I am just devastated from the news. Posterous has been one of the easiest and most versatile blog platforms I’ve seen. It’s been my family journal and news service. It feeds content to the DIGITAL Storytelling paper at paper.li. My library’s Friends group uses it for their mailing list/newsletter. And much more.
The platform will be shut down on April 30th. They have created a backup tool that will archive your content as a zip file.
Now, the search begins for alternatives. Tumblr is an option. It’s also free and has most of the same capabilities, it just functions quite differently than Posterous. I don’t think the email mailing list functionality is as robust as Posterous, but I’ll have to look at that again.
WordPress is a step up the blogging ladder, but there is an import tool available for hosted sites at WordPress.com and a plugin for self-hosted sites. Although WordPress has an email subscription capability, it doesn’t allow the reply functionality that makes Posterous so special.
The most interesting news is a “startup” called Posthaven. I put startup in quotes because it is being built by the two developers who originally created Posterous. They are promising two things. First, that Posthaven will have all the features I know and love from Posterous – just updated to keep up with the times. Second, they promise that it won’t go away. How do they plan to keep that promise? By charging a fee to use the service. The fee will be $5 a month.
The Posthaven service should be up and running within a few weeks and include a function to import your Posterous blog. You can sign up with them now to reserve your blog name and get updates on their progress. If it provides the features and functionality of Posterous, it will be worth the $5/month to me. Right now, all I can do is wait and see.