Doing it Right: iPhone Photo Sharing with Posterous

I'm a mobile phone photographer, not a terrorist

As many of you probably already know, I’m a father to two beautiful little kids. I also have a propensity for photographing amusing things throughout my day (bumper stickers, food labels, street signs, strange people and so on). When you mash these together, you get a guy who posts a pantload of photographs on the Internet. Being an unapologetic efficiency junkie, I’m constantly on the lookout for a better way to do things like this. Pretty sure I’ve found it (at least, for now).

First, the specific problem I’m trying to solve:

I don’t necessarily believe that every picture I take is appropriate for all of the various venues upon which I share content. I’m perfectly willing to post a picture of my half-eaten pork sandwich on Twitter, but not so much on Facebook. I also know that many of my Twitter followers have no interest in a 40-photo slideshow of my children chalking unrecognizable shapes on the sidewalk, so those typically end up on Facebook. Sometimes, though, I’ll find myself in the presence of a video store promo poster containing a hilarious misspelling and think to myself “everybody needs to see this.” You can see how this would be a dilemma.

Obviously, Facebook on the iPhone supports uploading photos natively and there are dozens of Twitter-connected sites that allow you to easily post photos from within your favorite Twitter client application. Trouble is, I’m very tightly-wound and want all of my pictures to be accessible in one place. Also, I frickin’ hate when I try to post a picture to Facebook using my iPhone and I have to keep the Facebook app open for 10 minutes while the upload progress meter trickles toward completion. And, neither of these solutions offer me the ability to upload a photo to multiple sources easily.

Now, the solution:

Enter, Posterous. I’ve had an account there for a long ass time and used to run my personal blog there before switching to Tumblr (that’s another post entirely), so I’m familiar with the service and it’s capabilities. In short, it’s absolutely perfect for what I want to do. Here are the steps I took:

First, I created a new Posterous site at and picked a stock theme. Second, I created a new contact in my iPhone address book called “BK Media”, which has 3 different email addresses attached to it: “twitter@”, “facebook@” and “twitter+facebook@”. Whenever I want to email a photo to one or both of these services from my iPhone, it’s as simple as tapping “BK” into the “To:” field in the Mail app and selecting the appropriate address.

This is especially awesome because, despite the new multitasking capabilities of iOS 4, the Mail app will continue sending and receiving messages, even after it’s closed. This allows me to shorten the time between “holy crap, look at this guy’s shirt!” and having a picture of said shirt on it’s way to Twitter to not more than a few seconds. And, because the photo is being sent to a Web site that I control, it’s easy as pie to see how many views its had, allow inline comments, delete the photo altogether and even post it to my other Internet watering holes (like Flickr) with a couple of clicks.

Say what you want about Posterous as a blogging platform, but it was made for posting photos to the Internet.

Specialized Bonus Hack: if you’re a Mac user and use Mailplane (and, if you’re a GMail user, you should consider it because it’s awesome) and Skitch, you can reproduce a very similar variation on this same process by dragging your Skitch screenshots or camera snaps onto the Mailplane Dock icon. This creates a new, blank email with your file attached. Again, I just add a subject and start typing “BK Media” in the “To:” field and I’m off to the races. It’s beautiful.

Anybody else have a super slick way of posting pictures of your propped-up feet to your favorite social networks? I want to hear about it.?

Photo by sunnyUK


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