tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Posthaven Gazette 2016-11-03T07:01:17Z Moultrie Creek tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/688802 2014-05-09T10:00:04Z 2016-07-03T13:21:42Z Posthaven Traveler

We just got back from a trip to Louisiana where we ate some great meals in New Orleans, visited the World War II museum and then drove down to Avery Island to visit Tabasco headquarters. We only took our iPhones with us on this trip, but that was all we needed to capture and share the sights and special moments. All it took was a quick email to our blog's address and the latest photo and notes were posted to our family's blog and emailed to each family member. 

I was surprised at the number of comments we got as replies. Of course most of them were putting in orders for things to bring back for them, but I'll take any kind of reply I can get. LOL.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/677673 2014-04-16T13:00:04Z 2015-09-23T21:05:37Z Society Posthaven

Posthaven is a great solution for small genealogical societies and family associations who want to build an online presence but have neither the money or the experience to support the project. At $5.00 a month for 10 blogs, Posthaven is quite affordable and it is surprisingly easy to use. If you can send an email message, you can post content to a Posthaven site. But - there's always a but - first you need to do a bit of planning and organization. 

Any organization - large or small - needs to set up email accounts for their officers and essential staff. These accounts can be created using an online email service like Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, but should be created using position titles rather than an individual's name. When people rotate in/out of a position, the incoming member updates the account profile and changes the password. He/she then has access to all the historical messages and can quickly get up to speed on what he needs to know. These organizational addresses are the ones that should be used to create any other accounts needed for society operations. For example, the person assigned as the society's webmaster would use the webmaster email address to create an account in Posthaven.

Speaking of Posthaven, it will serve as your society's online home, but that's just the beginning of its capabilities. It can also serve as a mailing list, delivering the latest news and announcements to your members' inboxes. And, since you can create up to 10 blogs in your account, why not also create a private, members-only site supporting two-way conversations. Posting content is as easy as sending an email message and the email delivery service supports replies from your recipients. The reply is added as a comment at the bottom of the original post on the Posthaven web site and is forwarded to everyone on the mailing list. While this could be problematic for a large society, small societies can put it to good use.

Posthaven is built around posts and pages. Posts are used to announce meetings, society news, share tips and other information. New posts are displayed on your Posthaven site in reverse chronological order with the most recent post at the top. Posts are organized using keywords - called tags. Each post is tagged with one or more keywords describing its contents before it is published. If you look at the left sidebar, you'll see a list of tags. They serve as the index for the site. Click on any of the tags and you will be presented with are the posts tagged with that keyword. Click the blog's title (Posthaven Gazette on this site) and you're taken back to the home page.

Pages are maintained outside the "flow" of your posts. They are used to present more permanent content - things like a description of your society, how to join and who to contact. Pages are listed at the top of the sidebar. Right now I have two pages - About the Gazette and Posthaven Primer. There's no limit to the number of pages you can create. 

Take a look at the Posthaven Primer below to learn how this platform works. It won't take long to learn how to build and post to your site. For more help getting your small society online, check out The Society Journal. It's full of ideas you can use.

A Posthaven Primer by Moultrie Creek

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/654954 2014-02-15T17:04:31Z 2014-08-31T13:12:02Z A Posthaven Primer Update The second edition of my Posthaven Primer has been published at Scribd. You can view it here or download a PDF copy. ]]> Moultrie Creek tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/651269 2014-02-06T20:55:34Z 2014-02-06T20:55:34Z Scribd for Posthaven

Scribd is an amazing platform for posting and sharing documents - and now books too. Anyone can create a free account and build their own library of documents and other original works. As a family historian, I've found it a great way to share family stories with my digitally-challenged family. And, because it's both public and very search-friendly, it also attracts relatives I haven't met yet. I like that!

