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 ·

links: technology

Cool Tools: Vim. This might be the simple text/html editor I’ve been looking for.

Pano | app.itize.us. A good app for taking panoramic photos.

{seo q & a} what is the best way to spell this term? | minted condition. They took on my question about papier-mache, and suggested a wonderful new-to-me resource. Thanks!

10 Free Web Based Photoshop Alternatives | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

A bunch of nerdy interviews. What do people use to get stuff done? A whole site to answer this question: The Setup. Via Ask Metafilter.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: Kickstarter tips from a fan of crowd-funding.

Upgrading from a Basic Canon Rebel DSLR | Making it Lovely.

I am wondering what new podcasts are out that are in the category: “Mindblowing.” Things that amaze, inspire, or make you reflect | Ask MetaFilter.

Lara Ferroni » Plate to Pixel and Other Food Photography Resources.

Reunited (With Blogs) And It Feels So Gooood : whoorl. About how it used to be, and getting that back with the Google Reader Next Button for your browser, I’ll have to do this. Somehow I still miss you-know-what-Lines, my Google Reader seems impenetrable.

· comments [9] · 06-16-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

‘8-Bit Pocket Camera’ – A Glorious Homage to the Gameboy Camera | Touch Arcade. Hipstamatic has failed to grab my attention but this? I want this.

Pioneer Woman Actions UPDATE! | Pioneer Woman Photography | Ree Drummond.

Want to turn low res web image to higher res print ready image. | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [3] · 04-27-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

A Whole Lotta Nothing: My SXSW 2011 talk on lessons from 11 years of community.

c h o o k o o l o o n k s – blog – occasionally technical tuesday: apertures and shutter speeds and iso (oh my!).

iPhoto replacement for Windows 7…NOT PICASA! | Ask MetaFilter.

Photography for Designers « Jessica Walsh. Her small studio set up. Via Kottke.

Is there a way to automatically “force” Google to search for the words I typed in, without having to manually include “+” before every single term? | Ask MetaFilter.

TIGSource » Gemini Rue. A game I want to check out.

Everything I’ve learned about casual podcasting | fortuitous.

· comments [4] · 03-25-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

Orbis To Ray Flash: Ring Flashes Under $200 | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

how to make your own inspiration board, at petite Elefant. People without Photoshop take note, she shows you how using Picasa.

Free Antivirus… That Doesn’t Suck | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

Free or cheap fiction audiobooks or podcasts | Ask MetaFilter. Great suggestions for things I hadn’t heard of.

chookooloonks – occasionally technical tuesdays: on choosing a camera lens. Excellent guide to how lenses work. Via Tea Austen on Twitter.

Type-O-Phile at Ugly Green Chair, she offers a list of the best places to find both free and not-free fonts. This is great because every time I need a new font I end up emailing to ask her again where all the best font sites are!

· comments [5] · 03-15-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

Infinight Review | Touch Arcade. A game that has you trapped in the dark.

CreaVures by Muse Games — Kickstarter. This looks amazing.

Infinite Ammo » Marian: From 3D to 2D. An article about the current game project from one of the creators of Aquaria, he talks about it from the initial idea, through stumbles and where it is today.

Telltale Games SF Event – Upcoming ‘Puzzle Agent 2′, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep 2 & 3′, and More | Touch Arcade. Wow, it’s a bunch of games I am very much looking forward to. (I will never admit to enjoying Hector Badge of Carnage because it’s very juvenile, offensive and disgusting humor but let’s just say that had I played it I would have found that it is a lot of fun, like an old Sierra game.)

Women Entrepreneurs for Social Change | May 13-14, 2011 | Vancouver, BC. If you run a business I highly encourage you to attend this, I predict great thing will happen.

TIGSource » More Good Knytt Stories. Level I have not played yet!

· comments [5] · 03-2-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

FingerGaming » Studio Pepwuper Launches Stealth Puzzler Megan and the Giant. It’s like it was made for me.

Cool Tools: X-Keys Desktop. A programmable add-on keypad that can give you the freedom to easily create your own single keystroke shortcuts for programming or using graphics programs. I like this idea.

Finally! A Respectable Onslaught of Game Releases – ‘Sacred Odyssey’, ‘Devil May Cry 4,’ ‘Monty Python’ and More | Touch Arcade. I’m look at Cardboard Castle here.

Secure Yer Facebook | Slog.

FingerGaming » iControlPad Opens Preorders, Begins Shipping Next Week – Gaming on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

So You Just Got a Verizon iPhone… Let’s Get You Up To Speed! | Touch Arcade. With links to previous years Best Of games and the tip that game apps often go on sale.

