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Posterous makes waves, takes aim directly at Active Rain

Posterous changing the scene

Recently, free blogging website, announced that they would be ambitiously revealing a new blog importer every day for 15 days and my initial assumption was that each announcement would be that you could import and export from places like Tumblr and similar competitors of theirs.

We’ve talked about Posterous before and we even have a humor blog that we keep on Posterous, and while we typically advocate owning your blog (rather than the proverbial “renting” where you don’t have control and your content can be pulled), Posterous is pretty sweet because you can blog from your phone, from email or a browser addon.

Surprisingly, Posterous didn’t just go after their direct competitors, they thought bigger and better and are taking on blogging titans across the board, including real estate blog network Active Rain. Their headline reads, “Now’s the perfect time to move up from Active Rain to Posterous” and a simple search reveals that for a bevy of reasons, at least some AR users agree.

What this all means

There have been shakeups before in the Active Rain kingdom and while the company is run by a group of really nice people, this move made by Posterous just might have a chance at taking a bite out of their market share (which is exactly what it intends to do).

Posterous has released a comparison chart for all of their new blog importers, including ActiveRain, so we thought it would be fun to point out some of the details they missed:

In this comparison, not all things are equal. Both products have merit and both are now pitted against each other whether they like it or not. We want to know if you think Active Rainers should switch by taking the poll below and opining in comments.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Jonathan Washburn

    July 1, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I haven’t heard of anybody taking posterous up on their offer yet. Their post about this doesn’t have any comments either.

    The bottom line is that ActiveRain offers a much different value proposition that Posterous. Posterous is free and offers a very simple publishing platform, but ActiveRain has Google juice that a posterous blog will likely never have. It also has the community along with all of the benefits that goes with it.

  2. Rich Pearson

    July 1, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Hi Lani,

    Great article and I love your chart scrawls. These charts are definitely an imperfect way of comparing services, particularly one like ActiveRain where a lot of the value is in the community.

    As for communicating directly with your clients, building your personal brand and driving traffic, Posterous is a clear upgrade. Most folks who have moved have seen increased traffic, not only from the organic search traffic (improvements to come soon here) but also from our autopost feature which drives traffic from Twitter and Facebook to you site.

    We recognize that we have some work to do to get an A+, but we’re getting better every week with new features. Also, you can easily use your own custom domain ( on Posterous so no one needs to know.

    Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions on what we can do better!


  3. Brian Wilson

    July 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

    An agent moving their blog from Activerain to Posterous would be a business mistake.

  4. Matt Thomson

    July 1, 2010 at 10:11 am

    The reason I left Active Rain–okay, mostly left it–is the “community” has lost much of it’s value. When there were 30-50k folks on there, I found a lot of great information and sharing and really learned how to blog. When it neared the 100k mark, and now beyond, I’ve found a surprisingly large amount of complaining, water cooler issues, and exchanges of pure ignorance.
    Couple that with jokers commenting on your blog to earn points, saying nothing of any relevance, and it’s become a nearly worthless platform to me.
    I still post listings there and an occasional post simply because a dead blog is worse than a bad blog. I know AR has its readership and Google presence so I don’t want to run the risk of someone finding me and seeing I haven’t posted in 9 months, therefore assuming I must be out of the business.
    AR taught me how to blog, and that was great. Other than that learning period, I see no value in it anymore.

    • TheRECoach

      July 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      Matt Thompson…You’ve just won “The finest comment on any Blog” contest, “what are you gonna do next”!?

      That was “PinPoint” accurate! Well done 🙂

      Stay Blogging My Friends!


  5. Rich Pearson

    July 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Lani,

    Thanks for adding the new criteria on the feature. These types of comparison charts are imperfect, moreso when the two entities are as different as Posterous and Active Rain.

    We’ve had a lot of new Active Rain users join us in the past few days which is great. Our objective is let folks try out the service without having to lose all their previous posts – it’s also really easy to move over your custom domain.

    Posterous is not going to provide the networking benefits of Active Rain, but it should provide a simple and effective way to share local market knowledge with potential clients and build your brand. For most, the simplicity of being able to send in a new post or photo of a new listing through email or phone has changed the way they blog.

    We have several new SEO features coming and are very open to adding new features that will help agents succeed.

  6. Benn Rosales

    July 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Why move from one to another when you could just move permanently for less than $200? This idea that you need to cut your teeth on a cookie cutter blog platform is just stupid.

  7. Jim Marks

    July 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    Can you please share your hard analytics on the difference between AR and Posterous “google juice?”

    I would be happy to share mine…

  8. Duke Long

    July 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    IMHO there is no debate. POSTEROUS.

  9. Jonathan Washburn

    July 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Jim, The Google juice I speak of is how blogging on ActiveRain results in the success of our members, or in other words “closed deals”.