When you upload a document to be included in a post on your Posthaven blog, it is automatically sent to Scribd, processed and then embedded on your post. All you have to do is upload the document or include it as an attachment in an email post. That's the good news. The bad news is that your documents are getting posted into a Scribd account associated with Posthaven. You'll never know how many people read your documents and won't "meet" the people who discover your documents through Scribd.  

It only takes a few minutes to set up an account on Scribd. Yes, it will take a few more minutes to upload and label each document, then copy the link and paste it into your post. But if you want to control your documents and keep track of the viewers who visit it at Scribd, then it's worth that extra effort.

Oh, and did I mention you can sell your own original works at Scribd? Here's the details


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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/649764 2014-02-03T21:32:19Z 2014-02-03T21:32:19Z Mobile Posting
I have tried several text editor apps to see if they will work as a way to post to my Posthaven blogs, but each one wants to email the text as an attachment rather than message content. 

Bummer.

You also have to watch emailing photos from some of the editing apps. Some are sent as attachments rather than photos and won't appear in either the email subscribers receive or on the actual post.

Experiments continue.
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Denise Olson
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/646619 2014-01-30T14:37:08Z 2016-11-03T07:01:01Z Posting Photos from Flickr

Flickr is one of the popular photo-sharing platforms. It's especially interesting because each user gets 1TB of storage to post their photos. That equates to more than 500,000 high-resolution photographs. So, if you've already got your photographs online at Flickr, there's really no need to upload them again at Posthaven. All you need to do is capture the link to the image(s) you want to display, then paste it on a line by itself in your post. 

Find the image you want on Flickr, then click on the Share icon to display your options. Now click on the Link icon to display the shortened link, select and copy the link. At this point you can either paste that link on a line by itself in an email message, add a subject line and send it to your Posthaven blog or use the web editor to paste that link into a post - again on a line by itself. Publish your post and Posthaven will take care of the rest.

You can email multiple photos - each link residing on a line by itself - but Posthaven displays them as inline images rather than as a gallery. 

One note, don't try to use Flickr's email option - also found as a sharing option. That email is sent from an automated service with an email address Posthaven doesn't recognize as an authorized account for your blog. 

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/645880 2014-01-25T12:21:26Z 2016-11-03T07:01:17Z Scheduling Posts

When using the browser to post content, you can now schedule when you want your posts to be published. It all takes place in the Post Settings area.

The first step is to check the Schedule post option. Notice that the Save and Publish button becomes Save and Schedule Post and the Schedule date section appears so you can set the day and time you want this post published. The "fine print" just under the date box will help you format the appropriate date and time. 

Note that when you choose to make a post private, the Schedule post option is no longer available. 

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/598235 2013-11-12T12:30:00Z 2014-01-22T14:43:12Z Conversational Twitter

Twitter is an amazing platform. It's best described as an announcement system, but thanks to a number of creative users, Twitter has become much more. Twitter's developers have taken those ideas and added features to make those creative uses much easier to accomplish. One of those is providing an easy way to display a collection of tweets (Twitter updates) on blogs. Here is one example.



Creating your own display of Twitter updates or conversations is quite easy. All you need to do is past the web address (URL) of the tweet onto a blank line in your blog post. Here are the steps involved. Click on the gallery thumbnails to wall through the demonstration.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/592455 2013-08-05T10:25:20Z 2013-10-08T17:28:02Z Email Posting Goes Live

You can now publish to your Posthaven blogs via email. Doing this is as easy as sending an email message to post@posthaven from the email address you used to register your account. The subject line of your email becomes the title of your post and the content of your message becomes your post's content - including any images, documents or other files you may attach. 

Of course there's a lot more functionality than that. You'll find the details on their Post by Email page. The Posthaven Primer user guide has also been updated to include details on email posting.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/592452 2013-08-05T10:07:42Z 2015-08-09T08:48:28Z Posting Inline Photos by Email
When posting photos via email, all you need to do is drag and drop the image you want to include into your email message. If you attach more than one image file, Posthaven will organize them into a gallery. However, if you include text between each attached image, then those images will be presented inline with your text. Here's what an email message looks like for posting inline photos.


