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Blogging Platform Posterous To Shut Down April 30 94

Posted by timothy
from the cloud-rains-on-your-parade dept.
New submitter Mike Allton writes with the announcement from Posterous that the blogging platform will close at the end of April, after being acquired last year by Twitter. "It's been suggested that people should use platforms like Posterous or Google+ for their blog, and I think this is a perfect example of why that's a bad idea. When you use someone else's platform, you don't own your content and you don't have control over the platform. Do you have a Posterous account? What will you do with all your posts and content?"
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Blogging Platform Posterous To Shut Down April 30

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  • this sucks (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    im going to have to post all my spun SEO spam articles on some other free blogging platform now ...

  • Who? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:41AM (#42921901)

    Nevere heard of them.
    Guess nothing of value will be lost.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Are you the center of the universe or something?
    • Re:Who? (Score:4, Informative)

      by sootman (158191) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @07:53PM (#42924639) Homepage Journal

      They were a new, easy-to-use blogging platform that came out around the same time as Tumblr -- another new, easy-to-use blogging platform. You know how it often happens that two similar things come out around the same time and one takes off and one doesn't? That.

      One of their key features was that you could post from email, which a) made blogging accessible to a lot of people because "hey, posting is as easy as emailing!", and b) it worked (and worked well) from early smartphones before Apps took over the world. And you didn't have to make an account with them at first -- your email was your account.

      They had some good ideas, but that's just how these things go. For whatever reason, one company hits what others miss.

      Besides, they were bought by Twitter last year, so it's not like the owners are hungry, crying, and alone as they shut down their service. Most people figured they'd close up shop a lot sooner once they got bought.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        They were a new, easy-to-use blogging platform that came out around the same time as Tumblr -- another new, easy-to-use blogging platform. You know how it often happens that two similar things come out around the same time and one takes off and one doesn't?

        It more frequently happens that two similar things come out around the same time, and neither takes off, especially when they have stupid names closely derived from other successful services to announce their "#me2 #web2.0" status .... oh, I see what you

    • People read your journal here, though, so that's a difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:41AM (#42921905)

    And there is PostHaven [techcrunch.com] now, launched by a co-founder of Posterous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:41AM (#42921909)

    The article gives specific instructions how to save all your blog content. In some cases, move it to another host. But you must do it before they shutdown. So the problem is ...??

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:50AM (#42921971)

      I'm not sure of why Google+ is mentioned, especially as it's one of the few that will allow you to easily extract all your data. Regardless, everyone should know that you're at the mercy of the whims of those that provide 'free' services. You should always know what the real 'cost' is, and have an escape plan you can use if required.

      • by Fri13 (963421) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:01PM (#42922021)

        Google+ was mentioned to gather clicks and cause discussion why Google+ is so terrible.

        Hell... the most of the WWW is terrible since corporations conquered it and we moved away from simple and good looking HTML sites to huge advertising competition and who designs most fancy animated page.

        Some days I think we would have been much better in times when email didn't have HTML coding possibilities and discussion happened in BBS/NNTP way instead HTML forums with huge banners, "billion of links" and signatures what people abuse etc. (we can always make things cleaner and good looking but HTML was way too easy slippery sloap what was offered to so called "designers" who could make any element of picture as link).

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:31PM (#42922161)

          > we moved away from simple and good looking HTML sites

          <body background=blink.gif><br><br><br><br><img src=under_construction.gif><br><marquee><font color=red><blink><i>TOTALLY</i> agree</blink>. It was <b>much</b> better in GeoCities' times</font></marquee><br><img src=under_construction.gif><br><embed src=rickroll.mid autostart=true autoplay=true hidden=true/></body>

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          I'm guessing the second issue of your newsletter will cover the scourge that is children running across your lawn?

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        You should always know what the real 'cost' is, and have an escape plan you can use if required.

        Yep. And I'm sure the 100s of thousands of bloggers who have no idea what a server or a host is let alone can setup wordpress or some platform on a private paid service have taken this into account.

        Free + time taken to move blog elsewhere + minor loss of readship is likely less than
        Hosting + expensive consultant fees to help setup blog.

      • by vilanye (1906708)
        Yup, I am not sure why Google gets any love at all.

        Their main business model depends on collecting as much data on everyone as they can. Everything from search, to map, to docs, to everything in between are nothing more than data mining applications.

        People used to yell and scream about crap like gator and other tracking systems and Google is no different than those types of "services". Once Google bought the the spyware doubleclick, complaints about pretty much ceased.

        Google is a more dangerous thr
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They wrote:

    "Plus, the people at Twitter are genuinely nice folks who share our vision for making sharing simpler."

    Except obviously sharing from any platform that is not Twitter.

    Goodbye Posterous, whatever you were.

