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February 13, 2010

My Posterous experiment is now over. As a result, I’ve come back to WordPress a little wearier, but perhaps a little better for the wear.

PEG on Tech has a great article on Posterous’ shortcomings. Specifically, he argues that in comparison to Tumblr, a designed product, Posterous is an engineered product. This rings pretty true in my experience. Posterous has some nice features, but someone didn’t really sit down to think through the process of using them. I used the post-by-email feature perhaps once, and that was supposedly the platform’s great strength. Most of the time, I stuck to sharing snippets through the bookmarklet, which ended up digging at me because it was too “dead simple.”

The automatic excerpt selection feature was pretty good—not unlike Facebook’s—but that began to count for less and less. No rich text editor meant I’d have to hand-code any links and formatting changes. If I wanted to upload my own image, I’d have to resort to the separate and cumbersome email method to create an entirely new post. The alternative is to hotlink an image from another website, and even overlooking my (quaint?) loyalty to Web 1.0 etiquette, I’m concerned about the impermanence there. I want my blog to be a journal, a reference, and an archive, and it can’t be these things if tranches were to ever go missing.

There are still some things that I can’t get over on WordPress.com. For example, the inability to embed; with the exception of YouTube and one or two sites, WordPress.com disables all <embed> and <iframe> tags. It’s really just the general and palpable lack of control that gets my blogging/designing fingers itching to repurchase a domain and start on a new project. I’m also buzzing on imagination today after devouring Robin Sloan’s Annabel Scheme and The Truth About the East Wind, and I feel like this creative edge needs to be given a proper outlet.

Well, the poor carpenter and all that. So, the next thing I intend to write about is my experience designing an undergraduate seminar. (Not the teaching yet—that’s for next quarter.) Stay tuned!

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