I received an invitation a week ago to join Pinterest and I’m already addicted. If you’d like to check it out, do send me your email address and I’ll invite you. Here is my take on the latest social networking craze.
“Pinterest’s user growth rate is what Facebook’s was five years ago. Earlier in 2011, it was valued through venture financing at $40m and, most recently, just a few months later, at around $200m.” TechCrunch
Pinterest is a showcase of images that have been identified, ‘pinned’ and shared by users. With a free Pinterest account, one can create any number of personal online bulletin or ‘pin’ boards: each representing a project, hobby, wishlist or inpiration. I’ve created a board for my upholstery passion and also one for all the craft/DIY projects I’d like to tackle on a rainy day. It’s simple to use and dangerously easy to while away time searching for recipes, clothing, and home decor. The site is popular not just because we love visual stimulation, but because it’s so brilliant for accumulating information and sharing ideas. I’m thinking back to the time when Ivan and I were planning our backyard reno. In order to communicate my ideas to Ivan, I saved dozens of links in my “Favourites” folder, cut out pictures from magazines, and copied and pasted product info from retail websites into a Word doc. What a mess! Now, with Pinterest, one can easily display all of this info in one place: your Pinterest “Backyard Reno” pinboard! Husbands: your wife’s “Dream Home” pinboard is coming soon! 🙂
At present there are no overt ads on the site, though you can easily click through to find the sources of the beautiful things pictured and often where you can buy them. I’m pining to know how they’ll manage the transition to making our pinboards pay. And I welcome it. In historian Niall Ferguson’s Ted Talk “The 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity,” he argues that not only is the consumer society one of those six killer apps, but that “the consumer society propels economic growth more than even technological change itself.” I like the fact that Pinterest will raise the bar on consumerism by featuring ‘the good stuff’ that we Pinners truly like instead of the rubbish that many retailers pitch. It’s consumer-led consumerism. And we’ve got standards!
Except for frequent server errors which result in delayed gratification for my image searches, Pinterest definitely resonates with me. Bing or Google image searches often produce a hodgepodge of low res misclassified results. My searches on Pinterest are sourcing high quality images and handy reference pages. My Pinterest search for “upholstery”netted me a handy visual guide for the calculation of fabric yardage that someone else had pinned. It’s not surprising that the output is high quality because fellow Pinners have generated it. The web has turned into a megastore with too many aisles and distracting announcements. With Pinterest, I save time because my browsing is tailored and curated for me. Who wouldn’t want their own store?