    • Ever tried using Twitter's API? They make it about as easy to use/post content to and from Twitter as you can without allowing ridiculous volumes of queries to their servers. Perhaps you mean the instagram debacle? In that case it's Twitter choosing not to pull pics from instagram, nothing to do with whether you can do it on another platform. Twitter can do what they want on their own platform, but they certainly seem to be making it as easy as reasonably possible to integrate their data on a different
  • Content (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hhawk (26580)

    While I haven't read the Posterous TOS i doubt they "own" people's content... however, the issue I think that Mike was trying to highlight is while you own your content you might not be able to migrate it and/or loss access to it..

    • Re:Content (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:14PM (#42922091)

      It's not clear how you would lose your data. You can download everything into a zip file. Then you can either parse the stuff yourself or use the import facility at Wordpress or Squarespace. It is probably good advice to make sure you have another copy of everything you depend on the cloud for, but this shutdown is not a good example of what can go wrong.

      • by sootman (158191)

        > ... this shutdown is not a good example of what can go wrong.

        In fact, this is basically a good example of how to do a shutdown right -- as opposed to, say, what Geocities did.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Back it up and import it somewhere else like it says in the post...

  • What an ironic name. The real issue is that data can't easily be moved to another platform. At least with something like WordPress you can take your data and go solo indefinitely.

  • by warewolfsmith (196722) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:44AM (#42921933)
    Gone are the days of our lives, now its life in 156 characters or less...
    • That's a very short post for what appears to be a deeply held frustration, care to elaborate? You're allowed to on here you know...
    • As might be expected, words are shrinking along with intellect, which is spelled with two "l" characters. Additionally, the contraction for "it is" is "it's," not "its."

  • ... Twitter bothered to buy Posterous in the first place. If it wasn't to have a blog space, was it to just get more accounts they can push Twitter accounts on? Seems a wasted investment to me. Oh wait, they just figured it out.

    • It was a talent acquisition of sorts. Let's say you're a VC capitalist. You throw money at a startup. Business plan? Worry about that when they get big. But they don't get big and they don't have any revenue. So you cut your losses and save your face by asking one of your successful VC companies to acquire-hire them.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:52AM (#42921981)
    The WordPress import [wordpress.com] uses an XML file for import of text, tags, etc. but reads the images from Posterous while parsing the xml. This means that people who delete their blogs before import, or presumably who wait until after the end of April so not get their images imported, The images are in the backup .zip file but if you wait too long you could have to re-add them all manually.
  • Own your content - it's the only way to be sure.

    • Re:Friendica (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:13PM (#42922089) Homepage Journal

      No, own your own WEBSITE. That's the only way to be sure. The downside isn't cost, you can get hosting for $15 per year. The downside is nobody will read it -- but they don't anyway.

      Me, I just use slashdot. [slashdot.org] It's good enough for my purposes.

      • Big +1 from me on that. People are getting more and more confused about whether Twitter, Google, Facebook or AOL are "the internet", they just don't realise it's all just websites (admittedly some websites running pretty funky background scripts) - at the end of the day all of these things are simply computers which take a request, process it and return some text and images.

        As for your point about nobody reading it regardless of whether it's on facebook or "mylittleblog.net", spot on. I think there's p
      • by Gothmolly (148874)

        Why would you NOT run Friendica on your own site? One implies the other - any serious Friendica user, especially one bitten be the Posterous fail would do that. -1, Redundant

      • by tlambert (566799)

        No, own your own WEBSITE. That's the only way to be sure. The downside isn't cost, you can get hosting for $15 per year. The downside is nobody will read it -- but they don't anyway.

        Me, I just use slashdot. [slashdot.org] It's good enough for my purposes.

        Frankly, this is just moving the problem that the article poster was complaining about: instead of losing your blogging platform out from under your content, you could just as easily lose the web site hosting services out from under the blogging platform you run yourself on your hosted web site. So the next thing you should do is run your own web server to avoid the hosting dropping out from under your blogging platform that you run yourself on your hosted site, right? That ends with a reductio ad absurdu

        • by vilanye (1906708)
          If you are going to point out fallacies try to avoid them. If your host dies, simply move your app somewhere else. If you are not a total idiot you can use http://www.nosupportlinuxhosting.com/ [nosupportl...osting.com] for $12 a year. Since they don't perform backups, you will always have a local backup, right?
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          The difference between a hosted blog and a hosted server is you're paying for the server, even though the costs are miniscule. About the only way you can lose your site is a DMCA takedown, which can't happen if your host isn't in the US, or if the hosting company goes bankrupt. If that happens, you simply get another host, change the DNS values, and upload the site. Your visitors will only notice a few hours downtime, the site and URL remain the same. With a blog, a new host means a new URL and a different

      • Sorry the major downside IS cost.

        Maybe not for the Slashdot readership where external hosts and Linux boxes with LAMP stacks are probably the norm, but we're not typical bloggers.

        Typical bloggers a mindless teenagers who think someone else cares about what they think. Typical bloggers are aspiring journalists who want to demonstrate they have a history in writing. Typical blogs are written by anyone who has something to say and this does not require even the most basic of computer skills.

