I Want to Break Free, or Why I Stopped Worrying and Started Using Posterous

Freedom

A couple of weeks ago, I started using a Posterous blog to share content on Twitter, Flickr and Google Buzz. My plan is to feed it to Facebook as well, when appropriate.

Why?

The short answer: to control my own content.

Now for the long answer

Between Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader/Buzz, I share a lot of content. Usually, it’s links to interesting things I find on the Internet.

If it was just links, this wouldn’t have been a problem. I could probably send the interesting links to a bookmarking service, and I would have access to my archive of links.

In reality, however, it’s not just links that I have been sharing. I highlight. I annotate. I comment. I am curating content.

In effect, I have a Facebook blog, a Buzz/Reader blog and a Twitter blog. And I don’t control any of the data. What’s worse, there’s no good way for me to search my own archives, reference previous posts or even just browse what I’ve produced.

There Must be Some Way Out of Here

What I really need is a blog that syndicates content to other services. I post once on a service I control, and choose where it should go.

And that’s where Posterous comes in.

I find an interesting article, I select the part I want to highlight, click the Posterous bookmarklet, select the services where I want it to go (twitter yes, buzz no, facebook yes) and Bob’s your uncle.

Perfect.

Almost.

Freedom

All I really want

All I really want is to have a searchable, browsable, linkable archive of my own links. Posterous comes close, but no cigar.

  1. New overlords: My content is still largely controlled by a third-party, Posterous. However, it’s infinitely easier to import, export, search and browse.
  2. Sorry Twitter followers: When I share a link through to Twitter, it links to the Posterous post, not to the shared link. This means two clicks for Twitter users. Terrible. I’d unfollow me posthaste.

What I really, really want

Is for Dave Winer to knock his minimal blogging tool out of the park.

Fellow nerds, read on. Rest of you, go to my posterous blog and find interesting shiny objects.

When I realized that I needed a service that syndicated my content, I surveyed the lanscape for what was available. Friendfeed and Posterous came close. But, as stated earlier, no cigar.

I contemplated designing a simple service myself, and I still might, but around the same time Dave Winer (pioneer in the area of RSS and XML who has blocked me on Twitter) posted about the Minimal Blogging tool.

Here’s the kicker:

Now, one of the apps that subscribes to the feed could be an agent that posts the new items and updated items to your blog. Or it could post the new item to Twitter or Facebook. Or to whatever new corporate blogging silo is popular next year or the year after. The important thing is that you and your ideas live outside the silo and are ported into it at your pleasure. You never have to worry about getting your stuff out of the silo because it never lived in there in the first place.

Excellent. Godspeed, Dave Winer.

And unblock me on Twitter already.

4th

When President Kennedy dined in the White House with a bunch of Nobel Prize winners, he made a toast, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone”.

Why I Ordered the iPad: Reason #37

To draw.

I’m starting to enjoy the iPhone (and more so, the iPad) as a drawing tool. My father has been creating amateur artwork on his iDevices for a few years now, but I’ve only recently started experimenting. With real, traditional tools– brushes, pencils, paper– I’m atrocious. I enjoy myself, but get overwhelmed by the tools (and by my awfulness). With the iPhone/iPad, I may still be bad, but I’m not overwhelmed. And so I keep going.

I call this one, The Beard Man.