charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

Posterous has announced a new API which will let developers create Posterous-powered sites on their own domains, and allow them to add users on those sites.

Documentation here. No idea how this works, but it sounds pretty neat.

Meanwhile, on you can now post comments using Twitter or Facebook:

post draft update

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 05:07 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
In the latest DW news post, a new draft of the update journal page has been introduced! I think it's a big improvement on the last draft, and it's great that we can collapse all the things we don't need, like how it is in WP. The main qualms I have with it are that the text box still feels too narrow, and it would also be good if there was a way to disappear the boxes instead of collapsing them. However, I don't have many strong opinions about the update post page because I basically use only two features on a regular basis: tags and access lock. As you can see, I normally don't even change my icon. So I felt, that as long as the boxes were collapsible so I don't have to see the things that I don't use, it would be ok. However, some people brought up some good points about complexity:

from here:

It's got an on/off switch for everything including the kitchen sink, with collapsable menu upon collapsable menu requiring clicks to conceal or expose functionality that only a handful of people will need.

If our target audience is LJcode power users, let's just come out and say it. Diversity statement or no, when the site's interface looks like this we're making it very intimidating to new users. And I know Dreamwidth serves a different niche than Tumblr or Posterous, but it seems like it requires a lot more effort to do basic things on Dreamwidth than it does almost anywhere else.

Between invite codes and privacy filters, I wonder if Dreamwidth's real "killer feature" is insularity. And I don't mean that as an insult.

I think this is a pretty good point.

more thoughts )

Posterous vs. Twitpic!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 11:52 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
So, Posterous has been continuing with its import from 'dying platforms' campaign. Some of their choices were rather odd (a social network for Realtors?) and some of the platforms definitely not dying (Tumblr). Anyway, they set up an import from Twitpic, and then Twitpic blocked them.

Posterous appears to be winning the PR battle anyway, though. Standing in the way of data portability is simply not a popular position.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
As part of their marketing/feature efforts, Posterous has this thing where they're publicizing their ability to import from different services, and highlighting the benefits of Posterous. As I said earlier, their choice of Ning is baffling from a technical perspective, but pretty clever from a marketing one. (Basically, a Ning is like a social network/community site, not like a blog) Tumblr makes more sense, however, and since Tumblr has made the philosophical choice not to have comments as a feature, they can easily differentiate themselves there. Vox also makes more sense, but they don't seem to be doing the locked posts.

Basically, Posterous has a lot of interesting, and even unique features, and I like many aspects of their design, but I don't use it that much because a) I already have a Wordpress installation, b) none of my online friends use it, and c) I haven't found that many blogs on Posterous to read. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see whether Posterous gains many converts from their efforts.

Also, on the dw_news comm, they're asking for suggestions in marketing DW. I think, as I said in the comments, there's a big difference between marketing to current/former LJ users, and people are not LJ users or do not enjoy using the LJ software: the marketing approaches will have to be very different there, and I suspect content rather than features might be the attraction.

In other news, here's some interesting speculation (in the comments) on the future of English-language LJ. (Stressing, of course, that it is simply speculation)

my speculative thoughts )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Posterous creates a new posting interface: previously, I was sort of meh about posting on Posterous because well, email posting is convenient, but it's not something I really needed or desired, but now Posterous has totally, in a way, 'un-microed' itself and media galleries a big part of posting there. Not only that, 'media' also includes documents. I think if I were doing a lot of media in my blogging these days, these changes would be especially attractive. Wordpress, too, is striving to upgrade its inclusion of images and other media embeds.

I had been wondering what Posterous had been doing, since it had been quite a long time since they had added major features (though they did include a few nifty ones like page-breaks and post scheduling); they also seem to be selling domains for a rather high price, considering that it's not really that much trouble to set up the mapping yourself, I suppose. But Posterous prides itself on being for the non-blogging-saavy user, so maybe there is some interest.

