In 2011, a new social network burst onto the internet scene. The buzz was plentiful and it seemed like everyone was talking about the “pin” that they just came across. So, in a rush of excitement, I joined the masses and jumped onto Pinterest.com, excited to see what it was all about. Sadly, I was very disappointed to find that I wouldn’t be “pinning” anything anytime soon – Pinterest was an invitation-only social network. Funny thing is, I didn’t have to be invited by another user, I actually had to ask the fine people at Pinterest.com to open the clubhouse door and let me in! Needless to say, I asked and I waited. I was irritated, but I let my curiosity overrule my frustration. Then, about three weeks later, the coveted email arrived – I was in! This exclusive club of pinners decided that I was worthy of their time and their pins. I could officially claim to be a Pinterest member. But what exactly did that mean?
According to its website, Pinterest is an online pinboard where the user can organize and share the things that he or she loves. And, it turns out that the “he’s” of the world are really getting into this new form of social media. The latest numbers show that while women make up the majority of users, men aren’t far behind comprising a hefty 40% of pinners. But the question still begs to be answered – what are people pinning? Anything and everything is the short answer. Imagine a big corkboard. Now, take a few (or fifty!) index cards and write one category on each card. Now, attach those cards to your board. Under your categories, use push pins to post pictures, articles, notes – anything that you want to hang onto. Now, transfer that process to the web, and Pinterest is the end result. Not only can you pin your own photos, but you can also pin content from other websites and from other Pinterest users. What you end up with is an easy to navigate system that holds all of the fascinating tidbits of information that you pick up while surfing the web. When you have a Pinterest account, you can invite others to join your social circle so that they can see, comment and if they choose, “re-pin” your ideas.
So, what exactly are people pinning? Pictures of cars, home improvement ideas, new recipes, clothes, hair styles, furniture they want – pretty much anything. The end result is a highly organized compilation of things that are very important to the account holder. And the best news of all? As of last week, Pinterest decided to do away with their “by invitation only” policy. So, if you don’t already have an account, jump on in and you will be pinning in no time at all!
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