Some Thoughts on Posterous
I have been thinking on and off about Posterous since I first used it and decided to put my thoughts down in a post. Nischal asked the question “Would you stick to Posterous?”
My answer today is “No” for the simple reason that it’s difficult to
make the commitment to use Posterous as my primary blog until custom
domains are supported. Redirects just don’t cut it.
Also, the brutally honest truth is that Posterous is on borrowed time.
If the service does not start innovating rapidly, get huge user
adoption and then create a significant reason for users to stay, it
will soon become irrelevant. Its primary feature — email to blog — is
not enough of a differentiator because technically it is not very
difficult to implement and other blog engines will be quick to offer it
to their users (some already do).
I think Posterous should be thinking about ways in which they can
continue to stay relevant and even attractive to bloggers by doing the
exact opposite of what they are doing right now. Instead of trying to
be a blogging platform, they ought to focus on being an email
publishing utility very much like FaceBook is positioned as a social
utility. The AutoPosting
capabilities available on the service are a great way to start, but
they could be so much more. Instead of just supporting vanilla posts
with title and body and hosting the photos/media here, they should go
all out and implement email to MetaWebLog and other API’s. Being able
to use email to make a complete, detailed post to WordPress, DasBlog
and other blogging engines would be great. Add template, tagging and
categorization and it starts to get really interesting.
And while they are at it, they should do it for not just 10, but 100’s of other services. Basically, email enable every ProgrammableWeb.com API
for which email posting makes sense and that has any kind of traction.
That would be killer and greatly increase the barriers for competition
as users don’t like changing habits unless there is a very good reason.
Imagine “posterous” becoming a verb for “posting something to any web
service using email.” I think this would be a bigger opportunity for
the company and allow it to become truly indispensable compared to
where it is now — a “me too” blogging platform which re-posts to other
Bottom line, forget the blogging and focus on the email.