    Here’s a link to over 2,000 success stories from our members:

    There is no other company in real estate with hard data like this!

  10. Jeff Belonger

    July 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm


    I don’t know much about Posterous… but have talked to a few people about it. Here is what I see and using your comparison chart. Let’s attack the easiest one… in which Matt Thompson even mentioned on. Points… seriously people, who cares about the points. Sure, AR has used this to keep some people interested in the beginning. Who cares if people get points for comments. Seriously Matt, are we in 4th grade, using this as a main reason?

    The one that you mentioned that I am not 100% sure of is… with Posterous, you can automactically update clients with each new post via e-mail. You mean like a drip campaign? When you say clients, do you mean potential home buyers?

    In any case, sorry for the babbling…. I am sure there are postives and negatives for both. But I have to ask myself specific questions. What is my main goal? What am I trying to accomplish? Am I afraid of a larger community that gets great Google juice for a smaller community that has work to do…. ??? Just food for thought. I know Ken Cook just talked about this the other day also… so I will get more feedback from him.


    Let’s talk about value… I think Posterous will not compare to the Google Juice that Active Rain gets. Also, if you write quality stuff and not garbage, that helps you on most platforms. Okay, Posterous is free and AR does have a monthly fee now. But they do let you try this for $5 for the first month. You first concern should be, what do you get from it. I have always believed that you need to spend money to make money.

    In regards to posting from your phone and or e-mail? I prefer to post directly from that platform. Just my preference… but I don’t see how this would change to many minds. It might make Posterous look better, but how many will use this function.

    You said that Prosperous is free for all readers to see. I guess I am confused, but you can see everything for free on AR also, unless it is marked as a ‘members only’ post. Usually a post that is for just that real estate professional and nobody else. So I am lost on that one.

    No big pre-existing community? Doesn’t everyone have to start some where? Sure, you can get lost in AR… but there are still many members always willing to help… and if not, the staff fo AR.

    Back to matt’s comment… there was always complaining when it was new or less people. As with anything, people will always complain and the complaints will seem more, when you have a larger membership base. What I look at? Why am I there? What is my focus? To get my messages out… to get myself and my name recognized… and I can do this with Active Rain by the large membership and by good Google juice. I try to stay out of the politics, the griping, the name calling… I want readership, business, and to educate others. I think all of this is possible on AR… but then again, I still need to look more into Prosperous. But by some of the comments above, I think it’s just because they feel lost within AR.

    Overall… not to get into the politics, but I dislike comments such as… hands down, Posterous. Okay… but why. Can you give me some insight? Opinion. That’s like saying, my car is better than yours.. and just because I said so.

    Not sure what happened, but I just lost another paragraph… aaarrggghhh.. In any case, I am sure there are positives and negatives for both. I want to focus on results.. and a few other things that I mentioned. And sorry for babbling… but I am going to talk to Ken Cook about this also… he just talked about this.


  11. Melissa Zavala

    July 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Lani: Thanks for posting this. It is interesting food for thought, and I definitely enjoyed reading the engaging comments!

  12. Matt Thomson

    July 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Jeff, not sure if you misread my comment or if I misread yours, but I feel like you’re attacking me for agreeing with you.
    The point system in AR isn’t a main reason for anything for me. I don’t want a bunch of garbage comments on my blog from a bunch of real estate agents trying to get points. The purpose of my blog is to attract potential customers. If potential clients are reading my blog and seeing tons of garbage comments, or worse seeing the petty arguing that comes about in blog comments (like the one we’re in now, for example), they may leave my blog and I lose them as a customer.

  13. Jonathan Washburn

    July 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm


    I’ve heard people talk about garbage, point induced, comments on ActiveRain for a while now. I may have blinders on, but I find most of the comments add value to the post. Can you point me to some posts that you feel have garbage comments? (genuine interest)

  14. Jeff Belonger

    July 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    @ Matt Thomson

    You stated this…

    “Couple that with jokers commenting on your blog to earn points, saying nothing of any relevance, and it’s become a nearly worthless platform to me.”

    First off, some of that use to bother me when I first started… those earning points on bogus or stupid, or worthless comments. But 2 things… first off, you can delete any comment you want on your post. Secondly, so let those idiots not get the real picture. Those that use to game the system and go after just points, are eityher no longer on AR and or not even in the business. They lost the true value in blogging.

    Then you stated this in your 2nd comment to me…

    ” If potential clients are reading my blog and seeing tons of garbage comments, or worse seeing the petty arguing that comes about in blog comments (like the one we’re in now, for example), they may leave my blog and I lose them as a customer.”

    I love when people will disagree with me and even argue with me. As long as I come back politely and challenge them, knowing that my info is correct,.. and I prove it with facts, and the potential client reads what has transpired, I will usually win. I have picked up both a realtor and a borrower from reading the comments back and forth, and how I came back with such proof, etc, etc. Since I do mortgages, numbers don’t lie, as long as I don’t mess with those numbers.

