I the site's usefulness hinges on participation, and what works so well for its members, is the content. Home decor, "inspirational" quotes, and, uh, stereotypical interests of women (pink stuff, chalkboard paint, pretty cocktails, interior design, fashion), is what draws interests and seems to make for pins. Personally, the amount of fitness "advice" when I took today's screenshot bugged me so much that getting through this paragraph without profanity was a serious burden. (Profanity is probably looked down upon; nudity is banned. Manjoo calls Pinterest, "The least cynical place on the Web.")
That's sort of a relief, actually, to have a haven without mean commenters. I applied for an account for the purpose of this site. Here's what Pinterest advised in its welcome e-mail:
Pinterest Etiquette: Try to...
- Be Nice!
- Be Creative. The best pinboards mix products, art, recipes and images from all across the web. Try not to pin everything from a single source.
- Give Credit. If you blog about an item you found on Pinterest, it's nice to credit your fellow pinners by linking back to the original pin.
Yep, I'd say that's what makes the site so rabidly popular.
Here's a pin of cinnamon butter. The source (and instructions!) are at the top right. The link will bring you to another site. If you scroll down, you can read comments and find people who have pinned the post. From here, you can pin the post or share it through other forms of social media.
Since I've received an invite, I'll try to see what I can teach you, the Old People, about using this service.
Cupcakes, Boots, and Shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal, Slate
How Very Pinteresting, Nothing But Bonfires