Posts tagged: writing

Posting on Postling

A discussion on LinkedIn clued me in to Postling, a free online service that helps people like me manage multiple social profile accounts. I registered my free account at Postling a few weeks ago and have used it on and off to tweet, blog, and engage on multiple sites. Here’s the nitty gritty of it.

Interface

Maybe it means that I’m getting old (or, shall we say, more sophisticated… wiser…), but I love the large print and text entry boxes in their site design. It’s inviting, clean, and highly user-friendly.

Ease of Use

Postling makes it easy-schmeasy to switch between different account for blogging, tweeting, and more. What Postling supports: WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, SquareSpace, Tumblr, Drupal, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr.

What they don’t support: Everything else. Of concern to me is Posterous, LinkedIn, link sharing sites like Digg and Delicious, and other photosharing sites like TwitPic and what-not.

If your primary accounts are in the the list of what Postling supports, you’ll likely be pleased with the functionality and ease of it all. Postling allows you to create separate brands and manage your accounts under those brands – perfect for someone like me who manages social media for several different companies. But it would be just as great for a stay at home mom who wants to manage her personal blog separately from her Etsy business, for example.

Click to publish and scheduled posting are great. And, might I add, you can schedule Twitter posts too. I can’t get over that! I just love to know that I can schedule an important tweet to publish while I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair or doing something else that keeps me offline. Love it.

The interface for blogging is similar to the major blog services – text editing and WYSIWYG. If HTML is your thing, you can hit the little “source” button to edit that way.

Did you know that it also has its own blog capability? Yep. It gives you your own Postling page with a blog and a sidebar that includes links to your other accounts.

Cons

So, it’s pretty. It’s clean. It’s easy to manage multiple accounts and brands. In fact, it’s so easy my mom could do it. (Not that she’s tried, but I’m pretty sure she could if she was into that kind of thing…)

But…

I can’t listen. I have to go to a blog reader or Twitter client to listen. So I go back and forth between Postling and Google Reader and TweetDeck. And let’s face it. It’s easier to participate and engage from TweetDeck directly – I mean I can retweet or reply to someone just by hovering over their picture. In Postling I’d have to type in their name. I know – I’m lazy. But convenience is big when you’re managing multiple accounts on multiple platforms.

Since social media is all about being, well, social, I need to be able to listen. After all, a one-sided conversation isn’t a conversation – it’s a monologue.

If there was a way to incorporate a feed reader, I’d have to call it perfect. And spend my days hovering – 24-7.

So I suppose my family should be happy that isn’t possible. Time will tell if I’ll continue to use it. I still spend time on my WordPress dashboards playing with plugins and widgets. So it doesn’t make sense to head over to Postling when I’m already in a dashboard I can post from. And it doesn’t make sense to leave TweetDeck.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s easy on the eyes. And easy to use. If you’re looking for a way to post to multiple sites simultaneously, or schedule your Tweets – Postling is perfect. Unfortunately it isn’t quite perfect for me. I spend more time listening than talking, which makes listening (or reading) paramount. So there it is. Postling is a great place to wax lyrical and switch voices as much as you’d like. But you’ll have to get your feedback and response (and your fodder) someplace else.

Nice start, Postling. You do what you do very well. Now if I could just get you expand your functionality a bit.

Update: From @Postling: Thanks, it’s coming soon! In the mean time, we do offer tracking of Twitter mentions and FB Wall Posts under the “tracking” tab.

I’ve enabled tracking in my Postling account, which apparently is free only for a limited time. It will eventually be a premium service (there has to be a revenue stream to make the investors happy, right?) Only problem I see is that tweet above from Postling appeared in my TweetDeck immediately. 10 minutes later it still hadn’t shown up on my Postling tracking page. Er, fellas?

Freelancer's best friend

Hat tip to Mitch at Six Degrees of Separation for his post on Social Media as threatening to freelance writers. He rounds it out nicely, giving some tips to freelancers about how to use social media to their favor. There’s an interesting dialogue out there with more than a handful of writers out there expressing elitist claims about how blogging has given even the least savvy writers access to readership.

Between blogs, wikis, and social media groups, anyone can have their say and the average reader has to sort through it to figure out what is fact and what is fiction (which is precisely why rumors float around about Obama being a radical muslim, Senate bills making gun ownership illegal, and hoaxes about non-existent crimes).

At the same time, social media is earth shattering in three very distinct ways:

  1. Open source digital media plays into the hand of the truly knowledgeable. It sets apart the experts in the field from the fake-it-till-you-make-it crowd. In the same way the Linux and open source software leveled the playing field for the “little guy” who wouldn’t have a chance against Microsoft’s Goliath, so social media opens up the playing field for the freelancers who really do have something original to offer. Of course, that doesn’t help a whit for the guy sitting on his couch watching daytime TV thinking freelancing may save him from ever having to do ‘real’ work.
  2. Socia media opens up the world of collaboration beyond what it would traditionally be. If I want to start a microfund in Zimbabwe I can find instant connections to people on the ground. If I want to read stellar short fiction about pet owners (riveting, right?), I can do that too. If I want to learn what’s on the mind of women in Iran, that’s online too. That means I can find the information I need, but it also means I can find the inspiration I want, and gain perspective from people around the world.
  3. I can be an expert. It doesn’t matter if my expertise is in Shostakovich’s influence on Russian socialist realism in the late 1930s or the Calivistic roots of the Industrial Revolution. I can be an expert and interact with other experts. I can prove my worth to would-be employers and run with the big dogs – if I can keep up with their research. A little time, some google-savvy-ness, and a few tidbits of SEO tools can keep me (or you) at the front of the pack.

I can see why social media might be threatening to some freelancers – it separates the wheat from the chaff. But assuming I’m whole grain, social media is the best way for me to promote myself. That goes for companies too – social media is the stomping ground where we find out what’s at our core. Social media has a knack for placing entities – individuals or companies – right where they belong. So how about you? Are you whole grain? Or chaff blown away by the wind? Or have you even made your way to the threshing floor?

Image Credit: Sandman1973
Image Credit: Sandman1973

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