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« The Rules of the Road for Journalists on Twitter | Main | Search Engine Visibility and PR - An Edelman Digital White Paper »

Posterous is Changing How I Think About Blogging

I have been giving a lot of thought to what the future looks like for blogging and where it fits in my life. I have no plans to stop, but as more action moves to the statusphere and my world gets more mobile, I have been looking for a new publishing approach.

Louis Gray, Steve Gilmor and I had a rather deep discussion about this at the Friendfeed meet-up a few weeks ago. I have also had some good conversations about this with my contemporary, Jeremiah Owyang, as well as the folks who work for Six Apart, Blogger and Disqus.

Now that I have been at it for over five years, writing a weblog is starting to feel very slow and antiquated. It's like a singles tennis player who focuses solely on the baseline game, logging long balls back and forth. The statusphere, on other hand, is like playing doubles - and at the net all the time.

That's just one side of the story though. Another part of me feels strongly that in a world of "RTs" and "@s" a thoughtful blog post that adds value is downright refreshing. The right mix is a hybrid.

I have long been an admire of Jon Gruber, who writes the outstanding Daring Fireball weblog. He has the right model. All day long he's posting on his blog pithy comments with links to "finds." Occasionally, he writes a longer analysis as he did today about PR and journalism (a must-read by the way). He is also active on Twitter but for conversation. That's a great model to follow. But how do I do so when I am often on the go?

Enter Posterous. If you haven't seen it, Posterous is outstanding because it can serve as a front end for all of your out-bound publishing. It works entirely by email.

When I email Posterous the content immediately gets posted to my lifestream site, but it also goes to certain other venues depending on how I address the message. Posterous also has a ton  of other features that I love like easy tagging and also traffic statistics that you can see for every one of my posts. (For more browse this archive.)

Lately I have been shifting more of my reading/sharing to my iPhone. Some days I probably spend as much time or more time browsing the web from my mobile device than I do my laptop. Now that I have a new iPhone 3GS, I also want to do more with photos and video. Posterous seems like the great hybrid solution since I can share things in different places based on context and easily do so through via email.

So what does this mean for you as a reader? Nothing. You will get what you have come to expect from me right here on my blog. And if you subscribe my lifestream, you will get even more. My friends on Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook will get a mix. It appears to be the ideal front end for the active publisher.

How do you decide what to publish where and when? One medium doesn't replace the other but we need more hybrids like Posterous.

Posted via email from The Steve Rubel Lifestream

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Reader Comments (13)

I haven't decided yet. I love Posterous though, and I think it is a brilliant choice not just for multimedia or heavy publishers, but for people who want to post their thoughts online and don't want to get slowed down with the technical stuff.

That said, my current approach is to dump it all into Friendfeed and set up different rooms for different readers. This way no matter what outlets I am using, the content can be found in one centralized place (my feed), and specific content for readers interested in different things can be found in different places (rooms).

Just my two cents on the matter.
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Mendelson
Thanks for the write up! We're really hoping to change peoples notion of what a blog is. "Blog" is such a dirty word these days, for years people have been setting up blogging sites which they never updated because they didn't have anything interesting to say, or it was just too hard.

We decided to focus on media, since everyone has media to share with their friends and family.

We're also huge fans of Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social sites out there. So we built Posterous to work seamlessly with them all. Everyone has communities on those sites, and you want to tell your followers there about your photos and video... but you ultimately want your own place on the web where it's all hosted, and that's posterous.

If there's anything we can do for you, please let us know!

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSachin
that's a really interesting discussion. it may seem like blogging is dead, but I think it is just going through a transitory phase.

for personal use, I wonder if blogging can replace the simplicity of a facebook page. but when it comes to making the content public for marketing purposes (even personal branding), blogs rule.

I think what's missing today is not a solution where blogging is integrated into a more global social activity, but a solution to make posting content more efficient, and more visible
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterxavierv
Ideally a blog should serve as your hub with content flowing into and out of social networking sites. It should connect you to all of these services. Posterous does 1/2 of that. I would love to see them import the way Friendfeed does.
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Rubel
Sachin, thanks. If you guys start to allow us to bring in our content as well as you already help us to post and syndicate out, that would be, well, huge.
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Rubel
Posterous works "entirely by email"? No, it also has web publishing options as well.

I like Posterous (and the similar site Tumblr). But I don't see it as a replacement service - I see it as a complementary service. Too much for Twitter, too little for a blog.

Bloggers - passionate bloggers - will always use their blog as their main presence online. I'm on Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, Posterous, Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, and a few other networks. But my blog is my homebase - much like it is for others like me.

I notice you mention Lifestream - I feel this is the natural hybrid, not tools like Posterous.

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Brown
Your post reminded me about Posterous. I set up an account a while back, after seeing it in action somewhere or other. I went back and took a second look. I want to use it, but I'm running into a problem.

You ask how we decide what to publish and where. My problem is that I've built up too many layers of publishing services over the past few years, and when I publish something, I'm not quite sure where it goes anymore.

Almost time for a social networking/publishing reboot, methinks.
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Becker
Hmm... I think this is another Friendfeed/lifestram clone. It allows you to push all your content onto one place (can it take RSS too?) but again, why would you want to do that?

I have defined professional sites and personal sites. Why would I want to promote one to the other? If they blend by choice (boss/customer likes to read about my life, or friend is also in same pro field) that's fine - but I'll try to spare my work colleagues from the cute baby photos.
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWayan
I think you're mistaken, Wayan. Posterous is about pushing content, and making it easier to publish than ever using email.

Please give it a shot -- the difference between us and Friendfeed will be clear very quickly.
Tumblogs have been around for a while... I love Posterous as an innovator in the field though and for the sheer simplicity.
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Twitter is like a breath of fresh air on the Social Media scene. I have been on it for just a few weeks now and I have met several interesting people. It is a platform to network with people you would like to meet in real life.


June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBulk Email Software
I have a Posterous site and love the potential, but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to balance it with Twitter and blogging. Currently, I'm using it now as a TwitPic replacement and a place to share observations/musings that are more than 140 characters. I just installed their share bookmarket, which I hope will help me pick up the pace on Posterous. Plus, I like having the Posterous widget on my personal site. It helps create some organization (at least in my own mind) between the places I find myself writing. Because it's such a simple tool to use, there are so many ways people can integrate it into their online presence. I love learning from other people's approaches.

Heather (@prtini)
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Hey there Heather,

That's a great middle ground for people that already have established blogs. Sometimes you just don't want to write a full post, or you just want a "quick fix" = Posterous is great for this. :)
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Brown

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