Posterous vs. Tumblr: How to Decide in Three Steps

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Choosing a blogging platform is like going to a new restaurant: you want to try something new, but you don’t want to commit to something that won’t be that good, and end up with a bad taste in your mouth. Plus, the choices remain endless.

I recently wrote a two part series on using WordPress for your website, and am always interested in the evolution of blogging and publishing platforms. Monica Guzman asked via Twitter how Posterous and Tumblr compared. Also, my good friend, Colleen Callahan, had some questions about Tumblr the other day, so I thought I’d tackle this question in a post.

1. Create an Account on Both Platforms

I have some expertise in interactive media, so I certainly could take a better stance here and recommend one platform over the other, but that would be pointless. Why? Everyone is different.

So don’t be afraid to sign up for an account on both Posterous and Tumblr and experiment. You’ll probably know very quickly which one you prefer.

2. See Who’s There (in the Community)

Both Tumblr and Posterous have strong online communities of bloggers who blog there every day. Depending on who’s there, you may want to select one over the other. Sure, a blog or website can be read by everyone, but it’s often the people within a certain community who first become evangelists for your site.

For example, my friend, Colleen, wants to start a site centered around music. I told her Tumblr might have the stronger community for that audience. I put my running blog there because I found more runners in that community than Posterous. I put my learning journal blog on Posterous because I found a lot of general-interest blogs already there.

3. Think About the Content You’ll Have and What That Will Mean for Using the Site

Many of the options and features for Posterous and Tumblr have striking similarities, but ultimately, it comes down to your content, how easy it is for you to get it out there and how easy it is for users to interact with it. Choose the platform best suited for this process.


When I researched each of these platforms, I found this head to head comparison by Mashable very handy. They like Posterous over Tumblr, by the way. I also wrote this article over at Fuel Your Writing on four of the main blogging platforms.

As for me, I find it hard to pick a clear winner. I use each one for a different purpose, so it’s hard to compare. It all comes down to YOU in the end.

Image by Brendan76.

Published by David A. Kennedy

I work as a Senior UX Designer at Ad Hoc, focusing on accessibility.

6 replies on “Posterous vs. Tumblr: How to Decide in Three Steps”

  1. I just began publishing a blog about the legends of R&B and Jazz on Posterous. A feature I like is the ability I have to simultaneously publish on other platforms like Tumblr. Posterous also publishes the headline, photos and tiny url to my posts on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Problem solved.

    1. That’s a definite advantage to Posterous. Also, they recently launched Groups, which makes it easy to create a Group site or blog.

      I’ve been primarily using Posterous as an alternative to Flickr, and a photo blog. I can’t say I always use the auto-post to social media feature because I often want more control out of my social media messaging. That’s just me though.

  2. Hi David,

    I have tried a few blogging platforms. WordPress, Tumblr, and Posterous. The website above is my WordPress. My Posterous I must say I like Posterous very much. My question is what am I giving up across the board if I stick with Posterous over wp? I’m just starting to get rolling here and I don’t want to find out later that wp is far superior all the way around. Lastly, Posterous has a migrate your blog function. Does this mean the content is duplicated OR is it taken from wp and put onto Posterous leaving my wp blank? Any thoughts you’d share would be great. Thanks, Earl

    1. That’s a good question, Earl.

      To me, WordPress is a open source publishing platform, meaning you have complete access to everything it does, core code and all. The sky is the limit on the types of things you can do with it.

      Posterous is great. Simple, flexible and robust. It handles email and media like a champ.

      To me, you really have to ask yourself what your goals are with whatever site you have.

      If you just need something that handles blog content, media, post by email and group sites with ease, Posterous may be your pick. Especially if you’re not a developer.

      But if you need custom post types and taxonomies, easy theming, ultimate flexibility, access to the core code, WordPress is your pick. I also love that you can export your content out of WordPress at any time. And it’s open source! 🙂 Hope this helps.

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