Posterous is one of those web apps that comes along and brightens up the world. It is a gift that keeps on giving. And here’s why: it’s flexible, and it’s really easy to use.
The core USP that underpins Posterous is the ability to post content quickly from a range of sources. To create posts you can use the bookmarklet, email, or the Posterous web editor. It’s about the fastest way of publishing content to the web and I for one love it.
So how can you use Posterous to get the best out of it? I have a few ideas…
A personal blog
I’ve fallen in and out of love with blogging on many occasions but it has never been so easy to maintain a personal blog. While Posterous doesn’t yet cater for indie publishers, it is the perfect tool for lapsed or wannabe bloggers.
A collaborative blog
Posterous caters for multiple authors, who can all contribute posts and comments, and will receive notifications once new content is published. If blogging feels like too much effort then why not invite like-minded friends or colleagues to get in on the act?
A private blog
I’ve been working on a new startup recently and we thought it would be a good idea to start a private group blog. We use Posterous to share ideas relating to the launch plans, PR and marketing strategies, event planning, networking, branding, and design / user testing. Posterous helps compile and collate our ideas, as well as bookmarking interesting things we see elsewhere.
A rich bookmarking tool
Online bookmarking tools like Delicious are great discovery engines but I was never quite bitten by the bookmarking bug. Storing headlines and links doesn’t quite do it for me, even when supplemented with notes and tags. Posterous allows you to easily upload, store, tag and view videos, images, text, files and audio. As such I personally use it as a kind of interactive scrapbook, where I compile random Youtube videos, Flickr images, and links to websites that I want to keep a note of. Rich bookmarking has come of age.
An image host for your existing blog / website
Flickr is a beautiful creature but I’ve found Posterous to be a little bit quicker to use for those times when you just want to upload an image and grab the link. All you need to do is email image attachments and Posterous will publish them. It will also send you an email to with a link to that specific post, allowing you to grab the image URL to use on your blog (using Posterous as the image host). Better still, Posterous will send your image uploads directly to your Flickr account if you want it to.
A conduit to publishing content all over the web
Following on from the last point, Posterous allows you to automatically distribute them to other sites (e.g. WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc). As such it can be used as a hub to push out your content onto multiple sites.
A PR / cuttings file
I don’t think it’s particularly cool to replicate and republish third party blog articles in full on the web, but a private Posterous blog could be a good way of creating an interactive PR folder. It will help you to easily store articles, clippings and links.
A project / client management tool
Basecamp is one of the best low-cost tools for coordinating projects with clients but it has a few limitations. A private Posterous blog may help extend Basecamp. Invite clients to brainstorming and bookmarking sessions, or to share files and other project assets.
A research tool
Researching a project? Posterous can be useful whether you’re doing this individually or as part of a team. You can share and store documents, spreadsheets, pictures, braindumps and rich bookmarks.
A videoblog or podcasting channel
Posterous can host video, so you can create a series of generic or subject-specific videos. It will push out your videos to YouTube and other platforms if you tell it to. And it will also embed videos from third party video sites, should you wish to aggregate them from elsewhere. Audioheads can also use Posterous as a podcasting platform, which can be subscribed to via iTunes.
To immediately start your Posterous blog simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the subject line as your headline. If you attach an image or other file it should make sense of it. You will receive an email after your post is published, after which you can log in and customise your new blog. Easy!