Not Martha

a road trip with Posterous

When Scott and I moved from Ohio to California we had the types of mobile phones that only make calls, remember those? While exploring our new state we would go to places that were amazing (the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite, the beach right there on the real actual ocean) and call our parents and say “guess where we are!” It seems like we blinked and here we are with phones that take photos and send email and so many ways of sharing our experiences with photos and video online.

I was thinking about this the other day when Posterous got in touch to talk about about their Posterous Groups and privacy. They want to let us know that Posterous is an easy way you can share thoughts, photos, video and documents just with the people on your list. So Scott and I decided to take a mini summer vacation to try it out.

We went for a one-day road trip. These are all photos we sent to our family Posterous Group (meaning each time we sent a photo it landed in the email of our family members almost right away) and which would be completely private except for the fact that, well, I’m showing them to you here. Below is what we learned on our trip:

East of Seattle are a few places that make for a nice day trip without it being too long of a car ride, which is especially nice if you have kids in the car or, like me, get car sick pretty easily. First on our list was Snoqualmie Falls. We drove up to the just-redone park where you can get some great views of the falls. On the day we visited the water was rushing harder than we’d ever seen it before and the wind was picking up the mist and covering those of us on the viewing platforms.

Since the photos only go to your Posterous Group you don’t have to worry about sending a slightly unflattering or just plain boring photo to a list or site where more people than you’d really like can see them. You mom loves you and wants to see your pretty face no matter what. (I was so cold and my hair was getting very wet in photo above. Hi Mom!)

Posterous is free (yay) and super simple to set up. It does two things, it works as a simple blogging platform to allow you to share whatever you’d like with the world, and it also allows you to set up Groups to share words, images, video and attachments with only those you’d like to while keeping it nice and private from everybody else. People in your Posterous Group can also send items to share so exchanging information or keeping in touch is as easy as possible. Examples! You need to see some examples, go here on Posterous to peek at some sites. And look! The Maker Faire Daily is a Posterous site, awesome.

The Salish Lodge is perched on the land just next to the falls (you can see it in the first photo of the falls above). There has been an inn in that spot since 1919 (the current one was was rebuilt in the 80s). Salish Lodge has an amazing brunch menu and in particular the Country Breakfast is famous for being enormous and must be attempted at least once. Brunch and then a nice stroll along the park trails to view the falls is a good start (you might need to walk back and forth through the park more than once to recover from the meal). I hear the rooms in the lodge are nice. We’ve never stayed at the lodge but we have lingered in the lobby while pretending that we’re staying there.

When you send a photo out using Posterous the email arrives in the inboxes of your group with the sendee being your own email address, so there is no confusion over who the message is coming from. Score one for making it easy on your family.

The town of Snoqualmie is a very short drive just down the road and they display old trains all along the main street, which grew up along the train tracks there. A lot of them are available for you to climb on and in, I felt like we were getting away with something. We also saw a large wedding party out to get a group photograph (the bridesmaids were wearing navy dresses with bright yellow accents, it worked surprisingly well). We also saw a couple on bicycles who were both wearing large paper crowns and totally owning the look, I liked them immediately.

The photos you send to your Posterous Group are also collected in your Posterous account, all neat and tidy and together. You don’t have to worry about sorting them or uploading them somewhere else later. I really fell for this feature, the album of the trip is ready for you right away with no extra work. Nice.

Snoqualmie also has train rides out of the Train Museum! We watched as one passed by, we were a bit jealous of those on board. Scott’s nephew and his dad would love this, so we have a reason to return.

Posterous sizes, orients, hosts and generally makes good the photos and video you send. Get your family members set up to all post to the group and this feature might also eliminate you getting emailed giant photos of your niece at her dance recital that take forever to download and are sideways when you open them. (Can you tell this happens to us? This happens to us.)

The next town over from Snoqualmie is North Bend. It’s a sweet little town surrounded by looming mountains. One is Mount Si, a popular hiking spot which we have yet to take on, I hear the view at the top is amazing. I’ll take their word on it. North Bend is also home to Twede’s Cafe, made famous by Twin Peaks. We didn’t stop and have pie, we should have had pie!

On the way back to Seattle we stopped at the historic XXX Root Beer Drive-In in Issaquah. The walls are covered with old rock-and-roll posters and souvenirs and classic car stuff, it’s really something to behold.

While we were out we sent photos with descriptions and notes using the email on my phone and the Posterous app (requires iOS 4) on Scott’s iPhone (there is an Android app as well). My iPhone is older and takes the grainy photos you’re seeing, Scott’s iPhone is shiny-new and takes nice photos. I also played with his Hipstamatic photo app that day, I like it.

Since we were on vacation we took the opportunity to order the XXX signature burger, an enormous creation that is about 10 inches across. That mug of root beer? Also enormous. We split both but didn’t finish either. Ok, maybe one of us finished their half of the burger.

It seems like every time we stop at XXX Root Beer there is a classic car show in the parking lot next door. Shiny and red!

Because the things you send to your Posterous Group only get sent out to your list (in our case family) you can show off your vacation photos immediately without letting the whole internet know something like: “Look! We’re at the Grand Canyon! And we’re obviously nowhere near home right now so go ahead and steal that giant television I posted a photo of last week!”

You can tell the people who make Posterous like you. They make it easy to share information with everybody, or just the ones that you’d like, using whichever way is most convenient for you. You can post using an app, by sending the information you’d like in an email (either from your computer or from your phone) or by using the Posterous website itself. Basically anywhere you might be. Handy. And Posterous knows just what to do with the words/photos/video you send when it gets there. I’m really impressed with the care that they put into everything.