· comments [2] · 02-11-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

BBC – Podcasts – Secret History of Social Networking. Via Waxy.

ALT Summit Presentation  | Mighty Girl. “Beyond the Banner: A 12-Step Program for Successful Content Campaigns”. This was a fabulous panel, I sat and absorbed every word.

opensource html editor? | Ask MetaFilter. I’m researching alternatives to my ancient version of Homesite that does not work with my new computer, lots of suggestions here.

Best Homesite replacement for PC? – Doctype. Another good list of Homesite replacements.

Free or very low cost image editing software? | Ask MetaFilter.

Things I learned at Altitude Design Summit | PROMISE TANGEMAN ART & DESIGN. A good summary of what was shared at Alt.

Gameloft Unmasks Mysterious RPG, Now Titled ‘Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden’ | Touch Arcade. Zelda like, you say?

They Need To Be Fed Review | Touch Arcade. Looks like a very cute and fun little game.

Sarien.net Is Back with Activision’s Approval | Touch Arcade.

swissmiss | Grid-A-licious. A beautiful and minimal theme for WordPress.

· comments [7] · 02-1-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

What do I need to set up a little photography studio at home? | Ask MetaFilter.

Email Etiquette for the Super-Busy :: Tips :: The 99 Percent. Via Swiss Miss.

Help me buy a new laptop! – laptop upgrade windows | Ask MetaFilter. I’ve bookmarked a response here by Mister Fabulous talking about waiting for Sandy Bridge processors to come out.

swissmiss | Proxlet. An app that will allow you to mute users on Twitter for a set amount of time, among other things. Nice.

A List Apart: Articles: Smartphone Browser Landscape. Via The Sam Barnes on Twitter.

Design*Sponge » biz ladies: top ten etsy web apps.

WordPress › Broken Link Checker « WordPress Plugins. Via Simply Recipes on Twitter.

How To Keep Facebook from Humiliating You Today at Valleyway. Via Heather Champ on Twitter.

· comments [5] · 01-27-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

notes from Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Blogging

first screen of the Harder Better Faster Stronger Blogging session

Image by Erica Reitman of Design Blahg.

I’m back from the Altitude Design Summit and simultaneously exhausted and energized. I got to meet and hang with amazing people (hello all the amazing people! I miss you!).

Here is a quick list of the resources mentioned in the panel I was invited to speak on called Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Blogging. I was up there with Susan Brinson of House of Brinson and Erica Reitman of Design Blahg, who put together the fantastic slide show used in our talk. Big thanks Erica.

  • Skitch for screengrabs. Allows you to made edits and draw on top of the image. Jing is another screen capture tool.
  • Outbrain for related posts. Works with many blogging platforms, gives you stats on what posts are getting the most attention.
  • Evernote for organization. Can organize and sort your information from mobile devices as well. Allows you to save text, images, links and audio notes.
  • Pinterest for sourcing and inspiration. Community currated and full of pretty stuff.
  • Squarespace for blogging. Allows for non-coders and coders alike to have lots of control of the look. (Full disclosure, Squarespace sponsored the panels. Fact, the Alt Summit website was created and is hosted on Squarespace.)
  • Google Alerts to let you see what others might be saying about your site. Sends emails periodically or collects the alerts in a feed. You can monitor any search term.
  • Mention Notifier to keep up with Twitter mentions. Sends you an email or text message any time you are mentioned on Twitter, works with any search or hashtag you’d like.
  • Zinio app for reading magazines. Lets you read all your magazines on your iPad or iPhone.
  • Twitter, obviously. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite were the favorites for the many ways you can sort and organize multiple accounts and searches.
  • Photoshop actions for quick image preparation. Setting up your own actions means a photo can be ready for your blog in one click. You can also download actions created by others to get some very pretty looks going on.
  • Instapaper to read things later. Saves a long form article in a very readable format and lets you read it later on computer or iPhone, downloads it so you can read when offline (hello air travel).
  • Flickr for photos. You can store, share and sort your photos, as well as use search with Creative Commons licenses if you need to find something specific. I’ve been using it for years and people still regularly find my blog from a photo they saw shared on Flickr.
  • RSS Reader to keep you organizes. Google Reader is the favorite choice. Use Helvetireader for a minimalist skin and Feedly provides a magazine like layout.

I want to add my own little tip. I never quite got into the habit of using another site like Evernote or Digg to collect the things I come across, instead what I do is to quickly bookmark/favorite/star/like (in a browser/email/Flickr/Twitter and on my phone) those things I find as I’m surfing but don’t have time to blog about them in that moment. And on Fridays I schedule a block of time, usually it only takes half an hour, to revisit and sort through all those items. I clear them out, which makes me feel like I’m tidying up and is a nice way to end a week, and usually I rediscover something I really dig but would have forgotten about. My method may not be as technically awesome as using a service to draw everything together, but I find that it allows me to move quickly through my week and think more carefully about if I want to include something in my blog later on when I’m more focused.

