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Are You a Nobody? Posterous Thinks That You Are

Posterous blogs

posterousPosterous is a blogging platform that sought out to simplify the blogging experience- you can email your posts directly to Posterous and it formats everything for you and even autoposts to your social networks. Posterous has recently made a play for business bloggers by creating the option to have multiple authors.

I’ve spent time investigating Posterous because I’ve advocated for them since their launch and brought many many people on board to create their own sideblog, it’s a great platform. It’s my responsibility to understand fully how the offering works since I cover technology AND I recommend the service so frequently.

In communicating with the guys at Posterous in the past, I’d asked numerous questions including if ad servers would be allowed in the future which they had indicated could happen, so I thought after a few months I’d ask about the progress.

I saw Google Ads on a prominent Posterous blog written by Guy Kawasaki and reached out to Posterous to inquire about how that works since I couldn’t figure it out in the settings of my own personal Posterous blog.

“So I asked in the past if embedding Google ads was possible yet and was told you guys were considering it but I don’t see any updates anywhere about it (although Guy Kawasaki has Google ads all over his posterous blog), so I’m wondering what’s up- is it possible and just not on the FAQ or blog yet? 🙂 -@LaniAR”

Sachin Agarwal responded, “sorry, still not available thanks”

I responded, “So is Guy Kawasaki’s blog not really a Posterous? I’m confused 🙁 Thanks Sachin!”

Sachin emailed back, “he has special powers because he is an investor :)”

I don’t care one way or another about Google ads, I’ve never used them on a site of my own before, so it was really a matter of whether or not people I’m referring to Posterous had that option. Is this the way of the future, tech companies choosing celebrity over their users? Twitter’s doing the same thing with insisting on first hand knowing who potential Verified Account holders are before granting them a Verified status. This class divide in the tech industry is growing and if Posterous and Twitter think you’re a nobody, which companies are next to declare their lack of support for their user base?

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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. Jay Thompson

    March 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    “Special powers”?

    What crap. Posterous should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Genuine Chris Johnson

      March 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm


      Dude, entitlement much? I’ve never once seen anything close to that attitude from you before. Posterous has nothing to apologize for. If someone owns something than they can do as they like with it. Guy invests, he can dictate terms. This isn’t something that anyone needs apology for, though it might be prudent for Posterous to use work some split out with Google to throw some ads all around.


      • Jay Thompson

        March 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        I’ve never been a fan of entitlement Chris. Of course, Posterous is free to do whatever they chose and we really can’t complain about that given it’s a free product.

        I don’t want/need/expect Posterous to apologize to me.

        If I were running Posterous, which clearly I am not, I’d let serve up ads to anyone that wanted them, maybe even take a little slice of that action and help pay the bills.. And maybe they are just using Guy’s account to test that very process as he’ll certainly push their servers more than I would.

        But a response to Lani along the lines of “Yes, we’re still working on ads, Guy is a beta tester. We appreciate your contacting us and will work hard on releasing this” would have made a lot more sense than saying 1) “still not available” and then; 2) backtracking with a “special powers” comment.

        It’s the special powers reply that I think is crap and shameful, not necessarily the selective serving of ads or whatever kind of perks they come up with.

        • Benn Rosales

          March 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

          You certainly get it Jay, it’s about culture, and they are free to have the worst culture in the world free or not, but I’ve never known it to be Guy’s way to associate with bad culture, in fact, it’s always been quite the opposite.

        • Genuine Chris Johnson

          March 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

          Posterous has nothing to apologize for.

          Some functionary said something that was ham fisted. Yes, of course if ads make sense Posterous will make it work . And yes, of course Guy is a good dude.This doesn’t make for a bad culture.

          Guy shelled out. He has earned the right to special treatment. Supporrting ads for a bunch of bloggers has a huge capacity to render Posterous into a spammy keyword sniping useleess mess. Of course they’ll be selective and vet the value of people that are on the network. Of course they’ll not want to do anything else.

          • Benjamin Woodruff

            November 22, 2010 at 3:19 am

            Just to clarify, Sachin Agarwal is the founder of Posterous, not just a “functionary.” He is also usually pretty reasonable and interesting.
            I love Posterous, but I’d really appreciate some support for ads. However, I don’t see anything wrong with Sachin’s comments since I never gave them any money. My support—in the form of using their service and getting other people to sign on as well—is only due to the fact that I enjoy the benefits of Posterous.

  2. Tom Myer

    March 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Ugh. That makes me sad. This celebrity thing has got to go. I still like Posterous, they shouldn’t worry about losing me, but dang people, get with the program a bit.

  3. Genuine Chris Johnson

    March 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm


    Let’s worry about what matters: Posterous is a simple tool to push content to RSS feeds and propagate via social networks.

    But they can do as they please. A free account means that they are free to do what they like. Creating content on other people’s networks is a BFHD and we run the risk as long as we’re renters, not owners.

    Posterous will not (generally) help Agents make money.

