Was Posterous created to not be sustainable? If so, then Posterous's users were duped from the get go into using something that the founders knew wasn't sustainable and would eventually disappear. That's not a good way to treat users and it surely doesn't inspire confidence in the founders' next projects.
Honestly, I find pitching this service on the day of the news that Posterous is shutting down to be kind of tacky. I'm not trolling or trying to be negative...I'm just suspicious of why anyone should trust this.
Posthaven is the result of my experience with that. I know the world needs a simple, clean, well-lit, easy place to post. One that doesn't force us to make the same kind of product decisions that we had to before.
I promise you we are focused on making this a long term project. It's not a startup and Brett and I are committed to making it work over the long haul.
But on the other hand, you did accept VC funding for Posterous (I'm assuming nobody was holding a gun to your head and forced you to do it), and for whatever reason you then left and moved onto other projects.
Now you are saying you will never sell out, will never lose focus and will stick around forever. Isn't that like a politician promising they won't ever raise taxes? "Ever" is just a really strong word. Life happens. Priorities change. Heck, most marriages don't even last forever.
I believe you. I think you're telling the truth about how you actually feel right now and what your plans for the business are right now. It's just that right now only lasts an instant.
I think we're put on this earth to create things of great lasting value that are good for others around us. Many things in our lives will change, but I believe this one is a constant guiding light.
Support him? By bailing out? Was it easy for your cofounder to replace your skillset? Would love to hear the whole story if you don't mind, it could help help others who are in similar situations. It's sad that cofounders who once created something together are not able to find a common understanding in later stages. Sad that both parties reached that point where they have to utter the threat either my way or I leave. WTF. I know this is common and probably the reason why most startups fail but just leaving (or maybe the true story was different) sounds a bit strange. However, maybe it was the best decision for the organization.
Support him BEFORE he bailed out. Ie. he supported the VC thing, although he didn't like the direction.
As for the "skill-set", it's not as if building a web service, and such as simple one as posterous (or twitter, or tumblr) is rocket science.
Scaling it is a little harder, but still, thousands of companies and websites do it on their own. So what What ireplaceable skillset?
And now he wants to work on something like Posterous again. His priorities don't seem so shifty.
It's nice to see you acknowledge that things were rocky with Posterous but you are now moving forwards in a new direction based on your past learnings.
After all, isn't that one of the great things about being human? We can all learn from our past mistakes and strive to better than the person we were yesterday.
I built a team. Accountability and execution in the company. It's not as easy as it sounds.
We made mistakes and learned. I think everyone did well and are on to great things.
Different idea, but, for example Matt M. created the WordPress Foundation to independently carry out the things he believed in.
"From an ultimate decision-making point of view, the Foundation is mainly just me. [...] It’s worth noting that the Foundation was created purely to be a trademark and IP holding entity that Automattic could transfer its ownership of the WordPress trademark to. There are no “members.”" 
In addition, having counseled clients on this structure, the benefit of creating a nonprofit and giving it IP is that it creates a public check on anything to do with that IP. For example, while a startup's founders can sell the company, they can't unilaterally agree to sell off the IP in the nonprofit, and the public can challenge any such sales by recourse to a state attorney general's office.
It's not perfect, but it helps protect the IP in the way founders want to. In many ways, it's a one-way decision, which is why it works.
second, can we auto-migrate somehow from a posterous backup - my wife runs a blog on posterous and is really worried that she needs to migrate. if i could tell her that she just now needs to pay $5/month and not rely on me to hack something together w/octopress and github she will be so excited.
The apostrophe is for possessives and contractions. Pluralization is neither.
Wrong: Greatest Hits of the 90's / The 90's' Greatest Hits / 1990's' Greatest Hits
Right: Greatest Hits of the 90s / The 90s' Greatest Hits / 1990's Greatest Hits
It's easy if you think of the difference between the plural and possessive "s" using the unabbreviated word:
Television's favorite stars are always on our televisions.
TV's favorite stars are always on our TVs.
Any style guide that writes that sentence a different way is simply wrong.