    Overall… from reading your reasons to why you don’t use AR as much as you use to, I don’t find them to be valid points and I just think you are hurting yourself overall. Just my opinion… Don’t get me wrong, I use a few different blogs and don’t think Active Rain is the end to all with blogging… but I do think it’s extremely powerful and if you use it correctly, it can be a great place for potential business. About 80% of my business comes from blogging and from that, about 60% of that comes from Active Rain… either directly from my posts, from my comments, or from networking with other realtors and or loan officers on that site directly. I know a handful of people that use the AR platform for a good part of their business and they have been very successful.


  15. Matt Stigliano

    July 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Different utensils in the same kitchen drawer.

    I love Posterous, but wouldn’t move my data exclusively there. I use both for different purposes as well as a self-maintained WordPress blog. I’ll even occasionally through a post on Trulia (although I haven’t in quite some time now that I think about).

    Multiple sites, same idea. Much like I use Facebook and Twitter. Variety is a good thing.

  16. Patrick Flynn

    July 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Great thread here. AR vs. Posterous? Let’s throw WordPress (free) in the mix! If done well and consistantly, any of these platforms will get you where you want to go! Matt and I also post on a network that has plenty of ‘Google juice’…to that matter, everytime I post an article on AG…my juice is all over Google…um, you know what I mean. Anyway, just blog!!! Communicate effectively…with credibility and the business you get should more than make up for any differences we have in which blogging platforms to use!

  17. Jeff Belonger

    July 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    @ Patrick… question to you. But with AG, don’t you have to be asked or invited to be able to write a post there? Well, on here? So in my opinion, I don’t think you really could throw AG into the mix.. but sure, Word Press. … but a good thing about Active Rain is that you can learn how to blog. .. it’s a community, to where you can learn from others… participate with… exchange leads with… get recognized.. get that good juice. So in my opinion, I guess we are back to Posterous and AR.. unless I am missing something.


  18. Jeff Belonger

    July 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    @ Matt Stigliano I can’t say much for Posterous, since I don’t know much about it…. most of my comments and discussion was in regards to how some use AR and were complaining about the different types of comments and how large of a community that it has become. That I can’t argue… but I look at it differently than I did a year or so ago. But yes, to use different platforms for different results and needs.. I agree with that.


  19. Matt Thomson

    July 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Jonathan, I’m sorry but I can’t. It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything of any substance on AR, so I can’t remember any particular posts where the comments bothered me. They weren’t anything major, just things like, “Great post,” or “Right on.” Just nothing of substance.

    Jeff, 32 of my past 40 transactions have come directly from my blog or social media presence. Not one from AR. I don’t think that’s a reflection on AR as much as it is a reflection of where I put my time.

  20. Ruthmarie Hicks

    July 2, 2010 at 3:59 am

    My AR blog has wonderful google juice – I have no incentive to change. It has also helped me develop my outside blog (not with AR – w wordpress) It is true that I am Grandfathered on that forum so although I own a couple of neighborhoods- I don’t pay for either my AR blog or outside blog. This makes the money situation moot. However, I would remind those that go to Posterous that AR was once “free” for all and that Posterous – like all other sites like it – will eventually monetize in some way. It is true that AR has a lot of junk on the site. Having said that, once you pick your way through the bad – you find a lot of good. The positives by FAR outweigh the negatives.

  21. Jim Marks

    July 2, 2010 at 11:09 am


    You said, ”

    “Jim, The Google juice I speak of is how blogging on ActiveRain results in the success of our members, or in other words “closed deals”

    Jon, This has nothing to do with “google juice…” As you know I am an SEO and Analyst.. and Google Juice is one of the things that is important to me and my clients.

    As you know, I am a huge fan of the AR network, but Direct Mailing also results in the “success of many of your members” as well. By your definition then, Direct Mailing has Google Juice?

    Google Juice, simply put is the amount of Page Rank a link from your site gives to the site it is linked to… AR gives very little… Posterous? a ton. (Posterous is a “full-follow link from a strong domain…”

    Now, whether this is important to your members? Probably not. But when you made the comment that AR has Google Juice, I had to point out that it is just not the case…

    Data is Data…

  22. Patrick Flynn

    July 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hey Jeff-Great points. I will follow up by admiting that I was very resistant to blogging when I was first introduced to AR in 2006. And until just last year, hadn’t done squat with blogging or my AR account. I reengaged with blogging when I went back into production last Autumn after nearly 4 years as a Designated Broker and Productivity Coach (desk jobs). I’ve literally had to start from scratch having painfully realized I didn’t maintain my database during those 4 years! Blogging allowed me that avenue to communicate, lend credibility and converting an entirely new community to engage with. Perhaps AR is the answer…I don’t know? All I do know is I’m blogging religiously 5-6 days a week on my WordPress site, contributing daily on other peoples blogs, rapidly learning as much as I can about Social Media/Blogging and happily seeing results!
    Have a great and safe 4th of July.

