In case you missed it last week Posterous announced it was closing up shop as of April 30 to “focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter” (the company that bought Posterous last year).
Not a big surprise for those paying attention. After Twitter bought Posterous last year, it seemed there was a decent chance they might shutter Posterous. Sure enough, that day will come on April 30.
It’s too bad really. Posterous was an innovator in many ways. It was one of the first platforms to give you the ability to publish to many platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with just a single click. And, it was also among the first (and only?) blogging platforms that allowed you to publish via a simple email. This was always an under-served path to blogging in my view. As corporations looked to easier ways to blog, it struck me as strange that this really never caught on (although personally, I LOVED it–I think I have more than 10 Posterous blogs I’ve started at one point or another over the years).
But, now that Posterous will be gone for good on April 30, what does this mean (if anything) for the rest of the blogsphere. I think three implications are in play:
Confirms the importance of self-hosting
Sure, Posterous is giving its users the ability to download content and shift to another platform, but if you had bought your own domain, and self-hosted, you wouldn’t be in this position, would you? I think the number-one outcome of Posterous shutting down is that it confirms the sheer importance of self-hosting your blog. If you own your blog, and the domain, you never have to worry about your platform being bought out by a bigger corporate giant. You never have to worry about porting content to a new tool. You can just focus on building the best blog you can. Every day.
Tumblr will only get bigger
For the last few years, the big blog players have been: WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad (less lately), Squarespace (gaining steam) and Posterous. WordPress.com is far and away the clubhouse leader among this group with Blogger usually close behind and Typepad, Squarespace, Posterous and Tumblr in the rearview mirror. But, with the explosion of Tumblr (77 million blogs as of Oct. 2012 and counting, according to Wikipedia) as a community AND a blogging platform in the last couple years–and now with the demise of Posterous–Tumblr has really solidified itself as the primary #3 blog platform on the market. And, a lot of those folks with Posterous blogs will be switching over to Tumblr in the weeks ahead–just watch.
Apparently blogging by email WAS NOT a need
This one surprised me. I thought this was the most brilliant part of Posterous’ set up out of the gate in 2008–the ability to blog by email. For those who were confused and tormented by the “techniness” of platforms like WordPress, Posterous offered something much more simple. In essence, if you could use email, you could blog. It was literally that easy in the early days. Since then, of course, Posterous has evolved a bit, But that, along with the ability to cross-post across other social networks, was the chief USP for Posterous. And, it really never panned out. You really never saw people talk about how much they really loved that feature. I heard more folks talk about how they loved the simplicity and look of Postersous–but not so much around the posting by email. I really thought that was a need that Posterous filled nicely. And, I was wrong.
While this blog is built on WordPress, and I typically recommend most clients use the platform for various reasons, Posterous has always been a blog tool I’ve been somewhat enamored with.
In fact, I’ve created numerous Posterous blogs over the last couple years as a way to play with and test the tool (including the recent Bad Ass Shoes blog). I even started a Posterous Group a while back to experiment with that tool.
And while Posterous isn’t quite the tight-knit community Tumblr is, there are a number of great blogs out there that are definitely worth following. Let’s take a look at six I would highly recommend:
Talking with Tom
If you don’t know Tom Martin, make it a point to follow and start reading him now. Founder of Converse Digital, a digital marketing firm based in Louisiana, Tom interviews some of the leading thinkers in digital marketing in this blog. Among the list recently: Amber Naslund, Scott Stratten and Matt Ridings. The goal of the blog? To post one interview a week through Dec. 20, 2011. Mission accomplished so far, Tom. Keep up the good work.
The 3six5 blog
If you haven’t heard of the 3six5 blog by now and you consider yourself “plugged in”, you’ve been hiding in an online hole. The brainchild of Chicagoans Len Kendall and Daniel Honigman, The 3six5 is a story based on 365 different people’s individual experiences. That’s right, the blog is written entirely by 365 different volunteers from across the U.S. Len and Daniel pulled off one version of the blog last year–they’re at it again in 2011. Great reading–and, consider contributing yet in 2011.
Jack Draws Anything
Meet Jack. Jack has a brother who is sick. He’s in and out of the hospital regularly. So, Jack decided to start a blog based on his drawings in hopes of raising 20,000 pounds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. So far, Jack has more than 500 drawings–and more importantly, he’s raised more than 15,000 pounds (he started the blog hoping to raise just 100 pounds). Sure, it’s not the most relevant blog for PR/marketing types–but it’s one of the more inspirational stories I’ve seen in quite a while (and you’ll love the drawings if you’re a parent).
If you’re a Tweetdeck power user, subscribing to Tweetdeck’s official blog is a must. In it, they share all sorts of useful tips and tricks for how to best use the tool. They also share new pieces of functionality, include the new Deck.ly service earlier this year. Highly recommend subscribing.
E-Strategy After Hours
Without question my new favorite Posterous blog–by fellow Minnesotan and friend, Dave Erickson. In the blog, Dave routinely shares interesting and relevant statistics and data targeting everything from content to location-based demongraphics to infographics. I’ve found myself bookmarking many of Dave’s posts lately. Great information for presentations and blog posts in the last couple months.
Love him or hate him, Guy Kawasaki still has one of the better Posterous blog around in Holy Kaw. By subscribing, you’ll have access to a dearth of information (he posts upwards of 25 posts a day most days) ranging from useful infographics to Muppet Star Wars characters to scientific findings. All interesting stuff–and for PR folks who love learning new and unusual stats and information, it’s a nice, easy blog to sift through every day.
Bonus: Summer of Dresses Blog
I’m a guy, so this blog obviously doesn’t interest me, but I want to highlight it because it was founded by Nicole Weiler, Meghan Wilker and Liz Bastian right here in Minneapolis. The blog has gained so much traction over the last year-plus (including some great mainstream media coverage) that it was recently highlighted on the Posterous blog. And, I think it’s a great example of how to use Posterous creatively to build community.