I think you are being a bit hard on tedunangst since his statement "Sometimes the apostrophe is preferred..." applies in situations different from your examples.
For example: "The Times (and some other publications, including the Chicago Manual of Style) do call for using an apostrophe in the plural of abbreviations that include periods."
You can find more discussion here:
rubyrescue: since you're posting here, you have a grocer's apostrophe on the home page... it's "URLs", not "URL's".
tedunangst: Depends on your style guide. Sometimes the apostrophe is preferred for abbreviations ... not something I'd correct somebody for unless we had specifically and previously agreed to a particular style guide
tedunangst claimed that was a style choice. It's not. By all these guides, "URL's" is wrong, and is something that would be corrected by editors using your examples of NYT or Chicago Manual of Style.
Also, for the periods, omitting the periods is often the cleanest answer. Instead of "C.P.A.'s" which is both ambiguous and ugly, consider "I went to my CPA's office. Naturally, it was full of CPAs."
You're safest following this line from your Wikipedia link: The MLA is explicit "do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of an abbreviation". The APA is specific in "without an apostrophe".
Just wondering: how can somebody start again something he worked already years on? I understand that you might learned a lot with Posterous and now you'd like to just employ that knowledge in a new blog project. But is it not a bit dangerous to stick to the same thing over years? You could loose time and after ten years looking back and you pity that you just worked only on blog systems. I don't want to talk blogs down, they are a very interesting use case and I still think there's room for improvement but in terms of spreading the bets and just the need to start something totally new I am a bit confused that you do the same thing over and over again (and I didn't see any disruptive feature or new angle with Posthaven).
Hhh? Most people work on the same thing their whole life.
And it's not like this will be the exact same thing as Posterous was.
The only problem was that SnapJoy was a bigger black hole than Flickr was. An API to access your photos was coming soon for months and never came before they were acquired by Dropbox.
Somehow he was arguing around that point. Unsure how but it couldn't possibly have made sense.
I have nothing against Garry or anyone else involved in these projects/companies but it goes a long way to hurt those of us  trying to build software where users actually control and retain ownership of their data.
 I founded The OpenPhoto Project in 2011
Seriously? Just gonna throw 'em under the bus like that? Friends like these..
Its time to stop trotting out this meme that the alternative to an "aquihire" was a sustainable business. Sometimes you've got to fish or cut bait.
Ad hominem aside, trust should never be required for a good agreement. PostHaven has made a great start by killing any acquisition value from Day 1 by making their defining feature a promise never to sell. If they follow that up with e.g., transferring control of posthaven.com to a well-regarded foundation like Wikimedia, the EFF, or archive.org they could further remove the trust requirement from the contract they are forming with their users. That'd be great.
Just like OkCupid's intensive, well-researched, data-driven post on why online dating needs to be free scared off Match.com from acquiring them?
It might just be bad timing to announce the next project more than anything.
Idk, but people really need to stop hyping this. It's just some company hosting _blogs_ get over yourself.
The nifty thing, though, is that PostHaven doesn't have to wait if they are genuine in their intent! The Internet Archive offers a paid archiving service, Archive-It...
Here is the challenge, there are too many scenarios where you don't want to be.
#1) "SPLOGGING" or some random thing becomes the new thing which all the cool kids are doing. You've got just enough customers to keep you in Ramen so you're committed to working until you're 70 and can augment your income with Social Security to honor this commitment to those few.
#2) You've spent 20 years maintaining the service, answering the same questions, fighting the same fires, dealing with the same sort of "Chrome v286 can't display tri-graphs properly without mime support from the replacement for nginx" kinds of problems.
#3) Its wildly successful and someone offers to make you a billionaire if you sell it to them?
In contrast I like the foundation idea. Foundations don't get tired, they don't get tempted, they just execute against their created principals. A foundation with an endowment that runs a service which supplies a voice for bloggers for a computed value which is not to exceed 15% of the operating cost of the service. That is a durable kind of construction, the people in it are just employees, they turn over like students in a college or wait staff at a restaurant. Its a chunk of money, controlled by a legal document, implemented by a management structure, to create a service in perpetuity.
Don't build a business and promise not to sell it, build an institution that is self contained.