  23. Jonathan Washburn

    July 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm


    Google juice is an slang tech term and can cover a lot of different meanings relating to search engine rankings on Google. Coming as close as I can to the authority, I typed “define: google juice” into a Google search and this is the result:

    “is jargon for the ability or power of a website to turn up in Google searches. A website that commonly turns up as the first or second entry in a variety of searches — especially for keywords that are not part of the site’s name — can be said to have a lot of Google juice”

    Almost every post written on ActiveRain shows up in the first or second entry for a variety of searches, resulting in millions of consumer visits.

    This is not the case for posterous. A user with a posterous blog gains no benefit from any “google juice” built up on the domain, and must build all of their own google juice from scratch.

    If you’d like to measure Page Rank or authority of links coming from ActiveRain compared to links from a posterous site, ActiveRain will win again hands down.

    First off the ActiveRain domain has been around longer and has more links than the posterous domain, so the domain authority of is higher. But most importantly, it doesn’t matter what the domain authority of is, because posterous blogs are hosted on either a sub-domain of posterous or a custom/separate domain. Thus none (or very little) of the domain authority is transferred to the bloggers on posterous. This applies to outgoing link authority as well as how high the site ranks. Alternatively, with ActiveRain, the member’s blogs are hosted on the primary domain, for example, so all of the authority of ActiveRain is transferred to that user.

  24. Jim Marks

    July 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm


    Not sure how far into the serps you had to go to find that description… but but if you GOOGLE, Google Juice, the first oh….. 3 pages all pretty much say…

    Google juice is a slang term for PageRank. One of the ways Google determines the relevancy of things you search for is by looking at all the backlinks, or the pages that link to it. It’s like a popularity system based on hyperlink “votes.”

    Anyway, this thread is NOT a debate about the definition of Google Juice… and I have not commented on the pros and cons of Posterous and AR… I love both…

  25. Barry Cunningham

    July 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I think the argument is a waste of typing skills. I use AR and cut my teeth on it. Also used Real Estate Webmasters…but then I grew up. AR is fine for the less than tech savvy realtor..which makes up most of the membership there…but if you really want to shine then you have to get your own site and learn what to do.

    Not AR, not posterous, not real estate webmasters. google juice is a libation that only affects he who imbibes. I read all of the time how those who blog on AR rank number 1 for “buy A House Somewhere Someday”.

    Fact of the matter I could show a chimp how to rank for such oMG longtail terms. But hey…if it keeps ’em happy and keeps ’em coming back then I applaud Jonathan for being a master marketer!

    But let’s not talk among us who really know the deal. Anyone writing here or on a halfway credible blog will eat an AR post for lunch in the SERPS. And for real keywords it’s not even a game.

    I have shown AR writers over and over again how a strong blog that you can create on your own will always blow AR away.

    So AR v. Posterous…are we really discussing this? For whose benefit?

    But good post! 🙂

  26. Ruthmarie Hicks

    July 3, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I should add that you never stick all your eggs in one basket. I have a wordpress blog that I work as much as my AR blog. It is rising in the ranks so that it is having a greater presence and is now ranking quite well in the search engines. But I learned a lot of the methods that make that happen on AR. I also learned a bit from non-real estate people. But AR helps put things together.

    I am a bit surprised at some of the hostility about AR. What did AR ever do to you?

  27. Denise Hamlin

    July 3, 2010 at 12:43 am

    You can’t compare apples with oranges and come up with a fair result to this question. AR and Posterous are different animals. I just can’t comment on an either/or scenario, I’d be more for both, since they each have their strong points.

    ActiveRain is a great place to cut your teeth in the blogging world. I’m glad I became a member. Even with its shortcomings there’s nothing comparable out there. It’s really not so much about the platform as it is about the learning and the support you get while you’re trying to find your feet.

    After almost a year blogging I’ve branched out from there and have a WordPress blog, but that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone through “Rain School.” I’m not one for biting the hand that feeds me. I may move on completely at some point, but I am very grateful for what I’ve learned on ActiveRain – And don’t tell me I can get that on Posterous, because I highly doubt it!

  28. Broker Bryant

    July 3, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Not sure why would have to pick. Why not both? I have numerous websites and blogs. each serve their own purpose. AR is basically all real estate. Posterous has waaaay too many affiliate links, porn site links and other garbage for me to use for real estate. But I do like it. Especially the porn 🙂

  29. Mary Towler

    July 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

    It seems to me that someone should use all of the tools available. I don’t know much about Posterous but will look into it and decide for myself. All I know is that I need to do more blogging than I currently do!

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