Wu wei – No action
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I’ve been a fan of posterous since it started and have been amazed how the service has added features as quickly as they have been suggested. A couple of days ago the announced public group sites with post by moderation. This allow you to open up a blog to posts by anyone, but you get to moderate the posts.

I imagine you could use a group posterous for a inter school poetry blog (for example) between schools allowing children to concentrate on their writing and the evaluation of their partners.
Or a a zero setup class blog if your pupils have separate email addresses.

Posterous of course is blogging by email, with zero setup. Posterous takes just about any sort of media and deals with it in a sensible way. Posterous also sends you posts to other places (twitter, flickr, blogs etc) automatically if you want.

Garry Tan one of posterous’ cofounders had set up a public blog Posterous Recipes for Recipes and I though I’d give it a spin. All I needed to do was to drag a couple of photos from iPhoto onto the mail icon on my Mac’s dock, up popped a mail window with the photos attached, I put in the address post@recipes.posterous.com and clicked send, it was that simple. No resizing of photos, posterous presents them beautifully without out me having to think about them.

Posting my recipe, Posterous recognised my email and linked my recipe to my own posterous. And as I posted to post@ rather than posterous@ it picked up my settings and tweeted for me and posted the photos to flickr too!

Although the main way of accessing Posterous is via email, the web interface if beautiful for example, commenting in posterous is a very sweet, no opening the post in a new window, just an ajax reveal of the comment box: simple and clean without confusion.

The guys at posterous are incredibly responsive, I’ve mailed and tweeted them a few time and always had replies within hours, give the time difference this is really impressive. They are improving posterous almost all of the time; on one occasion in response to a blog post elsewhere, taking suggestions, acting on them and reporting all in the comments!

The fact posterous deals with blogging sorts of media without the user having to think. This echoes a Chinese philosophical phrase act without doing; ? ? ?; wei wu wei (wei wu wei: “action without action” or “effortless doing”).

This reminds me of When the technology gets boring, then things get interesting socially, a quote I saw in a comment on Ewan‘s blog, originally from Clay Shirky. Elsewhere (I think) Ewan talked about email as an example of this. With posterous you can use email, a tech you can use without thought, so that you can concentrate on what you are posting, the teach not the tech (Ewan again). Or for pupils the learning not the ict skills.

Last week I had some Glow training, I am starting to get quite excited about the possibilities of pupils using Glow. The potential is there, but the tech needs to become less obvious. Posting video to glow involves using a browser, then an ftp client, and then back to a browser. Coincidentally the previous night I was testing a flip video camera and popped the result onto posterous by simply dragging the file onto my mail app, filling in the to address and hitting send.

The Flip camera and posterous are both effortless technology, in education both could help by lowering the bar so that learners can concentrate on the learning and not get caught up in the tech. Glow has incredible ambition and potential I hope it becomes an effortless tool in the same way posterous and the flip camera are.

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