Bad news is good news, in the end (or the end of my Posterous)

Several hours ago I learnt some really bad news which is going to affect my professional experience in several ways. Posterous blogging platform is going to be turned off after April 30th (predictable and in many cases inevitable side effects of being acquired by media monsters). Posterous is home to three blogging projects I’ve been doing for over a year:

ELTworkplaces (#ELTworkplaces on Twitter) - a collaborative photo blog where teachers share pictures of the workplaces they work and find inspiration in. http://eltworkplaces.posterous.com/

MSUEnglish - a blog space which is used by my students and their mates from the University of Grenoble, Physics Faculty, for projects of our English courses. http://msuenglish.posterous.com/

My own humble space for contemplation. I’ve just “celebrated” a year of blogging via Posterous, which has been a thrilling journey all the way. http://annloseva.posterous.com/

So, you say, what’s the point?

This story has given me some food for thought. At first, I was shocked. Then, I felt all range of feelings from anger to desperation. Blogging with Posterous was a piece of cake and provided a unique opportunity for both teachers and students to collaborate on the fly.

On second thought..this could happen to any website or web tool. How are teachers going to react if some crucial resources they rely on in their teaching close down? Frustration is a bad companion. Flexibility and optimistic attitude towards some new experience are good friends.

So I welcome change with my arms wide open.

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steveneufeld's picture


Yes, I have nightmares that one day GOOGLE will shut down its APPs services! Where would I be! In fact, I had a similar experience to you a few years ago with NING -- they too had to go commercial, and remove the free service. Like you I felt 'betrayed' at first, and immediately found another alternative. However, upon reflection, I remembered what my uncle used to say: "You have to be rich to by cheap." :) And, of course, the classic "You get what you pay for."

I think that we will have to get used to paying for what we value in the future. But, the trouble is that once you get used to having had it for free, it becomes difficult to rationalize paying for it later. ;)

YuraGanjalyan's picture

Dear AnnLoseva, once you did a real thing so don't give in, go on searching for an alternative and you are sure to find it. You still have a lot of time. Be cheerful and you'll be a success.

bsanja's picture

Dear Ann,
I sympathise with you for your loss and admire your attitude.
Like many other teachers, I like free tools. Some time ago I felt just like you although, when I read your post, I realize my loss is nothing to compare with yours. I had a nice video created by a group of students with Photopeach. When the site changed the owners, a number of videos were lost, mine included. They apologised but it didn't mean much while I was reading "Not found" over my video.
I felt unhappy and frustrated but then I started thinking about the same arguments Steven mentioned. We'll have to adjust to new circumstances and learn how to deal with the risk of using free tools, I guess.
I'm sure you'll find a way to continue your projects.

Evgeniya_Zimina's picture

You are a creative person (as, I think, most people here). No matter what happens to our tools, we are all flexible, decisive and creative! If you really like your job, you will be able to teach even without materials (as I did in the 90s, when I started to teach).

AnnLoseva's picture

@steveneufeld - Hi Steven! If Google shuts down there will be a global strike, I'm almost sure. Some things should never change maybe (contrary to my main principle=)). My hopes in this story are to find a service equivalent to Posterous in its functions which I chose it for in the first place! It's extra headache of course, but then it's an experience worthwhile having. Odds are I won't have to pay for anything in the end))

AnnLoseva's picture

@Sanja - thank you so much for your kind words. I am sure many teachers who are trying out web tools have this potential risk, and like us, you and me, they've got to be prepared! I think we should back up all info somewhere (in naive hopes that this back-up place won't ever disappear!=)). Luckily, in my case I have 2 months to move my projects, point is how to continue working with them as successfully as before..Well, but I"ll find some way. Thanks for posting such a comforting comment!!

AnnLoseva's picture

@Evgeniya_Zimina - exactly! Especially that Unplugged Teaching aka dogme is developing and the number of its adherents (me included) is growing. Nothing will beat a dedicated and determined teacher!

tanja_madjarova's picture

..Ann. As the others have already said, it is frustrating, and yes, you will have to get used to a new platform but first you need to make a choice and this may be time-consuming(for me it was). I used Ning and had two very interesting projects, which I had to give up because I couldn't afford to pay when they introduced subscription plans. Now I use wordpress, it took me time to get to grips with it but more or less all blogs work in similar ways. You might also like Tumblr, very popular with young people. Wordpress is more professional, Tumblr is more young-sh:)
You can have a look at two sites of my school. Am sure there are plenty more out there but these are the ones I would recommend. Good luck!
This one is the English blog for our students.
And this one is our school magazine(not in English though)
PS Another frustration I have often experienced is when certain sites are under maintenance, then if you have embedded material from there, it is gone..but ah..the "joys" of technology!

AnnLoseva's picture

@tanja_madjarova - thank you for your kind comment and comforting empathy. I'm almost sure I'll go for Tumblr) Thanks for your links! Is the first one really a school blog??? It looks a solid professional website!! Amazing. As for your PS note - back-up is essential nowadays as I'm finding. Thanks once again for dropping by.