May 11, 2012
Readers, I know I'm sort of old, but can someone please explain Pinterest to me?
What's the difference between looking through countless photos that strangers have "pinned" off sites like Google Images and just looking through Google Images and "pinning" them from there yourself? I get that it's sort of a bulletin board you can share with others, but I'm wondering why I would want to share my images with others. Generally when I see a photo online -- say, a vintage pattern on Etsy that makes me chuckle -- I'll copy it to my desktop and there it will remain until I delete it or upload it to a Picasa file (if I want to be able to repost it on MPB).
It's not that I'm against the idea of this pinning thing, I truly don't understand the purpose.
Then there's the fact that when I first read about Pinterest I requested an invite, received it, was flummoxed by the instructions to sign up via Facebook or Twitter, somehow lost the invite, and subsequently made multiple invite requests over the following year or so, all of which were ignored. I tried again the other day and this time received an email saying, and I quote:
Thanks for requesting an invite. We'll be sure to send one soon.
Soon? I'm sorry, this is 2012; nothing has to be done soon. What, do they have to check my references?
So while I sit on the waiting list like this was Harvard or something (Will I receive a thick email or a thin email?!), I'm wondering what I'm going to do with the thing. Actually, I made a funny discovery yesterday: there's already a whole Male Pattern Boldness on Pinterest page -- and I can't even join! A number of readers have cut and pasted images they've seen here (totally fine with me, btw) and posted them on their Pinterest page. Then other people like it (not too many of those, sigh) or comment on it, or repin it.
There's something very teenage-bedroom-wall about the whole thing if you ask me.
I have nothing against self-expression and I was a teenager with a wall once too. Today, I just have a desktop and lots of files in a folder labeled Sewing, with a zillion sub-folders I look through now and then, plus countless Picasa files... OK, maybe there's something to Pinterest after all.
The problem is that, like Facebook, it's fun when it's new and a few people are on it, but when everyone's on it, liking this and liking that -- everything from MPB to 7-Eleven -- and announcing it to the world, it gets old very fast.
The reason these sites are free is because our eyes are being sold to advertisers, right? I guess you could say the same about blogs though I'm not sure how that works, do you?
Friends, are you active on Pinterest? If so, how do you use it? Do you consider it mindless entertainment for when you don't feel like thinking -- on par with Colorforms, jigsaw puzzles, adult webcams, and needlepoint -- or do you find it valuable in other ways?
If you have a blog, do you think it's just that much more virtual noise -- lots of chatter but not much substance (a la Twitter) and ultimately another chore to maintain regularly -- or has it helped you get the word out?
Should I want to be accepted by Pinterest -- yes or no?
Happy Friday, everybody!