterous.com. The third is a keyword that says “don’t publish this at all; put it on Posterous but keep it private.”

 …

 Hmm. No, that doesn’t work. Dash it. The hitch of this is that I want Twitter followers to read the post on my blog, not on Posterous, and I want Ihnatko.com to collect all of the comments, not Posterous.

 Well, you see the sort of things I’m thinking about at the moment.

 Bottom line: I’m blogging a lot more to Ihnatko.com now that I have Posterous. I’d like to either continue those good vibes, or figure out a way to wire up Ihnatko.com to give myself the same sort of functions. But I’d like to do it in such a way that I don’t wind up splitting my readership (and their responses) into three factions.

 (Developing Story)

Posted via email from ihnatko’s posterous

11 thoughts on “Damn. I really like Posterous. NOW what?”

  1. I can see the lure and attraction that Posterous has as you illustrated above, but I think you still need a site to call your own. One with your own branding that can include other static pages about you, what you do, recommendations, promotions, or featured items that you want to have easily accessible perhaps via a menu system. Though I say this without having used Posterous myself yet. I had considered it, but I was concerned that perhaps it just may be too much since I already post to multiple sites of my own with blogs, plus Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. Still, I may try it.

    In the end, it is whatever works best for you in producing the content you produce of course.

    Cheers,
    Louis

  2. But I’d like to do it in such a way that I don’t wind up splitting my readership (and their responses) into three factions.

    In addition, posting in so many places at once can become a bit weird for followers after a while. As a True Fan of Internationally Beloved Punditry, I’ve subscribed to RSS feeds for CWOB, Posterous, and Sun-Times (I’ve got a personal feed scraping for new articles). It would be great if these were actually three separate things, so that the separate feeds don’t duplicate each others’ items.

    Maybe you could use posterous as sort of a mini- (but not micro-) blog, like Merlin’s Kung Fu Grippe & Gruber’s Linked List? I guess that’s basically your #2 option above.

    In any case, just keep writing and sharing it! Do what you want, as long as you keep publishing.

  3. Andy,

    You wrote “I value a lot of the writing I’ve done on Ihnatko.com. It’s no good to keep it all on a server that I can’t back up and which (according to Posterous terms of service) could disappear at any moment.”

    I think there is a silver lining in there. I have a bunch of writing invested in my WordPress blogs, and I sometimes wonder whether that has been a mistake. WordPress takes my content, mixes it with presentational markup, and sticks the result in a mysql database. Granted, I have control of the server, but my writing is stored in a format very inconvenient for any purpose other than running a WordPress blog.

    With Posterous I can email pure text which I can archive as I see fit. For instance, by sending from gmail, I automatically keep a backup copy. The great advantage of Posterous is that my original work is kept free of the presentational markup, and is stored as plain text. I don’t get quite the degree of control over presentation, but I think in the long run I’m much better off.

    Thoughts?

    David

  4. Can we assume, given that ihnatko.com will not be going away, that everything posted to your posterous blog will also appear on ihnatko.com, henceforth? I’m subscribed to both, and am sorely tempted to unsubscribe to the posterous feed, given that all of the content for the past week has also appeared here.

  5. Can you give us subscribers a heads up when you’ve made your decision so we can set our feedreaders accordingly? I’m really enjoying your Posterous work—on the fly, bits and leftover thoughts—and am subscribing to both ihnatko.com and your Posterous blog as well. Posterous is a cool app… I’m using Tumblr in a very similar fashion myself.

  6. @Brian — I’m leaning towards setting up Ihnatko.com so that it behaves more like Posterous — like, with plugins that make multimedia posts via email easy, and automatically crosspost things to other services. Natcherly I’ll be posting about stuff I do as I do it…!

  7. @Jason — I’ve set up Posterous to crosspost everything to Ihnatko.com. So if you’re already subbed here at Ihnatko.com you won’t miss anything by unsubbing Posterous.

  8. @David — Well, you could do the same thing with the right tweaks to a WordPress blog. “Post via email” is a basic feature of the installation (though it isn’t nearly as easy to configure). MySQL is also lovely in that you can feed it to a script and automatically generate a folder full of Word files, with custom headers and headlines.

  9. I just got posterous working, but I definitely see the limitations. Firstly, talking with tech support there, your posterous blog has to be public, not private, for the posting to multiple locations to work. Now, I posted an article this morning using the ‘share on Posterous’ bookmarklet, and checked the ‘autopost everywhere’ feature and it didn’t post anywhere, except the posterous site. I then tried the post again, this time using the e-mail feature (without any special modifiers/hashes) and it did indeed go to my Blogger site, my Posterous site, and my twitter account, but as mentioned, the link to share the post referred back to my Posterous site, which is not really my main site! What I want to do is have it refer back to my main site on Blogger. Posterous seems like it is almost there…if they could figure out an option to have the tweet link to the site of your choice that would be great. I just feel like I don’t want to have to build another site (i.e. on Posterous) which I think will be disruptive and confusing to my audience. Any suggestions on ways to have a single posting entry point or client that then posts to Twitter, and a blog?

  10. Hey everyone. I’m one of the founders of Posterous.com. Our goal is to be a destination site, not just a conduit your external blogs. Over time we’ll be adding features (like theming) that will make it easier and easier to drop your existing site completely.

    If you have any suggestions for us, please don’t hesitate to email help@posterous.com. We’re very responsive, and want to make sure to build a site that’s useful to all of you! Thanks!

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