Tuesday June 5, 2012

Pinterest Explained

Recently in Twitter, someone asked:

... could somebody explain Pinterest to me? I literally do not understand what I'm looking at.

There were several replies, mostly suggesting that it's largely used by women to save pictures of their imaginary lives or their dream weddings. The original poster also added:

...Ordinarily I scoff at the very idea that the UI of a service could have a gender bias, but with Pinterest it seems true.
It's not true. That's certainly what some people use Pinterest for but that doesn't "explain Pinterest".

The best reply (I thought) was this one. Simple and to the point.

...it's a pinboard. you pin stuff on it. other people look at it.

That's it. It's a pinboard. You pin stuff on it. Other people look at it.

Yes, there are a lot of women using Pinterest. And yes, many of them use it to "pin" wedding items or shoes & purses, or things "for my dream house".

Many of them also pin books they've read, pictures of puppies, motorcycles, sunsets, crafts, recipes, cars, architectural details, trees, rocks, vacation spots, or astronomical photographs.

There are also a lot of men using Pinterest.

A week or so earlier in Twitter, I had another conversation about Pinterest. This time, the other person tweeted:

...A conceptual anti-Pinterest for things people plan on not buying?
and I replied
Almost nothing I pin on Pinterest is buyable. The same goes for most of the people / boards I follow. I don't grok the "buy" aspect.
As the conversation unfolded, the other person insisted that "the 'business plan and objective' of pinterest ... has been buying". That may have been an early business plan, but the users have changed things. And the current Pinterest site mentions nothing abut buying, only sharing, as a raison d'etre.

My Pinterest boards (and those of many people I follow) contain very little recommendations for something to purchase. My "boards" cover Color, Reading, Writing, Comics, Microphotography, Techie humor, cute food, and Inspirational quotes. The only board that really covers things someone might buy is my "Things We Like" board, and even that is more to share than to suggest anyone spend money.

Pinterest is a pin board. It's like a web-based scrapbook. You attach (pin) images of things you like and want to share with other people. Other people look at your pins. Perhaps they will "Like" or "Repin" them. Perhaps you will find other pincers with similar interests to "follow".

Pinterest may look like something else from the outside. Like many things (e.g. Twitter), what you get out of it depends on how you use it. And for that, you need to join and try it for a while.

If you get involved with Pinterest, look me up. I'm vickivlb.

Pinterest Explained ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Tue, 05 Jun, 18:05 Pacific | «e»

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