Why Is Everyone So Obsessed With Pinterest?

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
March 1 2012 12:59 PM

Trying Really Hard To Like Pinterest

A power-pinner tries to convince a skeptic to start using the visual social network.

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Jess: That certainly makes sense (though I had no idea what Carrera marble was before we began this chat). But I’m confused by something else. In the United States, Pinterest users are mostly women whose interests are crafts, décor, and fashion. But I was intrigued to discover that in the U.K., the majority of Pinterest users are dudes, and their interests don’t really seem visual—according to the website AG Beat, British male users are into “venture capital, public relations, Web stats, SEO, and marketing.” How do you even use Pinterest to display those obsessions?

Holly:
If you’re pinning graphs, charts, or reports it makes sense. Also, there is opportunity for discussion, feedback, and input there. You can have a conversation recorded right there on your pin.

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Jess: Some of our co-workers who shall-not-be-named are uncomfortable with the fact that all pins are public. What if you want to use Pinterest to collect images of cupcakes/wedding dresses/fetish whips but you don’t want the universe to think you’re incurably girly/marriage-obsessed/into kinky sex stuff? How do you get around that?

Holly:
Yeah, you can’t. All of Pinterest is public facing. If you really wanted to pin girly/wedding/kinky stuff and didn’t want to claim it as your own, I’d suggest getting a little sneaky and titling your pin board something like “Research for Work”—then nobody would suspect a thing. I sometimes “hide” gifts I’m thinking of getting people that way—pin it for later so I don’t forget. See that arrow? It’s pointing to a laser-cut robot clock—a hidden gift I later bought for my sons.

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Jess: OK, you’ve convinced me I should put more time into this Pinterest project. But I’m not currently redesigning anything or looking for a specific item of clothing or trying to collect ideas for a specific project. My only Pinterest obsession so far has been Ann Romney’s mesmerizing, granola-filled pin page. What’s a good way for a beginner like me to start using the site?

Holly:
I’d start simply with a pin board called “Things I Like” or something like that. Start pinning things that you want—ballet flats or a piece of art or a new book or duvet cover or puppy. At the very least, making a wish list with a trail of breadcrumbs back to the source will make it really easy for your hubby to buy your next birthday present.

Jess:
Corgi-husky hybrid, you will be mine!