July 2nd, 2009
I’ve recently signed up for Posterous, a lifestreaming site that may very well be the next shiny Web 2.0 tool.
What is lifestreaming, you ask? It’s a way of aggregating your life — photos, videos, articles and blog posts — in one place. In a recent post, I say lifestreaming can be thought of as a linear, time-based scrapbook. A Web 2.0 version of “Being John Malkovich,” sort of.
It’s simple enough to sign up for Posterous:
1. First, go to the Posterous registration page. Select your URL — e.g. YourNameHere.Posterous.com is the default, but you can install Posterous as the CMS on your personal blog — as well as your password. Enter your contact e-mail address. One word of advice: Use an e-mail account that you can access from your mobile device easily; this way you can upload photos and videos directly to your page, instead of just using SMS for the posts.
Be sure to fill out your profile completely. Add a bio and a photo, because if you don’t, your page’s sidebar will appear quite sparse.
2. Create a contact on your phone for Posterous. Enter the telephone number in as 41411. (It’s a short code — definition here — so that’s why the number is only five digits. Enter the e-mail address as post [at] posterous [dot] com. (Use the actual symbols for “at” and “dot,” not the bracketed words. Just saying.)
Now create some test posts, like I did here and here, just so you can get the hang of it. If you have the iPhone 3.0 software, you can even upload your audio recordings directly to the site by e-mailing them to post [at] posterous [dot] com.
3. Add the “Share to Posterous” link to your browser. This will make it easy for you to take any content you want from the Web and post it directly to your Posterous site. Go to this page, scroll about halfway down, and literally drag the button to the top of your browser.
4. Share/post a photo or video through the bookmarklet: To share a photo or video, just open up the URL for the photo specifically, like this stunning picture of yours truly or this classic Michael Jackson music video.
Click the “Share on Posterous” link on your browser, and a window will open, like so:
Chances are the picture’s file name will be the default headline. Change the “title” field to whatever you want your post’s headline to be. Post your written content into the “Your Comment” field below the photo. (Warning: Be sure to change your headline now, because you won’t be able to re-save it for SEO purposes. To change the URL, you’ll have to start all over. You don’t want to do that.)
5. Share/post a story through the bookmarklet: Say there’s a story you want to share on your Posterous page. Simple enough. First, find the URL for what you want to share. Then click on the Posterous bookmarklet. A similar window will pop up.
If the story has one main graphic, it will automatically show up in the box. If the page has multiple graphics, you’ll be able to cycle through them. If you don’t like any of them, just click on the picture — the HTML code will show up — and just delete it.
Add some text below the graphic, and be remember to give your post a title. You should end up with something like this.
6. Post content via e-mail: Just open a blank e-mail — it must be from an account you registered on Posterous — and enter your headline in the subject box. Now enter the body text as the main e-mail message. Send it to post [at] posterous [dot] com.
7. Post content via your mobile phone: Posting content from your phone is simple. There are several ways to do it:
- Post via SMS: Just write be sure to write the word “POST” before the text you want to be your headline. Text it to 41411 and you’ll get something like this. Unfortunately, your post won’t have any body text initially, just a headline. You can always go back and change this later, though. NOTE: One thing — if you post via SMS, your full text will appear, but the post URL seems to have an 81-character limit.
- Post via e-mail: just open a blank e-mail and send it to post [at] posterous [dot] com. Your post headline will go in the subject box and the body text will go, well, in the body of your e-mail.
- You can also send cell phone photos via e-mail. If you’re using an iPhone, first make sure you upgrade to iPhone 3.0 software. Open your Camera Roll, select one or multiple photos and “Copy” them. (You can do this with the upgraded software.) Then open a new e-mail and “Paste” the photos into the body of the e-mail. To add text above the photos, just type it above the first photo. Your final post will look like this if you have one photo or this if you have multiple photos. Nifty, huh?
8. Now it’s time to link Posterous to your social media accounts. Posterous allows you to link your profiles on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, as well as your WordPress, Blogspot or Xanga-powered blog for either automatic or select syndication. Just click the “Add a service” button at the top of the page, and Posterous will set it up almost automatically.
If you only want to post to one page, just e-mail your posts to [name of the service] [at] Posterous [dot] com.
And if you like the service so much, you want to pull in your current blog and switch platforms, you can import your existing posts to Posterous.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video fellow Chicagoan @Outsanity created for his blog about Posterous. Enjoy:
Please let me know if I left anything out of this post, and let us know if you like Posterous as much as we do.