New Y Combinator startup Posterous launches today with what might be the simplest blogging platform to date. Yes, it’s even easier to use than Tumblr, which has a cult-following of users who like to post lots of pictures and short messages.
Here’s how you create a blog on Posterous – email something to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re done.
Here’s how you post something new on Posterous – see paragraph above. The subject line of the email is the post title, the text area is the content. You can also email photos, videos and sounds files, which will be displayed in a custom Flash player on the site. My new Posterous blog, for example, is here.
Is this a lot like Tumblr? Yes, although account creation by a single message to a generic email is a great way to help this spread via mobile devices (you have to create an account on Tumblr’s website first, then you can start emailing to a unique email id). Posterous also has comments on posts, something Tumblr is just starting to roll out to some users.
Another great thing about Posterous – you can choose to have comments emailed to you, and you can reply to the comment by simply responding back to the email (I wish WordPress had that feature). If you choose to register your account at Posterous (which means creating a password), you can also follow other Posterous bloggers.
The services are otherwise somewhat similar. Both are excellent for simply emailing in vacation photos and videos.
One problem Posterous may have is fake posts via masked emails (it’s relatively easy to mask emails so that they appear to be sent from anyone you like). Posterous says they’ll watch header information like IP address, email client and other data points to sniff out fakes, and users can also request a unique email. We’ll see how they do with that – and we’ll give a free TechCrunch Tshirt to the first person who manages to do a fake post on our Posterous blog (but it can’t be off color, disgusting, or NSFW in any way) (Update: ok, we have a winner).
Tumblr is a lot more feature rich than Posterous, which make sense since Posterous is only two months old and has two employees. But Posterous is dead simple to use and does the mobile blogging thing very well. New features will be launched over the summer, says co-founder Sachin Agarwal, including customized CSS and the ability to cross post to other blogging platforms.