Posterous or Tumblr?
August 2, 2010 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Which one should I use -- Tumblr or Posterous?

I work for a large organization, and part of my job is to help educate and evangelize Social Media to the internal organization (20,000+ employees, multiple state footprint, etc.). To help accomplish this, I recently started a daily email where I send some of the latest tidbits about Social Media. These are short bursts of "this is why this is important."

This started out as a daily e-mail that would go to 12 people, but now has grown significantly. It's easy to do in Word and then paste it into Outlook, but I'd like to grow past this, and it seems like Posterous or Tumblr would do the job.

So I'm throwing it out to the MeFi hivemind. Which one would be a better option? Why?

Here are some of the particulars:

1> For now, this needs to be kept private (internal-only)

2> I'd like to be able to easily add people to a "receiving" list without having to ask people to subscribe to anything. That's why asking them to subscribe to an RSS feed (even the one within Outlook 2007) would be a non-starter.

3> Multimedia is limited, but I usually do throw in images and a ton of screenshots (we don't have open access to YouTube, so SLYTs are out).

4> The crowd is non-tech in the extreme. Old school. Conservative. I'm leading the edge and trying to educate by example.

5> I'm not a designer, so I'm thinking simple simple simple. I love DaringFireball's simple look-and-feel, so that's what I'm aiming for.

6> Obviously, this is a proto-blog. I'm trying to demonstrate to busy examples how blogging is simple, doesn't take a lot of time, and can still be an effective medium to connect people together.

Thoughts?
posted by zooropa to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
How about sticking with email and using Google Groups? People would still get email, but there'd be a way to view past emails for new additions to the list, and you could post files, etc through the Groups web interface.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2010


I'm usually a huge Tumblr evangelist, but I don't think you can set up Tumblr to email your posts. It appears you can do this with Posterous.

Although I'll add that I don't think either program is right for the job, and like me & my monkey, I'd recommend creating a Google Group.
posted by good day merlock at 10:24 AM on August 2, 2010


I don't think Tumblr is a good platform to use for what is essentially an intranet. Even if you kept all your posts set to "private" and hosted it on your own password-protected site or not hosting it at all, I'm not sure that posts wouldn't seep out in various ways (peoples' "liked" pages, etc.).

Save Tumblr for your, uh, extranet.

Why not do an actual mailing list, like Mad Mimi?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:31 AM on August 2, 2010


Main unique service point of Posterous is that you can post to your blog entirely via ordinary email. Posterous will automatically embed videos, sound clips, images etc.
posted by Bwithh at 10:50 AM on August 2, 2010


Aside from the issue of privacy (which I haven't explored), my opinion is that Tumblr is much more of a finished product that gives you many more options and ways to use it and bend it to your will (ie: what you need for X Project), and Posterous is more beta, but lovely-lovely-easy with the email-to-post thingy. Posterous, to me is more seductive for posting.

Tumblr does offer email-to-post (once you've signed up, look on the "Goodies" page to find the email address to use to post to your site), but for me, images don't show up, and I'm always image-heavy. I get something like this, in text: [image: someimage01.jpg] instead of the jpg or gif or whatever, and that takes every bit of usefulness out of the email function for me.

Posterous is like magic! Email your post! With images! Or video! There it is! Very, very very nice. But when I want to deal with the design/theme/customization, I have to get out of Firefox because the interface won't work (even after turning off NoScript and AdBlock) and open the site in IE, and then (in my opinion) the options are truncated in comparison to Tumblr — far fewer choices and less control altogether. I was able to set a theme that I like sort of okay, but when I wanted to tweak the CSS, that option either wasn't available or didn't work — can't remember.

I'm not a power user, though, so I hope more people with in-depth experience will guide you.
posted by taz at 10:59 AM on August 2, 2010


It sounds like you're asking for something that makes it easier for readers to consume vs. making it easier for you to publish. Sure, you'd prefer both. But I think the Google Group idea is headed in the right direction. Perhaps you could create a spot on the Intranet where these items live. If you created a wiki it should be easier for you to post.

Otherwise you're looking at them having to sign up for Google Groups which might be a non-starter as well.

This way your internal vs. external issues are solved. And you have an archive of all the stories you push out to the readers.

I'd replicate the Google Groups model internally.
posted by prblog at 12:26 PM on August 2, 2010


RE: Internal -- Trust me, I'll over it. I love the idea. But marshaling IT resources to get an internal wiki, blog, or even Google Group newgroup/forum is like pushing a rock up a mountain. You can do it, but you'd better be prepared for it to take a while. :)

The top priorities are: easy/quick to publish, no user-subscribe requirement, and privacy.
posted by zooropa at 1:16 PM on August 2, 2010


The top priorities are: easy/quick to publish, no user-subscribe requirement, and privacy. If those are, in fact, the top priorities, email is the best game in town, especially for privacy. Most public sites are not really setup to handle this sort of thing easily -- their privacy settings are usually aimed at registered users and are not typically great at managing different levels of privacy for non-members.

If you're dealing with "old school" members, the farther you get this message away from their email client, the less likely they're going to be to read it. Creating a mailing list in exchange could simplify the issue of adding/removing members.
posted by toomuchpete at 1:26 PM on August 2, 2010


Definitively Posterous. It has built in mass mailings, you get a single email address that you can send to, and set a password to view the blog (and you DON'T have to register to view the blog even if there is a password). We use Posterous to something very similar, but we're just much much smaller.
posted by thebenman at 2:03 PM on August 2, 2010


I'm using posterous for a cognitive science class I'm teaching, and it's going rather well. I haven't password protected it because folks seemed to be open to it being publicly available, but the option to do so seems readily clickable. I like it thus far.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:25 PM on August 2, 2010


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