How Posterous Helped me Tell the Story of the EVO 4G


The EVO 4G from Sprint launches June 4, 2010.

Over the last year, in addition to this blog, I’ve kept a blog on the site Posterous.com. It’s a blog where I focus on technology policy, mobile phones and Sprint.

In my experience, Posterous is substantially easier to manage than WordPress, but it doesn’t allow you the ability to personalize your blog to the extent WordPress offers. What it does offer is a quick bookmarklet, similar to Tumblr. When I spot a story, video or photo on the Web, I can quickly link it to my Posterous. There’s no formatting, no cutting and pasting of links — it’s just a quick and easy upload. I can even post to my Posterous via my mobile phone. WordPress takes me more time to manuever.

My Posterous site allows me to quickly link to a Sprint news release, video or perhaps a New York Times story about the FCC’s latest move and offer readers my take on why it’s important. I’ve set up my Posterous to automatically populate my Twitter feed, so the title of the Posterous post shows up as a tweet with a shortened URL linking back to the site.

Posterous makes blogging easy for busy people.

Last week, when Sprint announced that we were launching our new 4G smartphone, the HTC EVO 4G on June 4, we also announced the phone’s pricing details. As the news was breaking, I was immediately able to post links to the news release, a video, and details of how our pricing compares to AT&T and Verizon. Posterous easily converts the posts to tweets from my Twitter account.

Within an hour of the announcement, I noticed on Twitter and my Posterous site that the public did not like Sprint’s decision to charge EVO users a “premium data add-on” of $10 a month. When I saw on Twitter that the charge was being misunderstood, I wrote a quick post to my Posterous to help clear up the confusion about the charge.

Though my post cleared up the confusion, my Posterous site became the outlet for our customers to express their disapproval of Sprint’s decision. Within 24 hours of the post going live, it had received over 10,000 page views and had generated nearly 200 comments, nearly all of which were negative.

Some of the comments were quite personal. My favorite personal attack came from not on Posterous, but via Twitter in response to a tweet linking to my pricing post.

Karl Green (@Nestersan) writes:

One nice thing that happens when PR spouts fallacies online, is that people can tear your toilet paper statements apart in real time.

Well, OK then.

Karl’s problem is not with me of course, but with Sprint’s pricing decision which I communicated. (Note to young people wanting to get into PR, your best qualification for this job may not be your writing skills, but rather having very thick skin.)

Frankly, Karl was the least of my problems.

One Posterous commenter decided he would post the personal email addresses of our executive team in a comment on the site. “Email these Sprint executives and demand that this decision be overturned,” he wrote. Though I deleted his comment, he repeatedly reposted the addresses.

Under its current configuration, Posterous gave me a choice. I could either cut off all comments to my blog, which would hide all the comments from view — even the favorable ones —  or I could keep the comments open and play cat-and-mouse with a disgruntled cell phone enthusiast.

I opted to cut off the comments entirely for the weekend. I explained my thinking in a Friday afternoon blog post.

Saturday morning, I emailed Posterous for advice on the situation. Within hours, I got a very pleasant email from Garry Tan, the founder of Posterous, who agreed to investigate the situation. As soon as I gave Garry the name of the offending party, he looked into the commenter’s behavior and determined that the gentleman had violated the Posterous terms of service. He’s now banned from using the site.

Garry tells me that he and his team are working on improving the comment moderation features Posterous offers, which is good news. I certainly appreciate his help this weekend.

My experience has made me an even stronger advocate for Posterous. While I won’t be moving this blog from WordPress to Posterous yet, I will continue to recommend Posterous for people who are first-time bloggers and just want to create content or for people like me, who want to quickly dash off a few thoughts and a link or two.

It’s perfect for that and for managing a breaking news story like our EVO pricing decision.

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3 responses to “How Posterous Helped me Tell the Story of the EVO 4G

  1. the responses you are getting are crazy, gizmodo just posted a great glimpse at this device and how it will be a juggernaut, and you and sprint are getting hassled about a $10 dollar increase. BGR posted a really interesting report about the increase of data and text in the us and a huge decrease in voice calls,
    http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/05/14/data-text-usage-surpasses-voice-in-the-u-s/ this phone is amazing I cant wait to get one.

  2. No one should attack you. Sorry you have been the brunt of people’s hurt feelings.

    I might suggest that Sprint change the name of the charge. If I am paying for a service called premium data add-on, I would expect something different. Maybe you can call it what it is, “Premium Handset Monthly Charge.” I for one, am willing to pay this. Calling it what they did just made people ask where were they getting. The real answer is nothing. But since the phone is capable of so much more, we believe the users will use it that much more.

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