Evaluating Posterous #review #webapp

I am trying out this post aggregator called Posterous. It allows you to use email for posting to many other sites where you post content, like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It has a neat idea of specific email addresses like facebook@posterous.com for posting to facebook and likewise for others. You can even combine destinations, like facebook+twitter@posterous.com. For links to images, it inserts the image for you (I think), for videos, it embeds the video player in your posts(they say).

Pretty neat. The best think I like about their idea is the central place email has in all of this. I get really tired trying to add content to each of the sites by using their own client. I hate web-based forums, and prefer mailing lists. I am more of a 90s has-been with a hangover of text email (not even formatted email). So give me a system which works by email, and I am happy.

But then, I use Gmail, and today for the first time, I am using the formatting buttons in Gmail, to intentionally sending an HTML formatted email to see if posterous gets it. I am sending this to my regular self-hosted wordpress blog.

I frequently post code snippets. So the following should work.

import dbus
bus = dbus.SystemBus()

Unfortunately, Gmail forces me to use a certain font (Courier New) to format my code. So I have no idea how the above would look to a person without this font on their system. I don’t use colored text, but I am guessing many people would like that as well.

I use blockquotes frequently. They have to work!

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible

  • Dalai Lama

Of course, if you are using some special wordpress plugins for editing, you are out of luck here. All you have is the formatting, and drafting feature that your email client gives you. But then, you will like this service only if you are a person who is more at home with what your email client gives you and no more.

I have read some fishy stuff that posterous has done in the past, like adding affiliate links to your posts without informing users. I hope they are more transparent about it now. But what makes me most uncomfortable is the possibility of lock-in. But if you use posterous to put content in your existing providers like facebook/twitter, etc. you are already surrendering data to other providers, or at the very least, they are your backup. The issue only arises when you post only at Posterous web interface, and don’t channel the content elsewhere.

Update: Ok. It seems Posterous mostly gets it. The formatting came out fine. I still have to edit the post to set the Category. I screwed up the tags by using twitter tags instead of the way they have documented it.

An it still seems to me that if I need to edit my post, I would probably need to edit it twice. Once here in wordpress, and once in my posterous website. Did I tell you how some bits of this service is quite similar to Tumblr? ;) The email part makes it stand apart though.

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