I recently decided to launch a new car-themed blog and wanted to try a new platform. After hearing buzz about Posterous, a mini-blogging service that lets you email posts and specializes in being extremely user-friendly, I decided to give it a shot.
I get what they’re going for: Simplicity. But Posterous is simplicity to a fault.
Designed for those who want to “life-stream,” or simply micro-blog daily events, sometimes of trivial significance, it does well at providing an easy-to-publish-on-the-go platform. I posted several times from my BlackBerry Pearl without issue, and my Pearl isn’t exactly high-tech anymore (although, if you forget to change the subject line, your post might be called IMG00007.jpg, doh!). It also automatically posts to Facebook, Twitter, and other common services, which isn’t really unique but I suppose it’s a feature Posterous does have and does well at. It also has very easy Google Analytics integration, but that pretty much wraps up everything nice I can say about it.
Now the downside, or all of the features it’s missing:
- Customization: I know Posterous is a relatively new service, founded in May, 2009, but still….it took until mid-September to roll-out very basic theming like changing your background color, much like Twitter’s theming customization.
- AdSense: Zip, Zilch, Notta. If I build up my blog or website, I want to put Ads on it. Not possible, no widgets whatsoever for this service. They don’t even put AdSense on their own stuff to make money (apparently start-ups don’t need to generate revenue anymore, right Twitter?)
- Blogroll: You can make a pseudo blog-roll called “My Other Sites” which will display links to Facebook, Picasa, Twitter, etc, but it’s really limited to about 6 services. No other links or text that you can get to carry over to individual post pages, etc. I have other blogs and websites I want to link to throughout my blog, and I can’t. So if I want to generate traffic to my other websites, I’ll have to link in every single post (spammy!)
- Editing Photo/Video Galleries: You can’t. Once they’re posted, they become cryptic pieces of code you can’t do anything about. Want to change the order of the images in the Gallery? Tough.
Posterous can (and should) implement features like those above and they wouldn’t lose any of their simplicity. Users can setup their blog to include widgets, adsense, blog rolls and custom photo/video galleries if they feel like it and are technically inclined, or they can continue to post without them for as long as they want (much like WordPress out-of-the-box).
As a professional SEO consultant, my job is to help websites gain more traffic, which leads to more impressions, conversions & revenue. If you can’t display ads, can’t do e-commerce, and can’t have a blog roll linking to websites that do, it’s pretty tough to see any benefits, other than to exercise your ego by emailing your blog about the cool things going on in your life. If I’m going to build up a site to include a lot of great (or at least interesting) information, I want to be able to do more with it than simply email it…my blog isn’t my penpal, it is my website.
So, you won’t be seeing much at Nick’s Car Blog for a while, as I take the time to switch it over to WordPress. It kind of suprises me WordPress doesn’t implement a “Post from Email” feature and completely squash Posterous, as it’s really the only unique feature Posterous contains. Perhaps I should have given Tumblr a shot, given its better array of features and customization, but I have a feeling I’d be left with the same impression: it’s no WordPress…
Photo Credit: Photobucket