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.