    Will not (generally) be the game changer that we want. It’s a convenient way to have a less serious, sub blog and I dig the email-to-your-platform stuff that it has. But they are free to do as they please as long as I’m not forced to use them nor paying them any cash.


  4. Kathy Howe, Sedona, AZ

    March 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I just left the Danko boys at RETECHSO a day ago and was really intrigued by what they presented; however, companies who have a pecking order… hmmm. Think I’ll stay with wordpress.

  5. Benn Rosales

    March 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    They can certainly operate their biz any way they choose, no one said otherwise.

  6. Ken Montville

    March 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    This is just another example of separating the Social Media Kool Kids from the rest of the hoi polloi. I’m not a big fan of the approach since it tends to diminish the “democratization” of the Internet. Yet, Chris has a point. If they own the property that can pretty much do what they want. Our response can be to a) develop a competing platform or b) just not use them.

    It’s sad when innovators decide to segregate themselves from the rest of us. My guess is that it will eventually lead back to proprietary “closed” technology so that the the proper monetization can occur.

  7. Daniel Bates

    March 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    As a wordpress trainer, I’m certainly partial. But I think in the end the fact that wordpress is open source and has so many users and developers creating useful plugins, advancing the platform, and making it more compatible with all corners of the web. It is nice for people that don’t want to get their hands dirty and learn a system AT ALL, but keeping that would seem to limit their future potentials. Also just for the record, I still disagree that a subdomain such as setup on posterous (or any blogging platform) will NOT help your in the SE’s. Google sees subdomains as seperate websites.

  8. Stephanie Crawford

    March 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I’m a fan of Posterous; I love the ease of use. Tell me. Is it against the rules to use someone’s Flickr photo on your own Posterous neighborhood real estate blog if it does link back to the original source?

  9. Sachin Agarwal

    March 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    You guys are mixing up “celebrity” with “investor” for the sake of writing a controversial blog post. *sigh*

    We will be allowing ad sense for all very soon. But for now, Guy Kawasaki is beta testing it for us. And we did not allow this because he’s a celebrity. We did this because he’s an investor, advisor, and helps guide our product. I guess if I had put a special “invitation code” around it, you wouldn’t have cared. That’s what Google does.

    If you want to invest in us, or subscribe to our as yet unreleased “premium version”, let me know and i’ll enable ads for you too 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      March 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Sachin, you proved both of my points in your one comment:

      1. Your response could have been better (the one above would have sufficed).

      2. Your first sentence is condescending which furthers my point that there is a divisive attitude in the tech industry between the haves (those who invest money) and have nots.

      It’s unfortunate that you don’t see your community advocates who evangelize your service as valuable as the actual dollars (although they both translate into money).

      Honestly, Sachin, if you knew me, you’d know that I’m actually adverse to controversy and typically steer clear of it, but this situation is simply a symptom of a broader problem in our industry and it is my personality to stand up for the little guys (the have nots).

      To your credit, you are always the one who has responded to my tech questions about Posterous, and you seem to handle a lot of the Posterous outreach yourself and that is commendable. You’re clearly well educated and brilliant to create such a great tool as Posterous. That said, if you DO have a PR team or marketing team, maybe they should be positioning the message since they are trained in that subject.

      • Sachin Agarwal

        March 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm

        I am sorry my initial response to your query was not as thorough as it could have been. But like you said, I answer lots of emails everyday. We listen to all our users. Our ideal user is my mom, not Guy Kawasaki. So we pay *more* attention to those people.

        My initial response to you was short, but an attempt to be funny. I even ended it with a smiley face. I guess I failed. My fault. I take it back.

        We have features that are in beta. We have features that aren’t ready for the real world yet. But please don’t suggest this is a “haves vs have nots.” I’m not really sure where that is coming from.

        • Lani Rosales

          March 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm

          Sachin, thanks for the response, that clarification certainly helps, I can see that perhaps you didn’t mean that Kawasaki is superior.

          I don’t think this is a unique situation, however- I mentioned Twitter as well. I’ve seen it in local tech startups too, this attitude of catering to investors and treating end users poorly, and forgetting the importance of the user.

          Perhaps this divide that I’m noticing is simply a problem with messaging rather than an overall attitude like you’ve described?

  10. TheRECoach

    March 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Genuine Chris, you seem to be a “Lone Voice” in the RENet wilderness, with your staunch defense of an obvious error. I teach Posterous, not because it is any type of “real” blogging platform, but because it’s “Bookmarklet” rocks! and the email to Blog feature is cool. It is a great entry point for “Newbies” to Blogging. As soon as I can get them onto a full Blogging platform, I do…but…every employee, especially when they have like 15, are a direct reflection of management and ownership. the “Special Powers” comment, though idiotic, was obviously how the company felt about it’s Investors. they should re-examine the prevailing thought, allow all to use (once Beta Tested -Nice one Jay), and then re-train their peeps.

    Still a good product, just a bad move!


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