Basically you're one person and you're human and we know how humans act. A foundation provides some insurance for my investment.
Another approach is to build a service where you make no promises about hosting content forever, but find ways to ensure that users own their data, and have full freedom of migration if you should close down.
Since 2010 I've been running http://branchable.com/ , which takes this approach. The same git clone of their site that users can make to edit it contains all their data and configuration. It's built on an open engine http://ikiwiki.info/ , so users can switch away at any time, with no conversion. Ikiwiki is a static site builder, so users can host on S3 or github, or anywhere if they decide to stop using Branchable. Even the management and business logic are open software, so if we folded tomorrow and someone wanted, they could recreate us using http://ikiwiki-hosting.branchable.com/
Branchable is not designed to have a fast burn, but we've had slow and steady growth, and happy users who continue paying the bills each month.
There's a lot of room in this space for sites serving different sets of users in ways that don't turn them into extruded VC product, so welcome to it!
IIRC archive.org manages this for somewhere around $2000 per terabyte. There's a lot of interesting research into predicting how changes in drive prices etc will play out and affect this number, that you can find by googleing the term.
I wish there were some open source resource sharing protocol a bit more high-level than HTTP.
You can migrate your data to another server and change your entity (global user identifier) as part of the protocol, so there's no messy "please update your address books" (that part happens automatically.
Data is stored as posts and post types are developer extensible (posts are JSON and binary attachments), so if your favorite app is discontinued, another developer can make a great app that interacts with the same post types.
We're working on a Tent app that imports Posterous posts right now.
Until then, that pledge is just words which can be rescinded any given time.
To be very clear: I am not insinuating you would break your pledge, but as a user, I'd be unwise to trust a non-binding statement on a web page.
Self-hosting is great and I don't think we'll ever replace it. But for the vast majority of personal content out there, you want a caretaker. I hope you'll think of us when you do.
And you absolutely do have to hope.
Vigilance is going to be required whichever solution you choose, but having said that, a properly set up, locked down server based on a stable server-oriented OS distro, is going to require very little maintenance, if you subscribe to the old ways. Don't fix it if it isn't broken, and keep installed software to the absolute bare minimum required. Analyze upgrades to see if they're actually necessary (the answer is usually "no"). Pick your blog software carefully, from projects with proven track records for stability and security, and apply the same practices of keeping modules and add-ons down to the bare minimum, and you'll find there really is not much you have to keep up with.
Our pledge to you...
We'll never be acquired.
We'll always keep your URL's online.
We'll always keep it the best place to post.
I've talked to Garry and Brett about Post Haven and they are genuinely committed to making this work as they pledge on the website.
>And they charge $5 per month, so
>the sustainability is more clear.
In 1996, Geocities began offering a deal: pay $4.95 a month and no ads will be shown on your site, and you get to use your own domain for your website. I signed up immediately. 3 year later, Geocities was acquired by Yahoo. 10 years later, Geocities was closed:
There is nothing really permanent about any of these services. Ma Bell may have offered a reliable phone service for almost 100 years, but in the era of the Internet the half-life of consumer sites tends to be much shorter.
There are many others besides that did stuff like this so check out the archive team, archive.org and so on.
- Open source the code
- Allow users to supply their own domain
- An API (not "coming soon...")
If all those are in place then great :)
 Looks like the site doesn't support any of the 3 - facepalm
Brett and I have discussed #1 and it's an option we want to keep on the table. First priority is to build and create a great hosted experience, however.
By custom domains I mean user supplied top level domains. Definitely have a read on how we view URL permanence . I wish more sites thought about it and glad you already are.
Just look at the examples.
WebFaction works just fine for me and so does Jekyll.
From personal experience, doing a startup is so hard that judging the co-founders without knowing the full context is just wrong.
I look at it like your favorite store. Every year the odds of something dramatic happening in which it will shut down are played against it. Everything is transient, it's life. I've bounced around a lot of blogging platforms, and personally it's not a huge deal at all. Sure, it's a bit of a pain to spend a day or so settling in and changing your DNS, but is it really that bad?
