Setting up my own Posterous site

Unlike half my family, I don't know how to  code.

I do know how to cobble blog posts together in simple HTML. And I can set up and get virtual servers running on Amazon Web Services.

Combining my simple HTML skills, lessons learned from Dave Winer's EC2 for Poets, AWS help pages on how to configure an S3 bucket to function like a website, and Editor for Chrome by Bryan Lynn, I have built it a handful of simple, handmade websites running on S3.

Some examples:

As you can see, my site building skills dead end at stylesheets.

I know the concept is rudimentary: set up an interlocking file structure and have individual pages pull style information from a single file. I can do this to pull pictures from a photo file, but haven't succeeded at attempts to import styles from a stylesheet.

Well, until Posterous shuttered.

Home made posterous siteThe official announcement came only Friday last, but the vitality had gone out of the Posterous platform some time ago, and the availability of a Posterous export tool signaled your stuff was not safe for long on posterous.com.

I used the Posterous export tool a few weeks ago and intended only to archive the information behind an art collection site I had used Posterous for.

But the export didn't yield simple text files and pictures; instead, it appeared to replicate or mimic the html documents and file structure of my art collection site within Posterous. And the exported files included a CSS file!

It took me some fussing to fix a few links, but I was able to set up the right file hierarchy on S3, and now host my own art collection site, spiffed out in the distinctive Posterous style of presentation.

That was thrilling!

I've since messed around with the formatting of each exported page, but have been careful to preserve the file structure as Posterous exported it. When I set up my next homemade site that has a .css file, I'll likely use my former Posterous site as a model.


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