Yesterday afternoon, Twitter announced that it had acquired blogging platform Posterous, and by all indications, it was mostly for the talent. If you're a Posterous user, this means that your Posterous blog, called Posterous Spaces, is in limbo.
Neither company has said there are any plans to shutter Posterous, and Posterous says nothing's changing right now, but there's no reason to wait for someone else when you can take control of your own data. Here's how.
Can't I Just Export My Posterous Data?
Unfortunately not. The FAQ Posterous has published about the acquisition says there'll be ample notice before any changes to your account that may impact you, but for the time being, there's no way to export or back up your data (that's coming soon), and no way to export your data to a Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger or other account (that's also coming soon, in the next few weeks). As it stands, the only thing you can do is delete your account, which sends all of your posts, photos, comments and more down the drain as well.
The tone of the FAQ makes it clear that eventually Posterous will begin to shutter its services and encourage users to move their data elsewhere, although no one's officially said this. At this point, you have two options: you can wait for the Posterous team to build tools to let you export your data, or you can take the reins and take control of your own information.
Export Your Data to Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress
Tumblr is Posterous's biggest competitor. Tumblr doesn't explicitly support importing from other platforms right now, but there is a way around it. Here's how:
- Log in to your Posterous account and click on "Spaces".
- Select the blog you want to migrate, and click the settings drop-down next to it. Select "Autopost Setup."
- Click to add a service, and select Tumblr or Blogger. You'll be prompted to provide your account information.
- You may also be prompted to grant Posterous permission to post on your behalf to that service. If so, click allow. It may take a few moments for both sides to finish processing.
- When you're finished, any new content you post to your Posterous blog will automatically be reposted at the platform you selected.
- Go back to your old Posterous posts, and either un-publish them and republish them with the current date, or select "autopost" to move them one at a time.
The autoposter also supports a number of other platforms, including self-hosted SquareSpace, MovableType, Drupal and more. The trouble with this method is that it's tedious, semi-manual, requires you to reset publication dates on your imported posts if you want the original dates preserved, and perhaps most importantly it doesn't bring over your comments, notes, likes and views. You'll also need to move any images and video files eventually, as the autoposter won't host them on the far end; it just points your republished post back to the media hosted at Posterous. Still, this is one way to get your data out of Posterous if you need to, and if you don't feel like waiting for whatever export tool it may provide.
If you're just looking for a backup, you can set up a free Wordpress, Tumblr, or other blog, and use this method to move all of your posts in one go -- and then subsequently migrate them to their final destination, once you're using a service that makes exporting your data a bit easier.
A note for Wordpress users: If you have a Wordpress blog hosted at Wordpress.com, you probably have a built-in Posterous import tool under Tools > Import in your Dashboard. It's worth mentioning that there is a Posterous Importer plugin for self-hosted Wordpress, but it's currently broken because it runs up against the rate limiter at Posterous in a matter of seconds. While it's broken as of this writing, calls are mounting for the developers to fix it, and I expect they'll make the necessary adjustments soon.
If you're looking to migrate to self-hosted Wordpress, or to SquareSpace, both options are best served if you migrate to a Wordpress.com blog first, and then over to self-hosted Wordpress or SquareSpace (or any other service, for that matter.) Wordpress.com seems to have the only semi-reliable Posterous importer that works, aside from using the autopost method. Once you have your Posterous entries in a Wordpress blog, you can move them almost anywhere.
Of course, you can sit tight and wait for Posterous to produce an export tool that will hopefully make the process easier, but there's no way to know when that tool is coming, and if you don't want your blog to be in limbo until then, or you want to take your own backup sooner rather than later, this is one way to get the job done.
Do you have a Posterous blog? Are you planning to stick around now that Twitter owns the company and wait for an export tool, or are you packing your bags now? Which service are you planning to move to? Share your thoughts in the comments below.