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In war of words, blogging platform Posterous takes preposterous swipe at Tumblr

June 23, 2010 |  5:28 pm

Direct attacks and unprovoked hostility are usually reserved for gossip blogs, not the people who make the platforms that power them.

But Posterous, the blog service that lets users post using e-mail, did just that Tuesday, taking a shot at a platform called Tumblr on its company blog. The headline: "Hey Tumblr users: Want comments? Need privacy? Graduate to Posterous."

"Blogging on Tumblr is sort of like being in high school," the statement reads. "But you know deep-down that you can't be in high school forever. Eventually, you have to move on."

Posterous (pronounced either post-er-us or paw-ster-us, you choose) goes on to make some contentions about its superiority that are subjective, at best, and inaccurate, at worst. Contrary to those claims, Tumblr actually has a "real commenting system," though it does require some tinkering with settings to enable. Also, Tumblr has a feature for posting by e-mail.

Tumblr David Karp"The claims they make about Tumblr are obviously false," Tumblr founder David Karp wrote in an e-mail. "I hope they decide to make this right."

Tumblr and Posterous are among the most-hyped blogging platforms today. The former is renowned for its Apple-like sense of design, and the latter for its intelligence and flexibility with handling code in e-mail submissions.

The two make up a sort of east-coast, west-coast nerd battle, both figuratively -- Tumblr users are somewhat hipper and photo-driven compared to the geekier Posterous faithful -- and literally -- Tumblr is based in New York while Posterous is in San Francisco.

Posterous is primarily funded by Y Combinator, whose alumni includes the socially-equipped news site Reddit, location site Loopt and cloud file storage site Dropbox. A popular hangout for those affiliated with Y Combinator is Hacker News, which, as Karp was happy to note, doesn't seem to be siding with Posterous on this one.

For my own, non-Times-affiliated blog, I recently moved from Posterous to Tumblr. The Times mobile-focused blog I contribute to also uses Tumblr. We like the social networking features, many of which Posterous also has but are underutilized.

Tumblr started a couple years before Posterous, and nets significantly more users and visitors per month.

While these guys take a slightly different, more social approach to blogging, they remain dwarfed by giants like WordPress and the Google-owned Blogger platforms.

But who doesn't love a good quarrel between the folks who make the things we screw around on daily?

[Corrected, 7:54 p.m. An earlier version of this post said Posterous has been growing at a slightly more rapid pace than Tumblr. Not so.]

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

Photo: Tumblr founder David Karp. Credit: Mark Milian / Los Angeles Times

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