Anyhow, Tumblr has also been including a lot of new stuff, (such as pages, and the ask/submit/reply stuff.) as well as growing a lot. Judging from their official blog, Posterous is mostly focused on the technical/design issues of Posterous itself, whereas Tumblr is, while doing a lot of stuff related to APIs and new features, also orienting itself towards the curation of content and discovery of new material (hence their directory). They've also started some small methods of monetization, such as offering premium themes, and under some circumstances, you can pay to be featured at the top of a directory (I couldn't... I think it's because no one has recommended my tumblr).

Some things I'm wondering whether Tumblr will add:
Lists (a la Twitter): already my dashboard can sometimes get clogged if someone decides to post a lot of posts at once. Lists might help me control the chaos.
Customizable Dashboard: Right now, everyone gets one Dashboard design, which I personally like, but maybe others would like to mix it up a bit more.
Comments, or better Disqus integration: self-explanatory
More flexible private blog options

more thoughts/speculation )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Haven't been posting that much because I've been working on a translation project. Anyway,

1. (Discussion of a post negatively comparing Posterous to Tumblr)

I think, since both Tumblr and Posterous are growing, it's difficult to project future growth, especially as both are works in progress. Posterous hasn't done much worth noting in the last month, but Tumblr has redesigned their Dashboard and added an "ask" feature (thereby supplanting Formspring, and complementing the 'submit' feature), and I'm very interested to see where the site is going in the future. I keep seeing more and more links to Tumblr on various sites, and even a certain egregious fan-behavior incident was brought to light (by the perpetrator) on Tumblr. However, I think Posterous is indeed forging its own path, by concentrating more on business clients, so we'll see how this turns out.

2. Also, LJ seems to be modernizing some backend stuff, while also possibly planning to include OAuth? I wonder what the OAuth implementation will look like. What will users be able to do what they can't do now? <--list of sites that use OAuth. <--what is OAuth, and how it differs from OpenID (from the creators) <--technical explanation of Oauth's possibilities

3. Also, Kyle Cassidy, the LJ Advisory Board User Representative, has posted about his communications with LJ:

Summary: LJ is aware of problems with the new search feature and underreporting in the stats feature. The Best Buy ads have had some bugs fixed in their implementation. Apparently, there will be another meeting Wednesday, after which he will discuss his own goals. (IIRC, they were mostly about getting an improved backup feature).
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
In the microblogging world, Tumblr has put out a beta Mac version of a back-up app. I can't use it yet, because I use Windows (a LOT of Tumblr's users use Macs, apparently, though), but other versions will be forthcoming. The lead developer of Tumblr, Marco Arment, was inspired to create this app because of the T-mobile data failure.

What's nice about this app is that it's very simple, in keeping with the rest of Tumblr's design philosophy: you get HTML files in folders, not archive file. But there is also the data there for developers within those files, should they need it.

In other microblogging news, Posterous has updated their group blog capabilities, to allow for group profiles and for autoblogging to each member's accounts on other services.

Anyway, for those of you who came in recently and have well, never heard of Tumblr or Posterous, both are "micro-blogging" sites, where you can blog much easily (though less powerfully) than from Wordpress. Tumblr seems more beloved of the artistic hipster crowd, and is NY-based, whereas Posterous is a Silicon Valley startup, especially popular in the tech community. Both impress me with how they seem to come out with new features on a regular basis, although it still remains to be seen how successfully they'll monetize. Right now I'm using Tumblr more often, but Posterous's features often seem more radical and intriguing (and their autopost (which is the ability to crosspost to huge amounts of sites) is impressive).
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Love Twitter or hate it, it's a popular site, and rather more popular than LJ. However, LJ doesn't have any Twitter integration (as far as I'm aware) and neither does Dreamwidth. IMHO, it would be a good idea for DW to integrate more with Twitter, especially as a) many DW users use Twitter, b) many potential DW users use Twitter, and c) Twitter seems to quite integratable.

