When I was first introduced to Pinterest, I was at the back end of a job that, well to put it politely, I was at the back end of. Pinterest was a happy distraction. It was a place where I could collect pictures and recipes that I came across and share them with my friends. It was also not blocked by my company, unlike Facebook. And it was addictive. Once you pin you can’t stop! I was rediscovering the internet. I was finding new and exciting websites and blogs I had never heard of before. I was collecting ideas from photographs I planned to take, food I planned to eat and cook and haircuts, tattoos and shoes I would one day get.
Now 6 months later, in a different, more fulfilling job, I find I am still pinning as often, even maybe more often than before. Other than at the weekend, when I make every effort to cut myself off from the online world, I pin every day. Even if I never open the platform itself, I am continuously pinning pictures of stuff I come across on my RSS feed and other sites I see. As a somewhat early adopter of the platform, I have smiled with pride when see people reposting Pins to their Facebook accounts, for all those not yet pinners out there (oh the poor lost souls). When asked to review other websites and platforms out there, I have found myself half-heartedly looking at them only wishing that they would have half the sex appeal that Pinterest does. Yes Pinterest is sexy.
Seriously sexy. Despite the crazy pinners out there with 90+ boards of the same pictures but in different colors. Despite the little bugs and glitches. Despite having to refresh the board every now and then to make sure you get new pins, Pinterest is one of the sexiest sites I have come across… ever. The tiling of content upon content; videos, photos, word art all mesh together in a visual feast on my screen and I eat it up.
So the question asked is “Why?” and it’s a tough question to answer. For the most part I have simply responded with inviting a friend to join and asked them to answer the question themselves. Two hours later of no contact and I’ll receive a ‘mouth-filled’ excited email of thanks from the friend, “I am in love with this website! Thanks so much for introducing me!” or “I’m sorry for not getting back to you. I’ve been repinning every single pin on your Food Porn board.”
But when asked by a couple of my colleagues to explain, in fact and not just love, how and why I use the site pretty much every day, I needed to put my love aside and remind myself what it was about Pinterest other than her sexiness that got me hooked. So I tried to elaborate…
Organization, for me at least, is boring. There is nothing sexy about my RSS feed. Cold tabs of random words that on a screen jumbled together (not even in a word cloud formation) fill me with dread, rather than organizational relief. To be honest, the only reason I deal with my RSS feed at all is that the thought of 1000+ unread posts fills me with more dread than the boring linear page it appears on. Pinterest on the other hand, is visual. I group together my favorite pages by boards which I title as I wish and my pages are clustered together with mini preview pictures. It’s like having a pin board. A pin board of words and pictures mixed together. Which means, my favorite recipes are easy to find; that funny link that I know my mate would love is easily reopened and the Eli Saab dress I will one day buy, once I win the lottery, is only a couple of clicks away.
I feel like there was very little set up involved on Pinterest. In fact I think the less you set up your boards to begin with the better. Let it happen fluidly. Start with an “About You” board and then let your Pinterest go wild. As you come across new fodder, assign a new board to pin it to if you don’t already have an appropriately named board. I just request that you try to refrain from creating pin boards per color. Seriously. Unless you really love one color. Labeling each and every one of your boards with the entire spectrum of the rainbow is dull, unimaginative and will make me ultimately stop following your pins you boring cow!
She likes to give and take
On Pinterest I am both contributor and user. For there would be no pins on Pinterest without users adding new material, found outside of the platform itself. It feels good to see a pin that you posted repined by another pinner months later. It is also a nice reminder to look back at some of your earlier pins for inspiration. Or maybe, finally do just one of the craft projects you pinned to your board, collected the equipment for, and have since never made…
Screw it! I love her!
It’s difficult to put into cold hard facts why I use Pinterest. It’s a passion project, a site to pluck at your emotional heart strings and inspire you to share the things you love. I pin the images that catch my eye, that evoke emotion and speak to me. And I am not alone, which is why it is no surprise to me that most of the users are women.
In truth, I would not recommend Pinterest to everyone. It definitely has a cute and fluffy feminine quality that would not necessarily speak to many guys I know. I’ve seen guys sign up, to find out what all the fuss is about and to in part see if it might be a good way to pick up women, only to never pin a single thing and never to log in again when they realize that they cannot direct message to ask a girl for her number.
But for those that speak the language of love, try it. For those who want facts, figure it out yourself. I am unashamed to say, that in the case of Pinterest, it comes down to organizing my shit in the prettiest way I know how.