What to consider before choosing Posterous to run your group blog

Posterous logoI have been using Posterous for eleven months now, and really like it.

It’s just about the simplest platform available for people who want a quick no-hassle blog solution (although I still prefer WordPress for my blogs because I need more control and like more bells and whistles).  The post via email functionality is killer.  And I love how easy Posterous makes it for me to post my photos and videos, and to cross-post these across most of my social media channels.

So, I still use Posterous as my personal mobile social image stream.

A Bit of Background

When the other members of our new Social Media Team started getting more active late last year with managing our social channels, I set up a Posterous account for the Pollak Library to use as its social image stream.  This allowed us to funnel our photos through an account we control, rather than something like TwitPic or YFrog, while also simultaneously allowing us to Autopost those photos to our Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr accounts.  And best of all, it appeared to be a solution that would allow all members of our team to post to these social accounts without having to share the main admin login and password for each of these accounts.

Posterous for Group Blogging

Last December, Posterous touted the awesomeness of its new Group Profiles to provide better branding and management for group blogs.  This would allow multiple people to have access to a shared profile and therefore to have access to contribute to a group blog and any associated Autopost sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc.).  This functionality worked fine for our library as long as only team members (aka “Contributors”) generated the content.

One of the features that I think is so cool about Posterous (for personal sites) is that anonymous users can also contribute content to a blog via simple email, and site Administrators can choose to have that user-generated content held in a moderation queue until the site Admin approves it to go live and to Autopost across any linked social channels.

The Problem

When my library and our Social Media Team decided to use Posterous to run a couple event-specific blogs for social media campaigns — since Posterous supports anonymous posts that can be held in a moderation queue — we encountered some problems.

  • While site Contributors (my team members) can push anonymous moderated posts to go-live, these Contributors cannot edit those posts prior to pushing them to the live site.  Only the site Administrator can edit these.   This means that my team members cannot fully help moderate anonymous content (fix misspellings, remove any objectionable wording, write engaging headlines, etc.).
  • While site Contributors can push anonymous moderated posts to go-live on the site, posts published live by Contributors cannot get Autposted they way they can when the site Administator pushes a moderated post to the live site.  This means that my team members cannot cross-post anonymous user-generated content across our library’s social networking sites.  I, as the Admin, have to login and Autopost every single anonymous post.
  • Posterous currently only supports one site Administrator (the owner/creator).  Approved Contributors — my team members — cannot be promoted to inherit Administrator permissions like we can do on our regular WordPress group blog.

The Solution

While the Posterous crew has been extremely prompt in responding to the requests I have sent to their support email address and posted on their support forums, they admit that the functionality I want for their group blogs does not yet exist.  They assure me, however, that this functionality is on their radar and will eventually be supported.

So, in the meantime, the only way to allow multiple people to serve as Administrators on a Group Profile and blog, is to share the login and password for the main Posterous account.  This temporary “solution” might work for your organization, but it still presented additional problems for my library which prevented us from using Posterous for our event-specific blogs…but, more on that next time.

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3 thoughts on “What to consider before choosing Posterous to run your group blog”

  1. Hello Colleen,

    I know that this post is over 2 years old, and since then, Twitter has acquired Posterous Spaces,  but I’m trying to found out if Contributors can also cross-post to their own blogs, even if it means getting all posts that are posted to that Posterous Space.  I see that Posterous Spaces allows more than one blogger or WordPress syndication, but I don’t know if that is only for the admin, or if Contributors can do that too.

    If Contributors can also syndicate all posts to their own blogs, then a Posterous Space can be used as a community blogging portal that can be syndicated out to a lot of different blogs at the same time.  This would be a win-win for all people that are in that blogging community portal, because every post is being cross-posted to many blogs all over the web.  As long as all members don’t mind a variety of topics being posted to their own blogs, then fresh content is being posted to a lot of blogs at the same time.

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