· comments [22] · 01-24-2011 · categories:technology ·

links: technology

swissmiss | Time Flies. An iPhone app that flags the stuff you haven’t done in a while, yay.

swissmiss | CSS3 for Web Designers.

Black*Eiffel: Jambox. That’s it. I want one.

swissmiss | 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web.

9 Eyes, tumblr by Jon Rafman. Interesting Google Street View screencaps presented without comment, via Kate Consumption on Twitter.

FingerGaming » Eyemaze’s Free Dwarf Complete Arrives in App Store. I played this game in the browser and really enjoyed it.

swissmiss | Awesome Highlighter.

Looking for a 14″ or 15″ Windows 7 laptop. Should I wait until Sandy Bridge makes its way out into the market? | Ask MetaFilter. I’m also contemplating a new laptop purchase and this thread has convinced me to (sigh) wait for SB to come out and either get that, or see if the prices on the i3/i5/i7 processors drop.

A Private E-Book Lending Library | Slog. Good idea.

Why a Former Best Buy Employee Recommends SquareTrade’s Warranties Over Geek Squad’s, at Lifehacker.

· comments [3] · 01-10-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

On a keyboard, can I map a key combination (Ctrl+C) to a single key?
| Ask MetaFilter
. I like the suggestion here to use a four button mouse and map two of the buttons to copy and paste.

Classic Adventure Game ‘Gobliiins’ Arrives in the App Store | Touch Arcade.

How To Create A Modern CV/Resumé With InDesign — Gurus Unleashed. Via @cinnachick on Twitter.

Artificial light food photography | Wrightfood. Via @glutenfreegirl on Twitter.

0to255, “a simple tool that helps web designers find variations of any color”. Via @emulherin.

HOW TO: Customize Your Background for the New Twitter. Via @actionhero on Twitter.

100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition – Smashing Magazine. Via @feliciaday.

Huffduffer is TiVo for Web audio. Via Greg Knauss on Twitter.

FeedShow : online RSS feed reader. A simple, fast reader recommended by Knitty on Twitter.

Google: HTML, CSS, and Javascript from the Ground Up – Google Code University – Google Code.

Nelson’s Weblog: aviation / gps-altitude.

Web design using grids, at Kottke.

note: I pulled a bunch of the links above off of favorited items at Twitter so lots are pretty old. But still good!

· comments [4] · 11-11-2010 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

FingerGaming » Bulkypix to Bring Gobliiins Series to iPhone.

Cool Tools: Calibre + Instapaper.

How to Clean Electronics – DIY Life.

Minecraft Is Ridiculous | Slog. A little catch up on just what Minecraft is.

AppShopper App and Push Notifications | Touch Arcade. “For example, with the right combination of filters you can find every app that has gone from Paid to Free.”

Official ‘The 7th Guest’ Port Coming to App Store | Touch Arcade.

· comments [1] · 11-3-2010 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

‘Puzzle Agent’ Review – New Point-and-Click Adventure from Telltale Games | Touch Arcade.

‘Pizza Boy’ Review – A Bite-Sized Pizza-Packed Platformer | Touch Arcade.

Engadget’s back to school guide: Netbooks and laptops. I think I might just be able to justify a Netbook.

Online Multiplayer Games for the iPhone and Ipod Touch Recommendations? | Ask MetaFilter.

Optimizing Netbook Performance, Geeksugar.

· comments [1] · 09-27-2010 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

John Carmack Demos ‘Rage’ on iPhone at QuakeCon 2010 | Touch Arcade. This one is bookmarked for Scott.

Twitter / Tweet Button. They have their own button!

YouTube – Digital Makeup – PSMama’s Lip Gloss Optimizer – Part 1, from this mostly unrelated post over at Wired.

Where can I find out about browser-related issues when writing CSS/HTML/JavaScript? | Ask MetaFilter.

Cool Tools: Google Drawing. Sold: “The best simple drawing program there is is hidden away inside of Google Docs. It’s free, and completely intuitive to use. Google Drawing is the opposite of Adobe’s Illustrator…”

How do I update my iPhone to iOS 3.1.3–not iOS 4.0? | Ask MetaFilter. Very good question for those of us with 3G phones.

Craftzine.com blog : How-To: Great Small Object Photography.

· comments [2] · 09-1-2010 · categories:links · technology ·