Are you interested in creating a personal blog? You might use a blog for posting the results of your genealogy research, for finding long-lost cousins, for posting your bowling league's news, for posting pictures of your cat, or for most any other imaginable purpose. There are dozens of blogging services to choose from, and most of them are very easy to use. However, I suspect the Posterous blogging service has to be the absolute easiest blogging service around. Can you send an email message? If so, you can create and maintain a blog on Posterous.com.
You can include pictures, videos, music, and most any sort of attached file. One feature that impressed me is that you can create group sites, such as a private blog just for family or friends. You can add your friends’ or family’s email addresses to any Posterous site you control. Then they email firstname.lastname@example.org to post to the blog. They don't even need to create an account.
All posts and comments on that site will be emailed to all contributors instantly. It works just like an email list, but is smarter. The person who creates the blog controls who can read it. Access can be granted to everyone on the Internet or restricted to those who have a password that you give them. Posterous groups are useful for local genealogy societies, families, sports teams, and most any other group you can think of to share photos and video. No registration required, no software to learn, no hoops to jump through.
There is no need to create an account, no need to set up templates, and no technical knowledge required. You can create your first blog posting within a few seconds after reading this article.
Creating the blog is super simple. You send the contents of your first posting to email@example.com and the system responds within a few seconds, telling you that your blog has been created and that the first entry has been posted, and telling you the URL (web address) of your new blog. Want to add another posting? Simply reply to the email you received from posterous.com.
You can send new email messages with attached pictures, videos, music, or most anything else. Posterous will convert those attached files and place them inside your new posting. Posterous will accept any file you send and convert it to the most web-friendly format available. The attached files will appear instantly in your blog. If the picture is too large for use, it will be automatically re-sized into a web-friendly format and then inserted into your blog.
If you mention another web site and include a link, Posterous will automatically convert that to a hotlink that your readers can click on. If you paste a YouTube link, an embedded video player will appear in your blog. This works for YouTube as well as for Google Video, Hulu, Funny Or Die, Omnisio, MixWit, Justin.TV, Fliggo, Vimeo, motionbox, TED Talks, Viddler, Dailymotion, Blip.tv, Revver, TeacherTube, GodTube, seesmic, and Brightcove. This is an easy way to insert video into your blog.
Perhaps the greatest feature of all is the ability to auto-post to other services. You can create a Posterous blog and create new articles simply by sending email messages. Optionally, Posterous can immediately post your new words to your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr (with pictures), Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, Movable Type, LiveJournal, and Xanga. The updated posts will include pictures, videos, or music if you attach them to your original email message. If your message includes audio, your friends can subscribe in iTunes directly.
All this happens within seconds after you send it.
Posterous is a free service and includes up to one gigabyte of space for personal use. You can obtain more space for a modest fee if you need it. Posterous can also import your old site from most blogging platforms. Just go to the import page and get started.
The default address of your new blog will be something like this: http://yourname.posterous.com. However, Posterous will even allow you to use your own domain name, such as http://www.mydomainname.com. The word "Posterous" does not need to appear in your blog's address if you have already registered a domain name of your own.
I am impressed with Posterous. It is free, it is super easy to use, and it seems to be a natural for both personal blogs and for family web sites with many contributors. For more information, go to http://www.posterous.com.