Posterous and WordPress are magical URL converters

Last year, Steve Rubel waved goodbye to blogging and introduced many people to The Steve Rubel Lifestream, powered by Posterous. Since then, Posterous’ traffic has skyrocketed, possibly assisted by  Austin Statesman’s choice to use it to power their A Day in the Sun project.

I don’t intend to switch to Posterous anytime soon (I agree with Mark Krynsky’s thoughts on Posterous as a lifestreaming service), but I did select it recently when I created Freedom Communication’s Social Freedom blog, mostly because of the ability to create posts via email from multiple contributors.

The magic

In the two weeks of using Posterous, a rarely mentioned Posterous feature has totally impressed me. It magically (okay, “programmatically” might be the factually correct word here) transforms web addresses into pictures, videos and audio players.

I’ve created a post on my personal Posterous blog to illustrate this feature in an admittedly overstated way.

The magic is that I didn’t have to download, crop or resize any of the images that you see there. I didn’t have to embed an MP3 widget and tell it where to find the audio file. I didn’t have to copy and paste any embed codes for the videos. I didn’t even have to tell Posterous the width of those videos or images. See, I told you. It’s magic.

Bonus WordPress magic

Much to my surprise, previewing this blog post showed met that WordPress also has similar URL-transforming tricks hidden up its already-powerful sleeves.

I now invite all blogging pros to chime in with “how did you not know about this” comments below.

For those who were as shocked about some of this as I was, I’ve copied and pasted what I typed into the Posterous example. Here, you can see how it turned out in WordPress:

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