Blog Pile

Blog by Email? With Posterous Maybe Even My Mom Can Blog

Social Network Fatigue

I feel your fatigue. I feel mine. But I keep finding them interesting! Call me a fanboy (it’s a legit word in the dictionary).

Tossing a linktribution to HeyJude (HeyJude! Hi) who has clued me into many new tools, I gave a go at Posterous:

Posterous is the dead simple way to put anything online using email. We launched in July 2008 and we’ve been steadily growing and adding features.

We love sharing thoughts, photos, audio, and files with our friends and family, but we didn’t like how hard it was… so we made a better way.

That’s posterous. We’re super excited to see what happens when blogging becomes as easy as email, and we hope you enjoy posterous as much as we do.

How wild- you can set up an account without… setting up an account! So more or less, any way you can email something- text, words, pictures, movies? to or SMS to their number (in the US only for now, sorry), you can blog.

So if HeyJude thinks its cool, I gotta try. Set up the account, and sent a first post via SMS. Almost instant gratification. Then I tried sending a photo form my iPhone via email.

Easy again! But wait there’s more! Before I sent that photo, I added my accounts for flickr and twitter to posterous, so when that flower photo went to posterous, it also went to twitter and to flickr! (you can use specific email destinations like flickr@posterous,com to cross post only to flickr, for only twitter…).

And then I just sat down in GMail and composed a message sent to to create a plain old blog-like post:

The text of my email was:

Dear Posterous,

You are a strange web site indeed. At first I thought, well, just
another status/post/friend aggregator, YASN (Yet Another Social
Network). You *look* kind if tumblr like.

But interesting, the ways to post make it so darned easy. I have tried
test messaging from my new iPhone and posting a photo from there- all
very smooth, and almost effortless. And there are the options I can
set up to re-post things posterous-ed to other services, so my photo
went to bloth flickr and twittter. Now we are getting many crossings!

And now this part, composing an old fashioned, as if it were 1987 (the
year I first did email), email to create and post to my blog… well
heck, I am sure my Mom can do this. She reads my blog (hi Mom! Be sure
to eat all your meals!) but seriously, if she were compelled, she
could blog by email. That is my ultimate litmus test of a technology
arriving, when my Mom uses it.

So bog by email, how strange and neat at the same time.

Have a nice day,

Your friend


And I bet if you did rich text email (styles, images, links) it would all come through on the Posterous publishing.

So, if this is not exactly clear, I am posting multimedia blog posts, cross posting to other services, without ever touching a blog authoring interface. I am pretty sure my Mom, whose internet activity is up to basic email, could actually manage to blog this way (so if you see a cookielady site at posterous, you know she took me up on the challenge).

Okay, so I am not sure beyond this quick romp with the tool I would use it on a regular basis. But the ease of posting content through many devices/simple methods mat be compelling. Its kind of like tumblr on speed. Imagine students using a common account to post project updates or data from the field. Or how simple could it be to create a conference social site; all you need is email, no accounts.

What do you think? Yay or Nay? Or yawn?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Alan, I really like your write-up. As usual you push the thinking a bit further than I ever have time to that’s cool. Yes, I have got some people hooked on the concept of using this with kids. I’m really interested to see how this develops. Awesome….particularly in this era of social network fatigue. I sure have joined and tried so many things – and even when they are good I just can’t use all the things I have an account for. I shudder to think how long your list must be :-O

  2. Alan, Posterous is indeed an excellent tool. The support from the developers is excellent.

    What is the one tech skill that most teachers possess? Sending an email. Posterous is an ideal entry level tool for teachers that have been traditionally hesitant to have a crack at an online presence. And it does not have to remain entry level. They can set up a gallery and establish a podcast oh so easily. More analysis here.

    Posterous is brilliant

    Posterous meets Comic Life

    Cheers, John

  3. What a great writeup. Thanks for the coverage — we’re psyched you’re using posterous and we’re trying to get better every single day, whether it’s through being a real person and answering your email fast or launching bug fixes and new features.

    Email is awesome — everything else is just software. =)

  4. @doug – Great to hear the uptake and anxious to see how people use Posterous (it’s not the smoothest sounding name, and hardly lends itself to an action verb as twitter does!).

    @Judy – thanks again for pointing the tool to me. I have no idea how long my list is and there is some level of them that are “below the fold” of my attention awareness. Services where I have accounts but no/little action (some of them as aggregators need no attention) include FriendFeed, Pownce, Jaiku, Tumblr, SecondBrain, SuprGlu…. uh, now I cant remember.

    @John- brilliant links- as usual you are ahead of the curve!

  5. Have been using this site for awhile, and have nothing but praise. If an issue arises they are on it quickly, and the personal e-mail back is a nice touch. These guys care, about their service and the people that are using it.

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