Just so you know: This is a sponsored post from a company that I like.

· comments [20] · 06-27-2011 · categories:technology · travel ·

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lori // Jun 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

    this trip looks so fun!

  • 2 Hazel Stone // Jun 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Just painful to read. Wow. Do your sponsors really want the advertorial to be so heavy handed?

  • 3 megan // Jun 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Hazel – Heard and understood. Thank you for the feedback.

    Lori – It was! We’d been up to the falls before but I didn’t realize how much there was to do in the area until we kept passing things. There was even candy factory we didn’t have time to stop at, Boehms, which I’ll keep in mind if we take that trip when family is in town.

  • 4 denalee // Jun 27, 2011 at 11:40 am

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been up there, thanks for the nice pics, I guess it’s time to go again!

  • 5 Andy // Jun 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I’m sad to say my experience at the XXX Rootbeer was terrible. I ordered just a regular burger with fries. The bun was huge and the patty was tiny and of lower quality than what we get in the huge Costco packs. I swear it was straight from my high school cafeteria. The fries were straight from the freezer, bland and boring. All for about $10. I’ve rarely felt so ripped off. It’s great for the memorabilia and the classic cars, but please don’t go there for the burger. Understand going into it that it is a tourist trap.

  • 6 Catherine // Jun 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Do your group members get emails after every picture you send?

  • 7 megan // Jun 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Denalee – The renovated park where you can view the falls is really nice, lots of view points and paths and some nice picnic spots. They did a really nice job. I know lots of people use the falls as a short family trip and the park makes it seem like more of a destination than it used to.

    Andy – I had to agree it’s more about the experience. The day we were there was sunny so eating on the patio was really nice.

    Catherine – The people receiving the email can choose to either get each post right away or to get them in a weekly digest email instead. Based on how we get emails from our respective sets of parents I surmise they would like each picture as it’s taken, while family members who are a bit more active online (read: overflowing Inbox) would like the weekly digest instead.

  • 8 Grace // Jun 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I agree with Hazel. I don’t usually mind all the giveaways and other sponsored things you do, but this was really over the top.

  • 9 megan // Jun 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Grace – Thank you, I’m listening to the criticism and appreciate you weighing in.

  • 10 Michelle // Jun 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I was going to say that those falls looked like the opening shot of Twin Peaks, and then suddenly there was the diner! Looks like a lovely trip.

    Also, on the sponsored post front, I think it might have been less awkward to read if you’d declared the sponsorship at the top of the post instead of (or in addition to) the bottom.

  • 11 megan // Jun 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Michelle – I have to admit I watched Northern Exposure which, at least where I lived, was aired in the same time slot as Twin Peaks so the falls and the mountains weren’t as recognizable to me. That said Northern Exposure filmed it’s town scenes in Roslyn, WA, which is a drive West just over the pass from North Bend. I made sure that visiting Roslyn was one of the first things we did here in Washington. The Brick, by the way, is a real bar and Scott has played a gig there, which was a huge thrill for me.

    As for the note about the sponsored post — I completely understand what you’re saying and I’ll be clearer in the future, thank you sincerely!

  • 12 Donna // Jun 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I am not against you making a buck but there was something about this post that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I want you to make money so you keep blogging but this just didn’t feel right… almost like the only reason you even posted it was because there was an exchange in money. (I am a LONG time reader… first time commenter)

  • 13 megan // Jun 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Donna – Thanks for your comments. I’m listening to you guys and understand this post stands out. That said, I really was reporting on what I learned about Posterous as we used it and I was hoping that being specific about the aspect that I like would be helpful to somebody who didn’t know about it. And, we really do think the trip out to Snowqualmie is a great day trip :)

  • 14 megan b. // Jun 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    So, Megan, without even knowing it, you went on our weekend anniversary trip we’re taking in a few days! We’re staying @ the Salish in a riverview room. I’ll let you know how it is! And we’ll be sure to check out the train museum!

  • 15 Mara // Jun 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    What a fun trip! I love Twede’s! While I have not ever ordered their pie, they do make a “damn fine cup of coffee”, and the most wonderful hashbrowns I have ever tasted.

  • 16 megan // Jun 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Megan B – Awesome! Be sure to go to the spa while you’re there :) And happy anniversary!

    Mara – I will have to get there for breakfast some time.

  • 17 Beth // Jun 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Totally fine with the advertorial, and I thought the tone was informative but not salesy. I think it is fantastic when bloggers, who usually start because they are so enthusiastic about something, get so good at it and so recognized someone is willing to pay them. Good for you!

    Also, if you like Hipstamatic, you might also like an app called Magic Hour – similar, but lets you change and play with filters after the fact.

  • 18 megan // Jun 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much Beth! And thank you for letting me know about Magic Hour, I had not heard of it.

  • 19 Erin // Jun 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I’m indifferent about the advertisement. I figure I’ve learned enough off your site that you should be compensated for something! We went to North Bend today and hiked the Rattlesnake Ledge hike–completely gorgeous (difficulty wise, it’s kind of like Mt. Si except blissfully shorter). We hit North Bend Bar & Grill for lunch and it was really great! Usually we go to Twede’s for the whole tourist vibe but after two visits, we had to admit that they’re just really not that good. Their pie is only good because well, it’s PIE and it’s hard to make bad pie. Going to check out Posterous, it sounds pretty neat.

  • 20 megan // Jun 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Erin – Thank you, and thanks for the tip on Rattlesnake Ledge. I know that the Mount Si hike is very popular and I’d read that Little Si is a bit lesser known option. I’m really glad to know that Rattlesnake Ledge is shorter! We’ll have to do all three, maybe on separate weekends.

Leave a Comment