Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Technology Lesson: Pinterest

Pinterest is an invite-only, social networking/bookmarking website. I'm not a member, and I'm at a loss to explain exactly what the appeal and benefits of Pinterest are (to quote Slate's Farhad Manjoo, "Because while Pinterest is many things, easy to explain isn’t one of them..."), say, compared to Tumblr or Delicious, websites that have significant similarities.

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.

    Additional Resources:
    Cupcakes, Boots, and Shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal, Slate
    How Very Pinteresting, Nothing But Bonfires


    Becki Lee Chiasson said...

    I looooove Pinterest! There's a wealth of fun, geeky pins on there. Doctor Who...video games...Harry Potter...internet memes... I see lots of neat stuff from Etsy on there, too. It's great crafting inspiration for me.

    I think part of the reason I like it so much is because it's so easy to use, thanks to the "Pin It" bookmarklet. I can go to any website and with one click, pin a photo. Which is good, because I am lazy.

    The other reason I like it so much is because it's easy to organize stuff I like into boards. So I have all my kickass recipes in one place and my adorable pictures of pugs in ridiculous costumes in another.

    I like the idea of Tumblr but never really got into it, so Pinterest doesn't feel redundant at all to me. I have never used Delicious.

    I tried to get my mom into Pinterest and it's sort of working! I find this to be exciting.

    Please do poke around and see what you think! It just may grow on you. And hey, if it doesn't, there's plenty more internet out there. :D

    ophelia chong said...

    I found your site by googling "itunes for old people", my 77 year old dad is struggling with importing cds etc. I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!
    i got this from my parents "hard drive? can't we get a soft drive? wouldn't that be more comfortable?"
    and i love my Pinterest, i am ophelia_chong.