Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Interest in Pinterest

I have to admit Pinterest was one social media trend I was slow to pick up. I first noticed various female friends and family members using it -- which is not surprising, as its user base skews heavily female. But it's not exclusively female, so I'm giving it a try.

The concept is simple enough -- find an image you like online, and pin it to one of your boards. The use of boards helps organize your images by theme. And, just as with other social media sites, folks can follow you (and you can follow them) to see what others are doing. Like an image? Repin it to one of your own boards, or leave a comment.

Because of the visual nature of Pinterest, and it's user base make up, I decided to try my hand at creating some boards that would both be appropriate for the site, and also that would be of interest to others (as well as myself).

It's been fun and easy to do, but I end up doing a lot of self-editing. Once I've selected the topic for a board, I'm careful to make sure every image directly relates to that topic.

For example: one of my boards is labeled "Unusual Vintage Toys." The idea is to share images of older toys that are either oddball in what they are or depict, or would never pass today's child safety standards. So a cast iron tractor from the 1930's makes the list (old and dangerous), but a modern metal toy tractor wouldn't (not vintage). Mattel's "Mystery Date" game is pinned -- but only the original 1960's version, not the reissues or collector's versions (which might still be odd, but not vintage).

My other two boards feature vintage print. One is a gallery of some over-the-top magazine covers from 1930's pulp magazines. There's lot to choose from, but I'm skipping the whole pulp horror genre. These questionable publications moved from just damsel-in-distress to women being menaced with torture and mutilation. You might find these covers reproduced online -- but not on my Pinterest board. Ditto with ones that accentuate racial stereotypes. I run a clean board here!

Yes, the book's a classic. But this one's a little
too racy for my board.
I have a third board with vintage paperback covers from the 60's. The best really capture the Mad Men flavor of the times. The idea is to collect images that depict what artists thought at the time was high fashion. Again, I keep the content focused. So no covers of historical novels with people in 18th century costumes, for example -- modern dress only. And although the bulk of the covers feature women, I'm not pinning anything that shows women dishabille (like the cover at left).

It seems to me that this curation is part of what Pinterest is about. And why one would follow (or not follow) a particular pinner. If my boards keep within the limits of taste that I've set, then over time folks will be more confident about following them.

And building that trust is part of the fun -- and the challenge for me as I look for content to pin to my boards.

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