I remember months and months (possibly years) ago, I noticed a couple of friends using Pinterest. I casually clicked through, saw a picture, and had no idea what was going on. Like any truly curious soul, I completely ignored it. I had enough going on just trying to keep up with random Facebook changes.
A couple of weeks ago, Pinterest shows up again, this time with friends. Lots of friends. I’d requested an invitation months back and received a thoughtful and sincere automated e-mail saying that one day I’d be worthy, but not anytime soon. Since I have no pride, I begged an invite from a friend who was already registered. I logged in, saw more pictures, and still had no idea what was going on.
Thankfully Joe Waters (http://selfishgiving.com/) decided to host a Pinterest-based contest: create a board called “Causes I Love Contest”, add whatever you like, however you like. He would judge them and the winners would get valuable cash, prizes, and puppies. I’m kidding about the puppies. Maybe.
“I can do this!” I thought to myself. I’ve always been an optimist. I’ll spare you the torment of rising tension and suspense and tell you that I didn’t win (I didn’t even place. Not that I’m bitter.), but I DID learn a lot. The most important lesson appears to be if you want me to learn something quickly, your best bet is a contest. I also learned that I have the self-awareness of a spatula, since until now I’ve always considered myself to be very anti-competition.
Anyway, off I went, pinning my little heart out. I pinned recipes and craft ideas and hair styles and beauty tips and books and music and geeky stuff. It’s addicting, I’m not going to lie. I’m sure there are a zillion posts about the mechanics of how to do it without being socially awkward, but it’s always nice to have someone to laugh at. I mean with. Look, sometimes you just have to jump in and give it a try.
A friend of mine who really doesn’t care for Facebook took to Pinterest like a duck to water. Only she calls it Pinster, and now I’ll bet you will, too.
I’ve tried several recipes with mixed success. The smoothie was the best, but it blew up my blender, so that was kind of a good news, bad news scenario. The bread wasn’t bad. The “no-heat-curl” tutorial ended in complete disaster, but did make me laugh until I cried. And while my hair wasn’t going in the intended direction (nor was it technically “curly”), I can’t deny that it achieved the kind of volume I’d only ever dreamed of previously.
So far the most popular pins I’ve posted:
- 10 Canine Commandments
- Neil Gaiman’s “The Day the Saucers Came”
- “He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by Yeats
- A picture of The Tick
- “The Bark Side” VW commercial
- Allan Rickman’s “Always” quote from Harry Potter
- A recipe for skillet macaroni and cheese
- Shawshank Redemption film poster (accompanied by Red’s opera quote)
- Anything from houzz.com (trust me on this one)
- A photo of Bruce Campbell’s Cream of Darkness Soup
I’d love to draw some deep, insightful conclusions from this extensive data set, but let’s be serious: of far greater concern is that fact that one person pinned this wildly erratic array of images. Ah, Pinterest!
So if you want to experience the awesomeness of my boards (or more accurately, witness firsthand the evidence of a deeply confused mind), you can find me at http://pinterest.com/mickeygomez/.
Photo credits: Vintage Spatula by GranniesKitchen on Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution License; Bruce Campbell’s Soup from Blastr
This Post Has 5 Comments
Great stuff man, this is precisely what I wanted to find out.
There’s a variety of other concerns I got concerning this, but I guess I can’t
be selfish. 1 answer at a time. Back to the internet to find out what I need!
Once again…. good post, nicely written!
I do love the way you write, my friend. I have been working on a post about that nefarious “Pinster” also (you know me…always lagging just behind the crowd at the top) and share many of your observations. I find it (I admit this reluctantly) a lot of fun to just browse beautiful images and pin the ones that appeal to me. However, after spending some time last week listening to Julie and David and Bob and Diane and Jen in a Google Hangout, I am being dragged into understanding the value this network offers for marketers. Grrrr…hadn’t wanted to, but they make compelling arguments.
Thanks, Allen! You’re are marvelous for my writing self-esteem – you know that, right? I’ve been lagging, too, and only with Joe’s post did I start really considering the functionality and potential. I wish I could’ve joined in the Hangout – I’ll bet you all learned a lot (or at least had the most fun you can legally have on The Google).
I see it this way: it’s great for visually appealing images, but it’s also a way to add text to share to explain or react to an image as well as to use an image to mark an article or resource (via the link-back to the place you get the image). I was approaching it at first from the perspective of visual only, but the Cause challenge made me consider other ways to share a message (some that worked, and some that didn’t).
I definitely got a kick out of my most re-pinned pins. What a train wreck! I am ALL OVER the place, but I definitely think Pinterest has a lot of potential. I’ll look forward to your post, my friend!
I learned to store tweezers and nail clippers in old glasses cases (Real Simple) so my kids won’t steal them any more since currently all of both are missing. So it’s so worth it for that reason alone. Also I found this year’s bathing suit (InStyle), art for my bedroom wall (some random person), and another idea for sorting and organizing for my kids that will ultimately fail but I’ll try anyway because that’s how I roll. Yeah I like it. I’m looking for greater content and connection, though.
I agree, Julie! I’ve also gotten some very clever ideas, and overall I love the concept. There is room for improvement, but one could say that about almost any social platform. I’d like to see better user interface to track comments and repins. I’d appreciate a way to rearrange items on a board to reflect what is most important to me (for example, in “For the Home” I’d like to pin the ideas I really, really want to try near the top, while other ideas that might be inspiring enough to pin can be nearer to the bottom). A “star” button could also work – something that I could click on and off to indicate ranking or importance on a given day. Just a few thoughts, and thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experiences with “Pinster” so far. 🙂