What is so Pinteresting?

// Posted by on 01/19/2012 (11:19 AM)

A website called Pinterest (a combination of the words “pin” and “interest”) was created in 2009 and was listed in Time magazine’s “50 best websites of 2011” in August 2011. (The article can be found here.) I discovered the website after I heard many of my friends rave about how addicting it was. I found it both odd and alarming when my friends told me they often caught themselves wanting to stay home and “pin things” rather than socialize in real life. When I tried to create a Pinterest account I learned that the website required an invitation to join, a feature that I still don’t quite understand. I sent my friend a text message saying “Send me a pinterest invite,” and five minutes later I was pinning and repinning things on the website. For anyone who has never heard of Pinterest, I found a youtube tutorial here:

I had no idea how to categorize Pinterest, so I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that it is “a vision board-styled social photo sharing website.” In my opinion, Pinterest’s popularity is due to its broad description. Wikipedia states, “The mission statement of Pinterest is to connect everyone in the world through shared tastes and the “things” they find interesting.” People can “pin” absolutely anything they want. For example, a 27-year-old woman who I know from my hometown is a newlywed and has a one-year-old daughter. She has boards titled, “DIY Crafts,” “Wedding,” “Kid Things,” and “Recipes.” On the other hand, my 18-year-old sister’s friends have board titles such as “Dream House,” “Fun Quotes,” “Diamonds,” (A board filled with pictures of diamond rings) “Man Candy,” (celebrities and male models) and my personal favorite “Skinny Betch,” (pictures of models, motivational quotes about exercise, and workout outfits) Though it is possible to organize one’s life through pinterest, it is also possible that one’s time may be better spent actually going to the gym rather than pinning about it.
I looked through a few screenshots of Pinterest and found this one to give everyone a better idea of how it looks and how it is organized.

While exploring Pinterest and its reviews, I was reminded of Mark Hanson’s theory that people can both produce and consume material on the Internet. He says, “The explosion of user-generated digital “content” has refocused the function of computational media from storage to production.” In the past, the Internet was used to store information and do tasks that a person may not want to do on their own. Today, websites such as Pinterest allow all members to share inspirational “things” in hopes that others will enjoy them. Photos that link to family recipes, tips on home decorating or ideas for crafts spread the emotional aspect of these activities as they become popular on Pinterest. This spreading of photos and websites that contain real feelings and emotions allow people to share whatever they are feeling with the world. Does this spreading of emotional experiences cheapen the real thing? Would you feel comfortable sharing a family recipe or story on Pinterest that was passed through generations? Could websites such as Pinterest be used in place of social experiences, for example: sharing an interesting magazine article with a friend?

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Allison said...

I find Pinterest particularly fascinating because it has brought people a new sense of “do it yourself”. I have many friends who told me that they made all of their Christmas gifts from things they saw on Pinterest–often times using recycled materials. As a virtual pinboard is Pinterest simply supporting the green movement by moving from paper to virtual? Or is the environmentally undertone of the website just an unintended consequence. What was simply just cool has turned into something with a stronger message. Even the categories you support a healthy, whole body type lifestyle with healthy food recipes, fitness inspiration, and beautiful scenes from around the globe.

// 01/24/2012 at 2:29 pm

Phylicia said...

I am a huge fan of Pinterest. Still, I never took a step back to think about its origins. While reading Turner’s “From Counterculture to Cyberculture,” I realized something: Pinterest may be a descendant of the Whole Earth Catalog and Later Coevolution Quarterly. After all, Pinterest is a sort of catalog just as Whole Earth & CQ were. However, pinterest has a “new” twist– it’s social. It’s a catalog where individuals can learn what’s popular, uncover some unique DIYs and share interests. You couldn’t purchase anything from the Whole Earth Catalog, just as you can’t purchase anything from Pinterest. Instead, both allowed individuals to explore gadgets, ideas and good that could be pertinent in their lives. Many note Pinterest as having a DIY feel, Turner wrote that “CQ brought a do-it yourself feel to the magazine genre” (125). So while Pinterest may be increasing Pinteresting, it is not a completely novel idea. Imagine what an online Whole Earth Catalog with the ability to share and re-pin would have done for a movement which shaped our technological futures.

// 01/24/2012 at 9:27 pm

SEO Link Monster said...

Great article…

Just wanna state that this is extremely helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this….

// 01/25/2012 at 6:54 am

Lorenzo O C. said...

Nice site design! Very clean.

Pinterest is growing rapidly because of the visual appeal. No one in their right mind is going to pin “garbage”

This is strong social proof at work.


// 01/30/2012 at 3:28 pm