Notice that the photo captions are on a line immediately below the photo but then there's a blank line between the caption and the next photo. Without those blank lines, Posthaven will collect each caption at the top of your post and then organize the images as a gallery.  Below is what the posted results of this email looks like.

View of St. George Street through the St. Augustine City Gates.


The Arrivas House on St. George Street.


Tolomato Lane
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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591877 2013-08-02T09:36:50Z 2013-10-08T17:27:55Z How to attract cousins

One of the reasons many family historians blog is to attract research cousins. Blogging about your family history and your research efforts is a great way to connect with other family members. But first they have to find you. You can help things along by taking advantage of these simple tips to make your post more search friendly:

  • Consider which search keywords you would use to find the information in your post, then include those keywords as tags in your article's Post Settings. Surnames, locations and significant events are great tags for family history articles.
  • Titles carry a lot of weight with search engines. Make sure your title includes the main topic of your post (surname, event, location, etc.).
  • Text surrounded by HTML (things like headings, bulleted lists, numbered lists, block quotes, etc.) gets more attention from search crawlers than long paragraphs. Use descriptive headings to organize your story and whenever possible include your search keywords.
  • Include links to other sites with related or supporting information.

Tags are at the top of the list because they also serve as an organizational tool within your Posthaven blog. The tag list displayed in your sidebar can be used to display all the posts that have been tagged with that particular keyword. As your collection of posts grows, this feature becomes even more useful.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591731 2013-08-01T09:02:53Z 2013-10-08T17:27:54Z Posthaven Sharing Options Upgraded

In addition to the Upvote icon, Posthaven readers can now share an interesting post via Twitter and Facebook too. When a reader clicks either the Twitter or Facebook icon below a blog post, a link to that post is published on that person's timeline. 

These sharing options are not available on private blogs and the blog owner can turn them off in the General tab on the Settings screen if he so desires.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591012 2013-07-28T11:48:48Z 2013-10-08T17:27:45Z Posthaven Primer


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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591166 2013-06-17T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Comments added

We've been working hard getting new features to you as soon as we can. Here's the latest — we've added the ability for your visitors to leave comments. You'll get email notifications when they do comment, and you can turn these off by editing your email settings (either click the link in the email, or go to Dashboard > Your Account)

Via The Official Posthaven Posthaven.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591165 2013-05-22T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posthaven launches galleries

I can't wait to try this out!

Posthaven galleries

Posthaven launches fast, beautiful image galleries - The Official Posthaven Posthaven.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591164 2013-05-14T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Moving away from free

With the demise of the Posterous blog platform thanks to a sellout to Twitter and Google Reader's upcoming shutdown, I'm beginning to realize how dangerous free services can be. When you are a paying customer, you have clout. If you're not happy it's going to impact the business's profits and they are going to work hard to keep you - and your money - happy. In the tech world, startup services and platforms often begin with free features. They could have a plan for generating revenue - maybe with a premium service in addition to the free one - or they may just want to get popular enough to attract a buyer. Generally, we (the users) don't have a clue what their plan is and should remain wary. Even the big guys like Google will pull the plug on a popular service like Reader when they want to point you to a different service. So what if they lose a few (thousand) free customers?

That being said, I'm a firm believer that competition and profit are great motivators. I've spent the $5 to reserve an account at Posthaven and I'm amazed at the effort they have made to give us Posterous users a safe alternative. The data migration effort alone was huge! As soon as the email posting and distribution features are functional, $60/year will be a small price to pay to get our family's private "news service" up and running again. The fact that I can have 9 additional blogs as part of that price is very nice - and will likely be put to good use - but it's knowing that the developers will do everything they can to keep the platform up, running and well-maintained that is the top of my priority list.

