10 Improvements Posterous Needs To Make

Note: This post is no longer relevant, as Posterous was shut down April 30, 2013, after much of the team was acquired by Twitter on March 12, 2012.

I’m quickly realizing that while Posterous is said to be a fast and easy solution for making blog posts from your email when you’re on the go, it’s lacking some fundamental features I’d expect from any serious blogging platform.

This list will grow (hopefully not much more) as I make new preposterous discoveries.

  1. Give us our alt attributes: Alt attribute text is non-existant and can’t be added. Accessibility issue.
  2. Let us control our image file names: Image file names are changed to horrendously long random strings when you upload using the media uploader, and they can’t be modified. Accessibility issue.
  3. Let publishers decide what (and what not) to syndicate: All posts are given canonical attributes, and you can’t undo this “feature”. Ethics issue.
  4. Let us preview our posts: Posts can’t be previewed—only updated—which automatically takes you out of the editor and displays the published page in its place. Usability issue.
  5. Let us save posts quickly: Posts can’t be saved without being updated, which takes you out of the editor (see previous complaint). Usability issue.
  6. Watch our back. Just a bit: There is no autosave feature. Usability issue.
  7. Let us edit our comments: Comments can’t be edited, only deleted and re-posted in the case of typos or other errors. Usability issue.
  8. Let us reply to specific comments: Admins can’t reply to specific user comments. Usability issue.
  9. Let us name anchors: Posterous automatically strips id or name attributes from most HTML elements, which prevents you from linking to specifics section of your pages. Usability issue. The workaround: Add an empty anchor with a name attribute just before the section you want to name, e.g., <a name="anchor_name"></a>. Thanks to Luke Sampson for this useful little hack.
  10. Fix your HTML rendering issues: Just one example of straightforward HTML that doesn’t render properly in Posterous, although it renders properly in their “rich text editor”. em>Usability, accessibility issue. I’ve included a screencast due to the inability to properly markup the code in Posterous.

    Click on the icon next to the Screenr Logo (bottom right of the player) to see the video at a decent size
    :Since moving this blog from Posterous to WordPress, the Screenr widget is no longer embedded, since WordPress.com doesn;t allow iframes. Here’s the link to the video instead: http://www.screenr.com/qywIn item 9 of this list, I left the last &gt; (>) symbol outside of the <code> element, immediately after the closing </code> tag. Another ugly hack, but I’m getting used to the fact that to makes things work in posterous, you often have to get ugly.

4 thoughts on “10 Improvements Posterous Needs To Make

  1. Matthew – great feedback. Thanks so much for sharing. A couple of clarifications:Let publishers decide what (and what not) to syndicate: You can change your auto-post settings for each post through the post options tab when publishing viea the web or through the email address you choose (e.g. facebook@posterous.com just goes to facebook, posterous@posterous.com isn’t autoposted anywhere, facebook+twitter@posterous.com is autoposted to facebook and twitter)Let us preview our posts: You can preview your post by saving before you publish or by sending your email to draft@posterous.com. You can continue to save as you go when using the web editor without publishingLet us edit our posts: You can edit any post using our web editor, and, soon, through our iPhone app too. Let me know if you’re having any problems doing this

  2. Hi Rich,Thanks for chiming in.My ‘Let publishers decide what to syndicate’ list item has to do with rel="canonical" attributes being included with every post – nothing to do with auto-posting.My ‘Let us edit our posts’ list item was a typo, it should have read ‘Let us edit our comments’ – now fixed.Thanks again for your input!-Matt

  3. I have had repeated problems particularly with line spacing between Posterous and gMail and have yet to get them resolved. I don’t know if Posterous is using an off-the-shelf rendering engine (in which case, maybe they need to switch engines) or if they rolled their own (in which case maybe they need to adopt a standard) but I have given up trying to make my posts look professional. As a professional writer/publisher, that’s not very exciting but I live in the hope that they will eventually fix these issues.

  4. Rich Pearson: can you "save" when you are editing an existing post (rather than creating new)? i see only "Cancel" and "Update" buttons.suggestion 10 (and 11): format & preview autoposts. specifically: twitter basically gets the title, that’s it. Facebook gets the title plus the first few lines of the post. So if you want your tweet to be meaningful without readers having to click on the link to your post, you have to jam a lot into the title. But that’s makes your post titles when viewed on the web crowded.Something like the first 140 chars of title + text might be nice for twitter. Then it would kinda match facebook. A feature to preview each autopost before sending would be really helpful. And feature to optionally edit both twitter and facebook autoposts would be really, really helpful.Thanks to all posterous providers for a great prjduct.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s