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Why Twitter Killed My Posterous Travel Blog, Why I Don’t Care But Why You Might Care. February 17, 2013

Posted by Bernard Lunn in Uncategorized.

I used Posterous as my travel blog. I did not want that content going to my WordPress site as I keep that for more professional stuff.

Why I like(d) Posterous:

1. Post by email. This was a biggie for me. It was the simplest way when I was on the road, posting straight from my iPhone’s Camera Roll. This was what set Posterous apart when they started, but now everybody offers this. I just enabled it on WordPress and have posted this by email.

2. Private Subscribers. I did not want my travel blog public. My reason was an unusual use case. I was travelling with my kids and in my gut distrusted that content being public. So I really used Posterous as a glorified email list for my family and friends. (I don’t trust Facebook and never got that habit). That fit my needs but I can see that Posterous would find that hard to turn into a business and why this won’t work for Twitter’s model.

3. Own domain: I actually did not set up my own domain but I had a vague idea that I might in the future. I liked the fact that Posterous made this dead simple. Of course Twitter wants to close this option; their business depends on advertising so they cannot lose traffic to your domain. I assume that Tumblr will sell at some point (they have investors) and the big consumer Internet ventures that are Tumblr’s natural acquirers will want to kill that option. WordPress may stay independent, but that is still a crap shoot. If this matters to you, route content that you care about to a domain that you control from day one.

4. Cross post to multiple social networks: I read that Posterous enables this but I prefer Hootsuite. Actually the only three that are relevant are the professional ones – WordPress, LinkedIn and Twitter. I can cross post from both WordPress and Twitter, so don’t really need Hootsuite any more.

Why I really don’t care that Posterous is closing down. This was ephemeral content. Being self-mocking I would call these “brain fart” posts. It was fun for me and sometimes for family and friends, but archiving these posts would like keeping every drawing your kids do; a manic, self important task that just clutters our lives. I sent them by email so I can retrieve them that way if needed. I may archive them somewhere but if I forget, I won’t lose any sleep. In short I don’t care enough to pay $5 per month to use PostHaven (the site created by one of Posterous’s founders).

So I don’t care. But you might care. If you use Posterous or something like it for professional/business reasons, you might care.

Now look at these 4 features from the point of view of a professional/business site:

1. Post by email: you can get contributions from anybody with a smartphone. You no longer have the friction of getting people to download an app. Nor do you need to tell a contributer to use one social network to post when that contributer prefers a different social network.

2. Private Subscribers: of course this matters in business. Some content should only go to paying subscribers or to colleagues/partners on a need to know basis. The “must be open to everybody all the time” mantra is driven by the need of big social networks to sell a lot of advertising.

3. Own domain: in the world of content marketing (which LinkedIn has put in the spotlight), having your own domain is essential. Scattering your content across multiple social networks owned by firms that sell ads against that content is an inherent conflict.

4. Cross post: if you have content on your own domain you want to get traffic by amplifying that content across social networks.

The end of Posterous leaves a hole. It will be interesting to see how the market fills that hole.



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