There's a lot of effort underway to develop alternatives to Google Reader. I have been using the Reeder apps [Mac & iOS] and they are working hard to provide multiple alternatives for managing feed subscriptions and keeping everything in synch across the apps. They have a couple of solutions in place on the iPhone app - both of them requiring a paid subscription. Until the Mac and iPad apps are updated with alternative solutions, those apps are free in the App Store. I've paid the $2 to try the iPhone app with Feedbin and so far it works great. The iPhone app even lets me choose which feed service (Google's still there for now) I want to use. Feedbin also has a web-based reader so it should soon be covering all my reading options. Feedbin's subscription management is still a bit clunky, but I'm sure that will improve as their customer base grows. I wouldn't be surprised to see other feed management options appearing either.

With Google out of the market, there's money to be made in the news-reading business and I think we're about to have a number of impressive options. Moving away from free could turn out to be a very good thing.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591163 2013-05-05T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posterous is gone - almost

The public side of the Posterous blog platform is no longer. According to the guys at Posthaven, they had to close down new account signups for a while last week to focus on getting Posterous users safely migrated to Posthaven. Over at the Posterous site, there's a notice that existing users can continue to log in until May 31st - but only to request a site backup.

So, with the Posterous migration madness behind them, the Posthaven developers can concentrate on building the platform. Here's what's happening according to their roadmap:

Here's what's in there now:
  • Post by web, with photos, music, video and documents
  • Private sites with passwords
  • Pages and links
  • Autopost to Facebook and Twitter
Here's what's coming soonest:
  • Post by email
  • Image gallery upload and editing
  • Commenting
  • CSS customization
  • Autopost to Google+, App.net, LinkedIn, and other services
  • Blog following with email notifications
  • Multiple contributors
  • Bookmarklet

Don't see anything about themes here? Not to worry - they're saving that for last. The CSS customization feature should give us some flexibility with fonts, colors and such, but themes won't come until everything else is in place. I kinda like the plain vanilla wrapper - but a few custom fonts could do wonders  . . .

Creekside Chatter at Posterous]]>
Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591160 2013-04-19T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Update

April 30th - the day Twitter shuts down the Posterous blog platform - is quickly approaching. If you have a Posterous blog and want to keep it, you need to be migrating your content NOW. I've migrated my sites to Posthaven, a Posterous replacement that's still under construction. Why Posthaven and not WordPress? Posthaven is a reconstruction of the Posterous platform by two of the original developers. It will have all the same features and functionality of Posterous - updated to take advantage of the latest advances in technology. I loved Posterous' simplicity and its email posting functionality. It has successfully served as a family journal and mailing service for several years because of those features.

Obviously, you don't build a platform like this overnight - even if you are recreating something you already know inside and out. The developers' first priority was to provide a clean migration path so Posterous users could move their blogs prior to the April 30th deadline. That functionality has been operational since the end of March. Both my Posterous blogs have been moved successfully for which I'm both very grateful and quite relieved. Although I am antsy to once again have all the features and functionality available, I'm finding it fascinating to watch Posthaven grow. This week pages, links and menus have been added.

Posthaven has one significant feature that makes it very different from Posterous. They will be charging $5/month to maintain up to 10 blogs in your Posthaven profile. With that fee comes a promise that Posthaven will be a durable platform that will "last forever". While no one can promise anything will last forever, it is comforting to know that these developers want to make their money by keeping their users happy instead of trying to attract buyers. And since I don't start paying until the site comes out of beta status - originally estimated at mid-April - I'm getting a good look at what I'll be paying for before I commit.

There's still quite a way to go: design themes, email posting and comments/replies, mobile apps and sharing to social networks - all requiring significant construction effort. It will be a while before I can enjoy all the things that made Posterous such a delightful family news service. If what I've seen so far is any example, it will be well worth the wait and the price.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591158 2013-04-07T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posthaven adds features

Now that the Posterous migration functionality has been finalized, the Posthaven developers have started working on building out the feature set. The Post Settings section now includes options to add tags to a post, make the post private and schedule posts for publishing. I'm enjoying watching Posthaven come to life and look forward to having all my favorite features up and running.