How do other (micro)blogging sites integrate with Twitter? There seem to be several ways:
1) using Twitter as a form of login [EDIT: Twitter's materials on signing in with Twitter]
2)crossposting feeds/updates to Twitter
3)importing Twitter feeds as a sidebar widget

Let's look at Posterous, Tumblr, and

Posterous: One of Posterous's famed features is its crossposting (called "Autoposting"). And I sure do mean crossposting. Twitter is just one of the many sites Posterous can crosspost to [LJ is one of them, Dreamwidth is not], and the Posterous folks openly tout Posterous as a way to easily post pictures and other media to Twitter. Also, Posterous, unlike Tumblr, has built-in commenting, and it allows Twitter login, along with Facebook Connect. I don't think you can import Twitter feeds into your sidebar, though (I may be wrong).

Tumblr: Tumblr also allows you to send info to Twitter (and also Facebook). Tumblr doesn't have built in commenting, but you can edit your layout to use either Disqus or Intense Debate, both of which allow you to use Twitter login (as well as FB connect). And, you can put your Twitter feed in your blog layout, should you so desire to, as a widget. Wordpress recently put in Twitter crossposting (it also allows you to edit how the Tweets appear.) doesn't use Twitter login. (Though on your own Wordpress install, I'm sure you can do it.) Since Twitter uses RSS, you can easily display your Tweets as a widget in your sidebar

Although DW and LJ don't have built in crossposting to Twitter, you can use a service such as Twitterfeed to post them to a Twitter account (such as I have done here). This works fairly well, IMHO. Twitterfeed also allows you to have a feed input into your Facebook account. What if DW were to allow Facebook Connect as a login option for comments and have an option to automatically crosspost to FB?

(BTW, in terms of the poll, I'm fairly surprised that so many people selected Facebook, especially given that so many people in the LJ Suggestions comm and on LJ news seem to think that the site is the Great Satan.)

Also found something interesting while poking around in Russian LJ: seems that SUP bought out the equivalent of LJ-Toys, and they have some interesting utilities there. <--supposed to show who memoried someone (enter in LJ name), although it only seems to be the users they've spidered, and I'm not sure how that was determined (only Cyrillic journals?) <---choose two users, and it'll give you the friends they have in common.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
1. Myspace and Facebook may not be very profitable, but that doesn't mean social networks are not monetizable at all, says this blogger.

It's possible, apparently, to have high revenue earning social networks, because you can make money off of digital items and casual games. Myspace and Facebook don't really use these much, apparently. (Or at least to make money)

Quote: "For social networking sites, one of the key “experiences” of users is self-expression. Think about it: is the Facebook news feed more about the reader or the poster? Isn’t someone’s MySpace page all about self-expression? If people are there to represent and express themselves, shouldn’t you build a business model that charges for the ability to better differentiate oneself? Shouldn’t you also charge for ego-gratification on a sliding scale (the bigger the ego, the more the charge)?"

In other words, appeal to the user's vanity, not their desire for functionality? A virtual gift isn't, after all, something of much concrete value.

2. I've sort of been following, which is a microblogging startup whose schtick is posting by email, and here's a post by one of the founders about designing the sign-up process. He has a lot to say about how the sign-up process can be stream-lined and made simpler.

metaweblog and RSD?

Saturday, June 27th, 2009 09:34 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
BTW, does anyone know whether Dreamwidth supports the Metaweblog API and Really Simple Discovery? Or where I could go to ask such a question. The reason I ask is that I'm trying to set up Autoposting from Posterous: see here, because I'm interested in testing Posterous's simple media hosting features. I suspect it probably can, because Posterous supports LJ. Anyway, has anyone else tried this?

In other news, for people who use Twitter but not Tumblr, I have created a Twitter account which mirrors my Tumblr account.

EDIT: Learned that DW currently supports neither.
EDIT2: Discussion of protocols at the dev comm. It looks like they are going to concentrate on Atom primarily.


Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 10:50 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

A posting on Posterous, a microblogging site with some pretty advanced features. The main thing that hurts it now is they haven't created the template customization elements, so you're stuck with the default layout.

The main feature is the ultra-easy email posting, and crossposting and super easy media options. They seem to be gunning for several audiences: neophytes and those who want to co-blog with them, and people who have five bajillion blogs and would like something to help crosspost.

The integration is pretty impressive. I'm struck by how Twitter seems to be becoming a web-ID of its own, sort of like Facebook connect.

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