When someone says "it'll be around forever" my BS radar starts beeping like mad. And that's ok.
Also suggest that you think about a pre-paid plan, for say $1000, to purchase lifetime hosting, assuming you can find a way to invest the money that pays a return that sustains the service.
Also consider partnering with some long-lived institutions, like universities, that might play a role in guaranteeing the "forever" part of the proposition.
Another possibility -- sell stock to your users. There's no reason you can't make a fortune doing this. But if you go with VC money that's going to put you on a path that isn't sustainable. If you sell stock to the public with the clear up-front understanding that this is to be a sustainable business, that might strengthen the company, not weaken it.
We had no idea when Posterous would shut down -- it's been a project Brett and I have been working on in our spare time for a while and we had to literally scramble to get this into launch-ready state.
We fixed it (in case you're wondering, make sure your HAProxy Maxconn setting is high enough, say 1024 connections, if you're serving static assets behind it in addition to dynamic content.) and we hope you'll give us one more shot.
It's pretty easy to switch if necessary (admittedly assuming you have the right technical skills).
I understand there is also space for "give it for free, grow like crazy", but the fact that it is now the norm is extremely odd IMHO. Most founders now optimize for VC rounds apparently.
We're starting over from scratch with a new codebase only recently, and there's infrastructure we still need to build. I scaled Posterous from nothing to tens of millions of uniques with my cofounder Brett, so we'll be able to keep it online for the long haul.
Please bear with us though through this launch period.
I'll stay with Jekyll and WordPress.
(FYI I'm still getting the 503 for now but I'll keep checking in.)
This is a simple feature request but as someone who writes occasionally it is really important to me: will I be able to customize the domain name to have it as myname.com instead of posthaven.com/myname?
[The irony of linking to a Posterous post is not lost on me - I wonder when that link will be dead]
Let's not even go into the fact that there's a high likelihood this project won't even take off considering the high amount of competition out there.
But there are tons of uncontrollable situations that you MIGHT run into, even if there's a 0.01% chance that it will happen.
- What if someone sues you and you go bankrupt?
- What if someone offers to buy you out for 1 billion dollars?
- What if (God forbid) one of the original founders passes away and the rest of the founders decide it's no longer worth it to keep it going?
- What if the founding team just realizes the project is no longer for them?
- What if after the founding team retires, the people that they pass it onto decide THEY don't want to keep going with it?
I'm just not buying it, and I feel like a lot of people will have the same skepticism.
I like the idea of $5/month. Why not sell it??? Let go of it twitter!!!
I've been a BIG Posterous fan, have 20+ blogs on it public and private, used to run a few courses, but started pulling away when the rumors and the "BackUp" button appeared.
It's NOT too late, is it? What a great story it would make to pull it back from the brink for all those semi-tech literates who can build wonderful sites on Posterous. Does someone need to start a petition to bug twitter about this??
We're making it for ourselves. It's a long-term project. If we make good software, then it doesn't matter if there are 500 users or 5 million.
LOL. I remember that. http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/22/posterous-targets-ning-in-m...
People are very often more willing to shell out money than we assume. Not all people, but some. See Pinboard.
Because WP bugs me, I've written my own lightweight markdown based thing in node that I'm gradually moving everything to.
On the upside, the Posterous thing finally taught me to not rely fully on free services, no matter how good the feature set.
Also, (and this is the main reason, really) it's just a lot of fun.
It will also be cheaper than $5/month.
2. At least you picked a decent name, PostHaven. I always hated the name Posterous. And the brown/yellow logo. Ugh!
3. As a non-techie I would pay $60/year for 10-blogs, BUT NOT if it will be as bad as Posterous which worked like pure crap for email-posting (yet that was their big Come On!) From Summer 2009 for 6 months it worked fine, then something changed & it never worked well after that (only headlines would post with empty body content!!!) Wasted TONS of time & energy trying to get answers from them & only got the run-around. It was a miserable nightmare for 20-months when I finally bailed in Spring 2011 & went to WP.com, & that was after seeing a post at Computerworld that there was a bug between Gmail & Posterous!!! Yet Posterous didn't know that? Pfff! Wp.com works excellent for email-posting & w/Gmail/iPhone. Make it like WP.com & maybe will consider...
