Thoughts on Posterous and Friendfeed
22 April 2009
As I try to start using Posterous, my thoughts about it keep going back to another service I've been trying to start using: Friendfeed.
With Friendfeed, you just tell it where you're publishing stuff online, and it goes out and aggregates it for you on one place. It's pretty cool, and makes it easy for anyone to find all the stuff you're producing. But it's also extremely easy to set it and forget it. Beyond the first 10 minutes or so, it requires absolutely zero engagement.
Posterous is close to the exact opposite. It pushes things out to other places online, if you want, but only if you actually produce the content for Posterous first. You actually have to actively use it in order to get any benefit. And they've done a remarkable job of making that required engagement seamless.
I like being able to send an email and have it go to whichever blog I wanted it to. And I like being able to do it on my phone. My content ends up on the sites it would have anyway, Posterous gets to keep a copy, and a link shows up aggregated at Friendfeed. Everything works out nicely for me.
But which company is built to last? I'm not much of a prognosticator, and my predictions are almost always wrong. Worse than a coinflip, anyway.
That said, these are two hugely different models, and I think both are really interesting. They both get access to a lot of online content, and they get it instantly. They don't have to crawl anything like Google does.
I wonder if Friendfeed's lack of engagement might hurt it, but you can use Posterous without ever going to their site too.
I don't have enough (e-)friends to be able to tell how each of them do from a social networking perspective. I do know that in the brief time I poked around, I found a little more interesting content on Posterous than I did on Friendfeed, but that's probably just random.
I haven't heard anything about Friendfeed trying to make money, but Posterous claims to be working on freemium plans, and it's extremely obvious that there are places they could easily charge money. So that'll probably help them as a company in the long run.
I think it's nice that Friendfeed pulls in tweets and videos that I put online elsewhere, rather than requiring me to go through their system. That said, it's also nice that my Posterous isn't littered with all my stupid tweets. This is probably a wash.
I don't know which will last. They both might be successful, which would be great for me, given that I expect to continue to use both.
And they're both more compelling than Twitter. I doubt I could have expressed all this in 140 characters.
The bus is almost to its destination, so I'll sign off now.