Posterous Slanders Tumblr

Filed as Editorial on June 24, 2010 6:26 pm

Perhaps slander is a harsh word (malign and misinform might be better candidates), but it looks like Posterous campaign to demonize everyone continues with its latest target being Tumblr.

But blogging on Tumblr is sort of like being in high school.  But you know deep-down that you can’t be in high school forever.  Eventually, you have to move on.

It’s the same with blogging.  After you get your feet wet, you need comments and the ability to moderate them.*  You need to add different media types to each post.  Your sharing needs are more complex, and your site needs to grow with you. […]

With Posterous there are no limits to your self expression.  You can use Posterous to run your private family email list, proudly promote your business or set up a multi-user site where everyone contributes posts via email without having to set up an account.   If you can imagine it, you can do it on Posterous. (Official Posterous Blog)

As you can see from the graphic above, Posterous also indicates that Tumblr lacks “real comments” and privacy features, as well as a decent email-to-post feature (something that is considered standard for most blogging platforms).

Instead of dismissing the Posterous propaganda in its entirety, lets go through each of their claims to see if any of them have any merit.

“Real Comments”

Posterous is partially correct about this. Tumblr doesn’t have a decent commenting system, as the site only allows people you follow to leave comments on your posts.

Although greater emphasis is placed upon reblogging, Tumblr does allow users to easily insert “real comments” via Disqus.

However Posterous here is splitting hairs (which is Yankee speech for “providing illogical arguments”), as comments are comments whether they are open systems or closed.

Email Posting That Works For Anyone?

Just like Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, etc., Tumblr also has a robust “email-to-post” system.

Tumblr offers incredibly sophisticated email publishing as an easy way to post from your desktop or mobile phone. Just grab your private email address from the Goodies page, and add it to your address book. (via Tumblr Docs)

For security reasons Tumblr requires users to email posts, media, etc. to a secret Tumblr email account just like most modern blogging platforms.

Why Posterous is mocking this setup is puzzling, especially since it ensures that your blog is safe in the event that a hacker takes control over ones email account.

Privacy Controls

Posterous may want to explain how they define “Privacy Controls,” as Tumblr (just like WordPress) allows users to create private as well as public posts upon their respective blogs.

Tumblr also has password protected blogs since December of 2009, which makes Posterous’s attempt to portray Tumblr as “public only” as ridiculous.

Other Issues

Although Posterous does have an incredible system, they probably need to take a more humble approach when bashing their rival, especially considering that their platform still lacks many of Tumblrs features (like “call-in-posting,” and a vibrant theme market).

While it’s good to see Posterous showing a little ambition, they need to either clarify their statements or back up their words with features, as the last thing they need is a blogosphere backlash against their innovative platform.

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