        My sister falls int

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I ran several hobby sites around the turn of the century, they cost a whopping $15 per YEAR. IIRC they even had a blogging-like template you could use, although I used my own HTML and javascript.

          • by thegarbz (1787294)

            *YOU* ran. Not someone who has problems with basic computer problems, not someone who spends their time thinking those malware downloads are actual virus scanners, but YOU.

            That's the point. I run wordpress on my site complete with templates. That costs me nothing. Now a childcare centre I worked for recently had their website modified to make it dynamically editable. Basically the guys installed wordpress within the site template. THAT job cost just over $3000.

  • by atomize (2718973) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:02PM (#42922029)
    wget -r -l inf -k -E -p -nc http://www.yourposterousblog.com/ [yourposterousblog.com]
    • by KiloByte (825081)

      That's trivial for you and me. But not for 99.999% of users of these services -- and I probably used too few nines, as most of kind would set up an own server, or perhaps even write our own code (just see what happened when Knuth was unhappy with typesetting software he used. Even if we're dumb peons in comparison, tendencies are the same). Parsing that html, ripping out the contents, figuring out how to import it into another platform... that's not something an average person can do.

      • And then comes they fun of SEO - trying to pass over as much Rank value to the next site... Hoping to use 301, or rel=canonical. Hence why i dip my toes shallow in sites with unknown lifespans.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          If you're not using your own domain, take it as a free lesson in SEO: Use your own domain.

      • Which brings us right back to why people are generally OK with not having to worry about hosting, DNS, and all the other stuff that goes into making a blog.

  • by inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:10PM (#42922071) Homepage

    When you use someone else's platform, you don't own your content and you don't have control over the platform.

    This is true. On the other hand, you are also shifting the maintenance burden to someone else. Keeping the software up to date w.r.t. features, bug fixes, or at least security fixes. Fighting spam. Keeping the platform that the software runs on (operating system, hardware) usable. Making sure backups are kept up to date and regularly tested.

    It's a trade-off, and there are good reasons for wanting to be in control and good reasons for wanting others to do the work.

    I think the real solution to the control issue, in many cases, is to make sure it is easy to get the data out and use it, and then regularly get a copy of the data you care about and store it somewhere. Exactly like making a backup, which you should be doing no matter who hosts the data, you or someone else. If you do this, you are protected against data loss and unwanted changes.

    If you make sure you always have usable backups of your data, the only thing you still need to worry about is other people using that data. To some extent, that is something you need to worry about no matter who hosts the data, but, of course, the realistic threats are somewhat different for, say, hosting the data only on computers only you have an account on vs. hosting the data on a computer that is maintained by someone else. For me, personally, I have no issue having my website on someone else's computer, but I do have an issue with this for email.

  • Nothing, I didn't post anything worthwhile to start with on that service.

    I was burned when Blogger stopped supporting publishing by FTP. I'll be running my own server from now on, thank you.

  • Oh the pun (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quakeulf (2650167) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:33PM (#42922169)
  • This happened with Vox. They had tools to let you move it to TypePad or WordPress. I split the difference (my Vox archive is on TypePad, new stuff on WordPress.com [wordpress.com]). That said, this, as well as the Instagram situation last December, calls out a common issue, especially with free services. How are things owned? What happens if they go away. Almost all of the pictures on my WordPress blog are hosted at Flickr. Fortunately, Flickr's TOS are somewhat better than what Instagram proposed from the ownership persp
  • by Phroggy (441)

    Do you have a Posterous account?

    No. In fact I'd never heard of it until now.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @02:57PM (#42922953) Homepage

    Most free "cloud" services only seem to last a few years, until the vendor realizes they're not making money. Using a big-name vendor doesn't help - remember Google Wave, Apple MobileMe, Wal-Mart Music, Microsoft Windows Live, etc. The lives of these things are surprisingly short. About as long as a cool restaurant.

    Don't get locked into a "cloud" service that stores your data in a form that can't be readily exported to somewhere else.

  • by MattBD (1157291) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @03:01PM (#42922971) Homepage
    Nowadays, I use Octopress, having gone through Blogger, hosted WordPress.com blog, self-hosted WordPress beforehand. Admittedly it's not for everyone, but it has massive advantages in terms of retaining control of your data over every other blogging platform I've tried. Because it just generates static HTML, you can host it pretty much anywhere you like (mine is on GitHub Pages). It's under version control, and you can easily store it on any machine with Git installed. With Octopress, this kind of thing will never be an issue because you can just push the files to somewhere else with ease.
  • Twitter recently bought Crashlytics [crashlytics.com], a company making pretty good crash reporting tool and service for iOS and Android. The usual "nothing will change" and made it free for everyone. How long will that last, a year? My guess is, just like Posterous they will absorb whatever they can of their tech into internal tools and then shut it down. Otherwise, why would they make it free? It's disappointing when innovative tech companies like Crashlytics get swallowed and digested like this.

  • Just so they can shut it down?
  • ... because saying post-posterous is itself preposterous.

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