Posthaven Update

April 30th – the day Twitter shuts down the Posterous blog platform – is quickly approaching. If you have a Posterous blog and want to keep it, you need to be migrating your content NOW. I’ve migrated my sites to Posthaven, a Posterous replacement that’s still under construction. Why Posthaven and not WordPress? Posthaven is a reconstruction of the Posterous platform by two of the original developers. It will have all the same features and functionality of Posterous – updated to take advantage of the latest advances in technology. I loved Posterous’ simplicity and its email posting functionality. It has successfully served as a family journal and mailing service for several years because of those features.

Obviously, you don’t build a platform like this overnight – even if you are recreating something you already know inside and out. The developers’ first priority was to provide a clean migration path so Posterous users could move their blogs prior to the April 30th deadline. That functionality has been operational since the end of March. Both my Posterous blogs have been moved successfully for which I’m both very grateful and quite relieved. Although I am antsy to once again have all the features and functionality available, I’m finding it fascinating to watch Posthaven grow. This week pages, links and menus have been added.

Posthaven has one significant feature that makes it very different from Posterous. They will be charging $5/month to maintain up to 10 blogs in your Posthaven profile. With that fee comes a promise that Posthaven will be a durable platform that will “last forever”. While no one can promise anything will last forever, it is comforting to know that these developers want to make their money by keeping their users happy instead of trying to attract buyers. And since I don’t start paying until the site comes out of beta status – originally estimated at mid-April – I’m getting a good look at what I’ll be paying for before I commit.

There’s still quite a way to go: design themes, email posting and comments/replies, mobile apps and sharing to social networks – all requiring significant construction effort. It will be a while before I can enjoy all the things that made Posterous such a delightful family news service. If what I’ve seen so far is any example, it will be well worth the wait and the price.

 

Posthaven Opens to Public Beta

Great news! This just arrived in my mailbox:

Posterous users finally have a zero-data-loss option for switching to another blog platform. Read the Posterous Migration Guide to see how Posthaven stacks up against WordPress, Tumblr, and Squarespace options. We’ve imported over 850,000 posts, photos, videos, audio files, and documents in just the past few weeks.

You now have full access to Posthaven and can import your existing Posterous blogs, create new blogs, create new posts using the web post editor.

Go to your Posthaven Dashboard to get started

To keep on top of the latest feature updates, we recommend following @posthaven on Twitter. This project is under active development.

Please feel free to email us at help@posthaven.com if you have questions, feedback, or anything we can help with.

Yours faithfully in code,
— Garry and Brett
Cofounders, Posthaven.com

Apps to Capture Your Christmas Stories

Our first family event of this Christmas season is today and I’m ready to capture all Christmas family festivities . Here are the iPhone apps that will help make that happen.

  • Camera+ [on sale right now for 99¢] – gives me more control over my iPhone’s camera by letting me choose what to focus on and where to pull the exposure from. And it has a stabilizer to keep the shakes from messing up my pictures. It has basic editing tools and a bunch of filters. And I can send my pictures to Flickr from right in the app.
  • Blurb Mobile [free – plus upgrade is 99¢] lets you build stories from the photos, videos and audio captured on you iPhone. Quickly build a storyline of photos and video clips, then crop and scale them to suit you. Add audio and text captions and when your ready, post your production at your Blurb Mobile site and then share it via email, Facebook or Twitter.
  • Flickr [free] has just updated their iPhone app adding a camera and a number of interesting filters. The app can be used to take and edit photos, upload them to your Flickr account – complete with metadata details – and share them within Flickr and via Facebook or Twitter. Flickr also has an app for Android users.
  • Givit [free] makes it easy to capture and share your own video productions right from your iPhone. The editing tools are simple to use, allowing you to highlight the bits of video you want to use, add slow motion and fast motion effects and transitions between “scenes”. Once you’ve got your video the way you want it, upload it to your Givit site and share it with the world. There’s no limits to the length of your video productions and you get the first 5GB of video storage for free.
  • Posterous [free] is where our family maintains our private “news center” so this is where most of the captured festivities will be shared. The iPhone app makes it easy to send the photos and videos to the space where it will automatically be forwarded to all family members via email. There’s also the reader side of the app so everyone can see the fun as it happens. Posterous also has an app for Android users.
  • iPhoto [$4.99] for iOS provides great editing features and even though the sharing options are limited, I do love the Journal feature.
  • Day One [$4.99] my divine little journaling app goes with me everywhere. I’ll quickly add a photo then tap the weather and geo-locate icons to capture a moment, then later edit that entry to add the details of what was happening at the time. I also have the desktop Day One [$9.99] and a copy of the iOS app on my iPad. All stay synched via iCloud or Dropbox so I can fill in the details from just about anywhere.

Fortunately all these tools fit on my iPhone which will be within easy reach at all times and it’s a lot less conspicuous than sticking a big camera in their face. And, with the crowd of characters found in my family, I think I’m going to have a lot of digital storytelling fun this holiday season.

Capture the Family at Thanksgiving

Are you planning a big family dinner this Thanksgiving? Here are some easy and affordable ideas to take advantage of the family history opportunities these holiday get-togethers provide to capture the many special moments they generate.

  • The new Givit platform makes it easy to capture and share video clips using either an iOS or Android device.
  • iOS users can take advantage of the Blurb mobile app to build and share stories that combine photos with video and audio clips to create a story that can then be posted at Blurb’s site .
  • Have you built your family news site at Posterous? Updating your site with news and video clips is as easy as sending an email. Make sure your site’s address is in your phone’s address book before the festivities get started.
  • Evernote offers an audio note feature which can be a quick, easy and unobtrusive way to capture those great stories that are often told at family gatherings.
  • Take lots of photos and video clips of the event and use your presentation graphics app (PowerPoint, Keynote, Presentations or Impress) to build a multimedia scrapbook of the event.

Thanksgiving combines two of my favorite things – family and great food – into a delightful holiday. My cousin is hosting this year so once my dishes are cooked and delivered, I can devote the rest of the day to visiting with family members. And, thanks to the opportunities my iPhone offers to capture the sights and sounds of this holiday, we’ll be able to share it not only with those who can’t be with us but also with future generations.