Posterous has been a great service in the past. Real simple publishing. Neato. Amazing founders and a great group of investors. I use it to post my mobile photos from twitter.
In a post last week Posterous, who I shall call Preposterous from now on, wrote a post “Posterous launches new tools to switch from dying platforms: A new importer per day for the next 15 days”
Dying platforms, you know, like tumblr.
Wait. What? Graph please (note the bigger one the smaller one is calling dying):
(update, added after publishing) or a larger graph and link since that cuts off the y axis.
That other site that is similars to yours and has a giant community of active and passionate users? Oh yeah, that one. Lets make fun of them with pointless dribble in hopes that this isn’t a leading indicator that we were picked last for the dodgeball team. Ok, where were we.
But I have some beef here Preposterous staff, you call all your competitors, who are all building products to serve similar communities, dying? I don’t care if they are (frankly, some are not advancing) but all you do here is make yourselves look like smucks. You are now the guy at the party that everyone thinks ‘who invited him?’
Not a single user thinks “Well, over at death, I had community but no drop shadow tools.”
And community. Oh yes, the curve ball you don’t get, community. Sites are not images and posts. They make people care. They build relationships, far beyond commenting.
I understand that your site is email posting, and that is super simple, but don’t see how email posting is an advantage in the community space over, say, well, sending email.
The grand logic of ‘switch to us’ is great, but doing it with a pure focus on features of publishing and almost nothing about tools for community leads to a trap. It makes you think that sites are just interfaces, features and reflections with helvetica. The are not people. They are not groups. They don’t evolve. They learn to think how cool this company is. Wow, they are cool, they flip up their nose to everyone with weapons grade smug.
You know who they are right? They created a dying platform called Preposterous.
Threats of lawsuits are reported, and to me this isn’t about the tools or privacy, it is about a company being a dick and the legal response to just that. Yes, LiveJournal is slow, full of ads and isn’t the best solution, but it has helped masses express themselves, develop friendships, find meaning in life and laugh. Saying switching to your service is fine, but by discrediting them, both the community behind them and the staff, you are also attacking the full history of the site, which, a lot of people care about. A lot.
Keep it classy Preposterous.
While snark is fun, and this post is certainty filled with three times the legally allowed amount, there are far more constructive ways to release features. I’m going to move all my photos away from their dying platform, for thinking a site isn’t about the people behind the tools is really the most destructive thing a startup can adapt as a mantra. Get out of the valley, there are some real people out here.