Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Online Gallery (Pinterest)

Yet Another Coronado Sunset
By now, you likely have heard of Pinterest -- the online community for organizing and sharing, well, just about everything one can find on the Web as long as there is an image (or Video) to share!  Pinterest aims to connect everyone in the world through things we (you and me that is) find interesting.  That is a BIG goal.

Famous people who are pinning include Barack Obama (while his campaign is pinning for him -- you don't really think the leader of the free world has time to pin do you?).  Nicholas Kristoff was pinning for a while but his Boards seem to have disappeared.  Perhaps he got a little antsy about the copyright ownership polices (which are better  than they were).   Like Facebook, there are a lot of "fake" famous people (e.g., Lady Gaga and Britney Spears each have multiple boards).  Artists are using it to share their work and marketers are busy figuring out how they can tap into all those eyes out there.  At the end of the day, we are all just one vast untapped market when it comes to monetizing social networking sites -- it's the billion dollar question according to the bloggers over at The Harvard Business Review).  Pinterest is also the third biggest social networking site on the Web.  That's pretty fast growth for a company that was founded in 2010.  

Cedar in the Raw
Not so long ago, I started "pinning" to see what it was all about.  Like most things social media, it started out of curiosity in relationship to my work.  Was Pinterest another venue for getting information (of which we possess tons) to people who might need it.  Jury is still out on that -- and I don't think all those marketers have really figured out how to crack the Pinterest nut quite yet.  They'll probably figure that out when Pinterest figures out how to monetize us, its users.  

Pinterest presents itself as a really cool tool for organizing things.  I have a friend who uses it to organize images for talks that she is going to give, other friends have used it for weddings and to organize recipes, and still others (me included) use it to keep track of where we've been and (more importantly) where we might want to go.  My friend Susan Reed pins her own (most gorgeous) art to one of her boards.  My boards are an eclectic mix.  Some are poorly tended (Interesting Jobs) while others are watered almost every day (Sensible Shoes).  Sometimes I write something that uses up all 445 characters that I have and other times I don't have much to say at all.  Two boards where I always have something to say are Fictional Characters Worth Knowing and People to Meet/What I'd Ask (example, George Clooney, will you be my +1 for your dinner with Barack? [among other thing I would say to George]).
Screensaver Mosaic
Pinterest as gallery?  This past weekend, I had the pleasure of perusing the art collections of Gertrude Stein, her brothers, and her sister-in-law Sarah (who burned all of her voluminous correspondence with Matisse rather than have it be misinterpreted by others).  The exhibition, The Steins Collect:  Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, is in the waning days of its time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I liked it -- it reminded me of what I haven't done (read any Gertrude Stein for one) and that there are pieces by Picasso that I do like (generally from his blue period) and it reminded me of what I don't do enough of (go to museums).  Scattered throughout the exhibition are old photos of the collection as it was displayed in the Steins' homes.  Those Parisian apartments and ateliers were where the Steins hosted salons that brought together artists, their friends, and collectors.  It sounds like quite a heady and appealing lifestyle if you ask me!  I haven't had a chance to figure out what the name of the board would be where I could pin the exhibition description from the Met (maybe "nothing but art") but trust me there will be a board where this belongs.  

Wide Angle Perspective
Which brings me to the title of this piece:  My Online Gallery (Pinterest).  In a nutshell, I see Pinterest as the modern day equivalent of the Steins' various ateliers -- only bigger because instead of a small family of expat Americans, there are, hmm, well, it's a little hard to get at that number.   According to an article in USA Today, there were some 8.3 million Facebook connected Pinterest users at the end of April (representing a decline in its user base).  We are not all alike (although the majority of us are women) and we clearly have a bunch of different interests -- just troll the pins to see what I mean.  Some of us spend a lot of time pinning and others pin when we have an odd moment.  Like the Steins, each of us pinners is building a collection of things that we like or, in some cases, love.  I like that about Pinterest.  I like that a lot.  I may not be a power user but I think I'll be using this nifty little app for a while.    

Happy Pinning!


  1. I think I need to give Pinterest a try!

  2. Now, I finally understand Pinterest, I think:).