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Caution: Posterous May Be The Fastest Way to Blog or Publish

I first heard of Posterous when I saw that Steve Rubel, an influential writer & publicist about trends in the digital space (and my former colleague at CMP Media), had moved from WordPress to Posterous to publish his content.

I’ve tested Posterous — which allows you to email content to the Web — myself and see its potential: indeed, it may be the fastest way to publish pictures, audio and video to the open Web (as opposed to through a more closed environment such as Facebook).

Posterous CEO Sachin Agarwal

Note: Mashable does a good review of Posterous versus Tumblr (a somewhat similar tool) here: Posterous Versus Tumblr).

I decided to ask Posterous CEO Sachin Agarwal some questions about his business. Enjoy.

Q: Hey Sachin. Congrats on Posterous’s fast growth. How do you describe the market that Posterous is in?

Posterous can be used for many different kinds of sites. It can be used as a micro blog or blog.

But it can also be used as a groups product, an email list, a photo stream, a video channel, and much more. Posterous doesn’t limit what you can post or how you can use it.

So the market is pretty large. You might be new to technology, but you can use Posterous via email.

Or you might be a pro blogger. It doesn’t matter. Posterous can be used by anyone

Q: What’s the difference between Posterous and blogging?

We don’t like the word “blogging.” Historically, people have set up blogs…and then done nothing there.

It’s about photos to share with friends and family or business. We don’t want to be known as middle blogging or micro-blogging.

Posterous has no limitations. What can you not do on Posterous that you can do on WordPress?

It’s more of a LifeStream (Steve Rubel is the first person who used this as it has to do with Posterous) — I’m out and about and this is what’s happening to me, live.

Twitter doesn’t allow this because it’s confined to 140 characters. And almost none of my real friends are on Twitter.

Facebook doesn’t provide it because it’s completely closed (I can’t export my data (and the only people who can see it are Facebook users (and that’s not most of my family). And much of my family is not on Facebook

Q: Who do you consider your competitors (besides Tumblr)?

WordPress, Blogger, Google Groups, Flickr, YouTube. But we can do all of what those can do right within Posterous.

Q: I noticed Michael Arrington’s Posterous and it was just a flow of photos with a headline (describing the photos). Do you see emailing photos and videos as a popular application of Posterous?

Defintely. One of the big reasons we created Posterous:

1) We wanted rich media support (video and email out of the box) and

2) Wanted to make sure you can post via mobile.

It’s the simplest way to use Posterous. It acts as the on-boarding for Posterous. Our goal is not to be a micro-blog.

Q: Who are you proudest of that’s moved to Posterous from some other platform?

Ted Fellows Posterous — It’s really great to see this incredibly smart group of people use Posterous to share and stay in touch.
Their site has all the Ted fellows added as contributors, and they can all post to the site via email. Posts are sent out to all the members instantly, and they can reply to those to add comments.

Q: How are you measuring success:

Number of accounts, number of posts, number of page views.

Q: What metric can you share with me?

We’re at eight million unique visitors and eighteen million page views per month.

Bigger Than Twitter and Facebook?

Q: How Large can Posterous get in terms of unique visitors compared to Facebook or Twitter?

Posterous will be bigger than Twitter and Facebook. This is because of the following reasons:
  1. No limits to what you can post. 140 characters isn’t enough. People want to share photos and video
  2. It’s fully customizable. Make it yours. Use your domain and your theme
  3. Posterous has an extensive API. Use it to post, or to export. We don’t lock you in
  4. It’s easier to use than these other services since all you need is email and no account

Q: How are you doing financially?

Right now we don’t have any revenue. Raised an angel round in 2008…and using it to expand.

Q: What do you think the most likely business models for Posterous will be?

We’re planning to charge pro bloggers and commercial users in the future for our Pro version. This will allow javascript, ad sense, and more advanced features. But we’ll always stay free for consumers.

Q: How are businesses using Posterous?

Small businesses are starting to use it as company blogs. And large companies, such as PR companies, are setting up Posterous accounts…such as Chevrolet Posterous and Microsoft Posterous.

Chevrolet's Promotes Audio and Video Clips Directly From Events

Chevrolet's Promotes Audio and Video Clips Directly From Events

Q: What’s your biggest opportunity or challenge these days?

Hiring — hard to find good people. It’s such a big risk to bring the wrong new person into the company.

Q: You were with Apple for more than five years — How accessible was Steve Jobs during that time and what were the most important lessons you learned from him or Apple?

I met Steve Jobs a couple of time while I was at Apple, but I didn’t work with him directly. However, it was very clear to me the impact that he had on the product that I was working on.

Our managers and VPs would let us know how their meetings with Steve went and what feedback he had. It was clear that even for Final Cut Pro, he had an impact.

Thanks, Sachin.

Thanks, Rob.