4. Do not make the account-email address the ONLY addy that can be email-posted FROM. Give us a "special post to" addy like WP does so we can post by email from ANY of our email addys, & not just the ONE connected to account. That was another royal PITA thing about Posterous. We should not have to add ALL of our addys as add'l "users" just to be able to post-by-email from DIFFERENT addys. I cannot even express how arse-backward-miserable that set-up was!! If PostHaven sets it up that same way, no thanks!
5. Do not have Tags in the Subject Line like Posterous did!! Did it ever occur to those guys we might send our post to Posterous & elsewhere at the same time? (such as Email Groups?) Then the other list shows the stupid Tags in the Subject Line! Bad idea!
6. Don't make the Default "Gallery" so that we have to type "NO GALLERY" in every stinking email! Or at least let US, the user, SET the DEFAULT CHOICE.
7. Let us choose AT LEAST 1-global FONT for the blog body & headlines, VERDANA, crystal clear, best READABLE font.
8. Let us choose AT LEAST 2-global Font SIZES for the blog body text & headline. NO TEENY TINY STINKING FONT SIZES!
9. Let us choose AT LEAST 3-global Font COLORS: links, headlines, body text (#000000 BLACK body TEXT >> & NO STINKING "INVISIBLE GREY" FONT ANYWHERE!!)
WP.com wants $30/YEAR for the "privilege" to change global font, font size, font colors. If it was a one-time-$30-fee, fine, but not every year (10 blogs would be $300 PER YEAR just to have a decent font!)
10. Let us choose ALL Theme COLORS, background, menu bars, Blog's Title, etc.
11. Themes: WP.com & Posterous both have & had CRAPPY UGLY themes. You can tell that it is mostly GUYS designing all the hideous themes, because women would know better! (design, colors, layout, FUNCTION), but unfortunately, we are not the tech geeks! If PostHaven themes will be as crappy, it won't be worth switching, unless total flexibility is INCLUDED (see #8-9-10 above).
--Have several "Magazine" type themes, Photoblogging themes, Portfolio themes, etc., that actually WORK with EMAIL-blogging! (Most of them DON'T, including the one Posterous had! The first photo should show up on site but they never did! -- The only WP.com "magazine" theme that works w/email-posting is Triton Lite & it has a hideous white film over it & TEEEENY TINY INVISIBLE GREY FRONT, making it a total loser of a theme).
--Or, let us dl free or paid themes from 3rd parties elsewhere to use on our blogs & you guys could forego the whole themes disasters. (WP.com has paid themes but quite pricey $75-$150, & I think you STILL have to buy the CSS Upgrade just to change fonts/sizes/colors!)
12. Let us decide WHERE we want the DAY, DATE, & TIME of each post! (At the TOP, under the Headline, NOT out to the side wasting space, NOR at the bottom of the posts! Ugh!)
13. WIDGETS! & SHORTCODES! (for archives, search, RSS Feeds, Twitter Stream, HTML-Text-&-Images boxes, videos, etc.) Frankly, I don't see why the wheel needs to be RE-invented... it must be a "guy thing." Just copy what WP.com has already invented, but add the flexibility that WP.com does not include & I would gladly give you $60/year for 10-blogs.
14. Oh, & allow users to have ADS!!! Posterous was always promising they were going to allow users to have ads, but they never did (all the while they were Vigi-linking everyone's blogs!)
15. And if being able to use our own domains is INCLUDED, that would be GREAT. WP.com wants $18/Year for that privilege (10 blogs = $180) plus annual domain fees.
16. Will PostHaven be hosting .PDFs, .MP3s, Videos, etc. like Posterous did? That was ONE good thing!
17. BUT I'm not willing to sign up in advance because there's no way to know if any of the other above miseries from prior Posterous & current WP.com will be the same at PostHaven or not. But will keep an eye out to see how it develops.
We'd been working on it for a while, but had no idea it would be launching today and should have been more prepared.
Sorry about that. Please give us another shot.