Why Pinterest? Because it makes me smile

6 Apr

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been watching the excitement and then naysayers cycle around the rise of Pinterest. The same argument we saw in the early days of Twitter about no clear revenue streams strikes a familiar chord, but users continue to flock. And where there are users and eyeballs, there is always money to be made.

For those of you unfamiliar with the site, Pinterest is an online pinboard website where users can pin images found on the web of things that interest them to board they create around any theme they want. It’s also a social site where you connect with others and “like” what they pin and even “repin” their images to your own boards and/or comment. It’s extremely simple. And yet can be quite addicting.

And I’m not alone. The chart below shows the growth of unique visitors to the site in the US. Nearly 20 million in January and, on average, those visitors spent a whopping 89 minutes on the site. That’s pretty impressive for a site few had even heard of 3 months ago.

I have to admit, I joined Pinterest to see what all the fuss was about and started exploring –creating boards, pinning, commenting, sharing –because that’s how I find I learn about social technologies best. I I learn by using them.

I’ve seen friends, colleagues, journalists and brands pop up and have been interested in seeing how others use the platform –both personally and professionally. Most of the men I know have said “don’t get it”, which makes sense I suppose given the user population which is skewed so heavily towards female users.

I tend to most of my Pinning late in the evenings though occasionally I’ll pop on it during the day. Without any real “strategy” other than creating boards for things that interest or inspire me, I find myself today with 20 boards and nearly 600 pins.

From my “Fashion Icons” board which gives me ideas for clothes and make-up to my “Photography” board which, as I’m sure you can guess, is full of beautiful photos to my “Hostess with the Mostess” board which is full of great party ideas. From my “Loft Aspirations” board which is busting at the seams with wonderful home decorating ideas to my “Fantastical Foodie” board with recipes I’d like to try and my “Travel Adventures” board where I’ve posted images of places I’d love to one day visit.

But my board that answers the question “why Pinterest?” most perfectly is my “Things That Make Me Smile” board. A hodge-podge of images that don’t neatly fit in a particular category, but are inspiring or joyful to me in some way.

Because in the end that is why I Pinterest. I Pin because the beautiful and interesting and inspiring images shared on Pinterest make me smile. They brighten up my day. They inspire me. They make me see things differently. They spark new ideas. They capture my imagination. They give me break from the chaos and ugliness life can sometimes throw my way. And at the same time, the site provides me with a new and interesting way to connect online with friends –and make new ones –through a set of shared interests, which is at the very heart of “social”.

Why do YOU Pinterest? –OR — Why don’t you?

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