Posthaven editing screen]]>
Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591156 2013-04-04T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posthaven update Posthaven blog
My Creekside Chatter blog in Posthaven

My Creekside Chatter blog has been painlessly - and successfully - migrated from Posterous to Posthaven. As you can see there's not much here in the way of design, but with the April 30th shutdown for Posterous looming, pretty is not the priority right now. It's getting those sites moved off Posterous.

Posthaven site settings
Posthaven site settings screen

Once you get into Posthaven's backend, you immediately see that they are still focused on migration. The settings page is quite sparse and should remain so for some time yet.

Post page view
A view of the posts page in Posthaven.

I do like the clean look - not just here on the posts list page, but also in the editing screen (below). I don't expect Posthaven to be a "full-service" blog platform with every whistle and bell known to man. I want clean and simple - exactly what Posterous provided and what Posthaven plans to deliver.

Posthaven004
The Posthaven editor screen.

So, right now you can import up to 10 blogs to Posthaven, create and publish new posts via the web interface and even include images and other media. As of March 27th, the importer component was complete with no reported bugs and they declared the platform officially in a public beta status. It is my understanding that there will be no charges made to blog customers until they exit beta status - expected to happen sometime later this month.

Plans are to have all the capabilities Posterous had, including my favorite - posting via email. These will be announced as they are deployed. All the code is being completely rewritten to take advantage of latest technology so it won't all happen immediately. And, having people dedicated to maintaining and improving the platform will insure this delightful little blog platform stays . . . delightful.

The $5/month cost will get you up to 10 Posthaven blogs. If you want more, you can have them for a small (yet to be determined) price. They are serious about their pledge to keep Posthaven up "forever". Yes, that is quite a commitment, but they are already looking into building a foundation to support the program even if something happens to the developers.

While "free" is always tempting, both Posterous and Google Reader have shown us that free is seldom the best option. Hopefully Posthaven has found the pricing sweet spot that gives us beautiful blogs we can all afford.

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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591155 2013-03-28T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posthaven opens to public beta Great news! This just arrived in my mailbox:
Posterous users finally have a zero-data-loss option for switching to another blog platform. Read the Posterous Migration Guide to see how Posthaven stacks up against Wordpress, Tumblr, and Squarespace options. We've imported over 850,000 posts, photos, videos, audio files, and documents in just the past few weeks. 
 You now have full access to Posthaven and can import your existing Posterous blogs, create new blogs, create new posts using the web post editor. 
 Go to your Posthaven Dashboard to get started 
To keep on top of the latest feature updates, we recommend following @posthaven on Twitter. This project is under active development. 
Please feel free to email us at help@posthaven.com if you have questions, feedback, or anything we can help with. 
Yours faithfully in code, 
-- Garry and Brett 
Cofounders, Posthaven.com
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Moultrie Creek
tag:gazette.posthaven.com,2013:Post/591154 2013-03-10T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T17:27:47Z Posthaven Rises Posthaven - the new alternative to the soon-to-be-shuttered Posterous platform - is quickly becoming a reality. I was lucky to get included as a tester and my Creekside Chatter blog has now been migrated to Posthaven. For several days, all I could do was look at my posts and enjoy how well the migration went. This morning I discover that I can now actually add and edit posts from the blog platform. The editor is still quite basic - there's no facility for including photos or other media yet - but the editing toolbar has a much cleaner look. Creekside Chatter on Posthaven The public side of the blog is quite basic - no themes yet. Most of the formatting is CSS defaults giving the site a simple, clean look. There's still a lot of work needed before Posthaven has all the features and functionality of Posterous, but I'm delighted with the progress and look forward to enjoying one of my favorite blog platforms without worrying about it's future.]]> Moultrie Creek