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Twitter Pulls the Posterous Plug: How to Move Your Content to WordPress

doc-sheldon
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Twitter bought Posterous last March, basically as a talent acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, possibly between $5 million and $10 million. The founder of Posterous, Sachin Agarwal, is now Twitter's product manager, and apparently the Posterous team has been fully assimilated into the Twitter organization.

Which is good for them, since Posterous will be shuttered as of April 30.

They had this to say shortly after the acquisition became public last year:

"Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks."

OK, it took more than a few weeks, but the important thing is, they came through. The process is very clear and there's more than two months time to grab all your content before the doors are locked.

For the folks that used Posterous micro-blogging platform, Space, this could have created a problem, had Agarwal's team not been as good as their word and prepared the way for a smooth transition to another platform. They put it up and announced it on their blog right after Christmas.

As was suspected at the outset, Twitter's purchase seems to have been an acquihire, and I doubt there was ever any serious plan to keep Posterous alive for the long term. Still, considering the talent they got, Twitter may have made a smart buy.

Anyway, for any of you that have used Posterous, now or ever, if you have any sentimental attachments to your ramblings or photos, you have a couple of months to save it or put it to use elsewhere.

Making a Transition

So if you're a Posterous user and want to save all that great content you put up since Posterous launched in 2008, just head over there and start the process.

Using their export tool is about as simple as it gets.

  1. Go to http://posterous.com/#backup and login.
  2. Next to your Space name, click on "Request Backup" to request a backup of your Space.
  3. You'll receive an email as soon as your backup is complete, and you can go download a zip file.
  4. The file will have all your posts in HTML format, and all your videos and images from your Space.

Then you just have to decide what you want to do with it.

There are lots of choices, but if you're not very tech-savvy, WordPress would probably be the simplest choice. I started my first blog on WordPress.com years ago, but once I made the move to self-hosted, I think that's the best way to go. It's like the difference between renting a pickup truck and owning a Ferrari... they'll both get you there, but who wouldn't rather drive a Ferrari?

Regardless, WordPress has made it easy. Here are the procedures:

For WordPress.com

If you choose WordPress.com, they have an importer tool to make the job simple.

Assuming you already have a WordPress.com site, just log into your dashboard, go to Tools, then Import, and look for Posterous.

wordpress-tools-import

Now click on the Posterous link.

import-from-posterous-export-file

Next, you'll have to upload the posterous.xml file included in the download from Posterous.

upload-posterous-xml-file

That's it! You may need to do some fine-tuning, to achieve the look you want for your new blog, but at least, you can post and receive visitors.

For WordPress.org (self-hosted)

Install the Posterous Importer plugin and activate it.

Just as in the WordPress.com backend, go to Tools, then Import and click on it.

wordpress-self-hosted-import

Now click on Posterous.

import-to-wordpress-self-hosted

Now you'll have to enter your Posterous Space name and password and the email you use on your Posterous account. Click submit and grab a coffee while Posterous Importer does the work.

posterous-importer

The plugin will tell you when your import is complete, and you can start fine-tuning things.


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