Posterous, the email based blogging tool, has quietly (or not so) built a very large user base. The tool’s popularity I believe is in large part due to how simple it makes it to engage in the act of blogging. Users post content by sending an email .

While it is indeed a simple tool some very well known bloggers such as Mashable editor Jennfier Van Grove and Edelman Digital’s Steve Rubel have moved to it as one of their primary sources for information streaming.

Actually, while many people swear by Posterous as an information posting platform I haven’t really seen it as particularly powerful tool for small business over any other platform such as WordPress.

This week, however, Posterous added a feature that I think may have some real utility for small businesses.

Posterous users can now create their own public or private groups and add users that can share, post, and submit various form of content. Again, using email only, group members don’t even need to have a Posterous account to add content. The two panel interface presents the information in a very accessible way.

Groups have been around for a long time from Yahoo and Google, but I think this platform is a much better tool for multi-party sharing around specific topics of content much like a forum with better structure, more types of content and let’s face it a higher coolness factor.

I can see:

  • Business units in organizations using the tool to archive content
  • Loosely formed networks sharing information as a group
  • Small business teams creating and sharing information
  • Customer groups creating what amounts to user generated sharing
  • Organizations building community around shared ideas
  • Non-profits building groups sharing around an event
  • This might also be one of the best family sharing tools out there too

To  create a group all you need to do is send an email to new [email protected] and tell them the name of the group. You can then add a list of group member. Posterous will send your member an invite and create the URL for the group blog.

All groups are private by default, but I could certainly see public uses for the tool. Group owners have the ability to see permissions for members.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Could be the new improved forum. A serious content hub. Hopefully businesses see the benefits of it.

    • I think the forum idea is very real – much better handling of content in various forms I think

  • Yeah this could really be new forum.

    Nilesh Shukla

  • Great stuff!

    I want to see it in action though, have some small businesses use it and check how the audience interacts with and within the group.

    As you said, groups are not a new thing (at all), and agree this is a much more interesting platform than Google and Yahoo. Though in terms of interaction, I think this space still belongs to Facebook.

    • I think that’s always the test of any new tool – something can look right but not work like people need it to – I’m going to experiment with both public and private groups.

  • mylocaltrades

    Great to see Posterous is finally getting compared with the likes of WordPress, I have used posterous pretty much since day one. It has been enjoyable to watch how things have changed over the last couple of years and I look forward to seeing many more to come…

  • Anna

    Posterous!!! This is my fist time hearing this new invention! Cannot wait to tryout to see whether it is useful or not~

    • Anna, you will love it. I use it daily and share a variety of info which then is shared to my social sites. I think the groups can be shared similarly as Linkedin Groups. Might take awhile for that part to take off!

  • Derya

    thank you for ur posting. it is useful for me.

  • Thanks for the article, John, but I don’t get Posterous groups. That having been said, I didn’t get Posterous when it first came out, but now it’s a very important part of my workflow. I think Posterous has some fatal flaws that keep it from becoming as valuable as WordPress [no backups, no xml exports, help is getting slower and less effective, etc.] and it should have focused on fixing them before they started in another direction…

    • Yes I’ve never considered Posterous as a way to replace WordPress, certainly not for what I do, but with groups it’s like creating a forum that you can use to create a robust conversation and information sharing home and keep it private or open it to the world.

      I see this as a tool to bolt onto to a community or group that you want to make it easy to share info with. Think about how a family might want to keep people up on the happenings and photos and what not, but now they just email their stuff in and it gets posted for all to see without any set-up or profile building or even login on their part.

    • You can use Posterous to repurpose your blogs and articles and have your readers directed back to your website to read rest of content.
      Connect your twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, video and bookmarking sites, then use Posterous daily to share your content, videos, photos, etc. You can upload them in advance (editorial calendar helps with planning) and add tag words, select date an time you want them to post ad then Posterous does the rest.
      Optimize your profile on this site and add your links, create pages, customize the header.
      Posterous will seek out people from your Twitter and Facebook accounts and offers you the oppty to subscribe to them and vice versa. This narrows your community down and you both have the oppty to connect and engage on a deeper level. You are also assigned an email address so you can send updates directly from verified email addresses using iPhone, iPad, Laptop. This makes it easy for you to share instant info at a given notice.
      You can add google analytics and an Rss feed and assign contributors.
      I hope i helped explain the value and easy use of Posterous. Set it up once and it works for you!

  • I have been using Posterous as a compliment to social media activties. Posterous not only enables your posts (of blogs, videos, photos etc). It will auto-submit to Linkedin, and major video an bookmarking sites. You can add google analytics, and an RSS feed; add your favorite links, create pages and customize look and feel – a compliment to your website, Blog, or landing page.
    I love Posterous!