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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinterest? What's up with that? 

Pinterest? What's up with that?

by: Cady Childs

I’m sure you have all been hearing the buzz about the latest social networking hub to distract us from reality and face-to-face interactions. Pinterest, the spot that is bringing crafty back.

While there is certainly not a lack of male presence on the site, I’ve found most of the people buzzing to their friends about it, offering them an exclusive invite (that’s right, you have to be invited) are twenty-something women, who are just now honing their homemaking skills: they are, to generalize, obsessed with urban and modern interior décor, cocktail parties, recipes, and DIY.

Speaking as one of these individuals, it’s kind of our adult way of playing dress-up.

I can personally attest to visiting Michael’s Crafts on five different occasions since joining Pinterest. Simply type ‘DIY’ into the search engine on the site, and you will find an infinite variety of links to guides on how to re-create every canvas, throw, shelf, and candle holder found in this month’s Anthropologie catalog, a how-to on melting crayons to canvas for wall art, an explanation on transferring newsprint to fingernails, and of course, thousands of pictures of sparkling cake pops.

Pinterest literally functions as an online bulletin board to ‘organize and share the things you love.’ (See the example above.) Suggested board ideas include planning a wedding, redecorating your home, and saving your favorite style picks. DIY guides found through the site yield enough bookend, wall art, photo frame, jewelry, headboard, makeup organizer, duvet cover, and curtain options to exhaust one’s free time for the next ten years. And that’s only the beginning of the list--- we didn’t even mention the party decorations.

Co-founded by 29-year-old former Google Inc. employee Ben Sibbermann, the site launched in March 2010 through a series of invites sent to the creators close friends. All the growth of the site since then has been through this same process, spreading the web a little farther as each new user is added.

“I think Pinterest taps into a really common human desire to share your taste,” Sibberman, on his personal blog, noted.

The site is also a great form of brainstorming for bloggers, photographers, and artists. While picking items to link in a post, instead of saving the image to a hardrive and copying the link to a word document, this site allows bloggers (like myself) to click a simple ‘Pin It!’ button on their browser’s navigation bar, select their board, and all the information is saved without clogging up desktops. These boards can later be linked to in the post, for further content and networking.

Obviously boasting our lust-worthy lists and redecoration plans has the addictive nature that all opportunities for showmanship have on our mentis. But, in a world of Facebook feed refreshing detritus and nonsense, Pinterest is eye-opening. it’s take on a social network doesn’t assume we’re all narcissistic, boring, self-interested individuals. Instead of sharing a status update on what kind of sandwich you had for lunch, Pinterest gives you a chance to share what inspired you at lunch.

Much more interesting.

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The Wall Street Journal article linked notes, "Pinterest last month attracted more than 11 million unique visitors, more than double the 4.9 million who visited the site in November, according to comScore..."

No revenue yet, but lots of eyeballs.
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