Friday, February 15, 2013

Posterous to Posthaven

Posterous is shutting down.  After a year of acquisition by Twitter, it announced that it will be shutting its door on April 30th.  For those of you who haven't been using Posterous, it's a free blog site that competes with Tumblr for ease of setup and use.  I should now say, it used to compete.  It's clear now that Tumblr has won the battle.

Posterous is shutting down.
That's my excuse for posting this notice on Tumblr...

But this raises an interesting question for bloggers.  As Patrick Lambert wrote on his blog, shutdown announcement like this makes all of us wonder whether it's a good idea to rely on free blog sites to maintain our online identities.  With upcoming deadline of April 30th, Posterous users will have to archive their data and migrate to another blog sites.  But in addition to that, there are other costs involved.  SEO will not be the same without the same static links.  Links made by third party sites to the older site will be broken, and won't display the same entry.

Even though users have been blogging for free, the service has never been free.  Posterous like any other business needs to generate revenue and cash flow to stay in business.  Get big fast and look for a way to monetize the traffic may have worked for a few startups, but many are realizing that it's not the business model that will work for all.  Users need to know this as well.  In order to create sustainable business, many bloggers must generate compelling content that are valuable to people, or bloggers themselves have to pay to set up their blog.

That's exactly what Garry Tan and Brett Gibson are trying to do with Posthaven.  Their new idea is to offer pay-to-setup blog site to bloggers.  At $5 per months, they are promising bloggers that user blogs will remain online as long as they are in business and they won't look to get acquired by someone else.  Just as is Twitter with paid user base, Posthaven wants to be Tumblr with paid user base.

Posthaven is for Tumblr.
It's a $5 per month, pay to set up blog service.

Will it work?  That depends whether Posterous shutdown and forced migration will cause enough pain for end users to fork off $5 per month.  I personally think that many bloggers won't care to spend $5 each month to get their blogs up.  Blogging is a hard work.  Not many casual bloggers will want to spend their money to test whether blogging is right for them.  Only core bloggers might care, and for them it will make more sense to set up dedicated site running their own Wordpress site or open-sourced static content blog.

What would you do?  Would you spend $5 per month to set up an easy blog with the comfort of knowing that your data will always available from the same URL?


  1. Maybe you could also have a look at looks and works pretty good

  2. I went for it for ease of use. I had a question and got email from the CEO. Pretty good service, eh. And it's fun: every now and then a new feature--slideshow, url embed, with email to blog coming.