Ask me for an invite… Then put a Pin in it

I think my title for this post is clever.  Objectively, it is not really all that great, but writing about something that has a pun for a name has a goofy effect on my brain that makes me think I can come up with witty puns as well.  For those not online in the last month, I’m talking about Pinterest, a site that has actually been around since Spring of 2010 but that has especially exploded this past summer/fall.  {still no idea what I’m talking about?  go HERE for the quick run down.}  I am a little late to the party, as I have  only used Pinterest for less than two weeks.  In those two weeks, however, t is already 200x’s cooler, more entertaining, and (sort of) more useful than Google+.  Who came up with this idea anyway?  Props to them.

[More stats on Pinterest’s growth HERE… They have now surpassed the 4 mil. mark, and you can see the impressive site analytics HERE ]

WHY PINTEREST WORKS:

1.  You Want To Look At This – Many internet users are very visually oriented people. Pinterest is a visually driven site.  In other words, Pinterest is working because it’s pretty.  It has an attractive, clean, and consistent layout, and in that layout are thousands and thousands of pretty pictures of [mostly] cool things/places/people/etc.  People are drawn to this.
2.  Clean Layout Continued – As of right now, there aren’t any ads.  Obviously, I can’t see this lasting, but it makes the site that much more attractive in its infancy.
3.  Simple Functionality – There’s five basic button you’ll see when scrolling through pins.  Repin, Like, Comment, Scroll to Top, and “X” New Pins (new pins that have loaded since you started scrolling).  It’s SO easy to use.  Intuitive design. Love it.
4.  Instant Interaction – Thanks to the top three reasons, Pinterest makes it easy for a user to interact.  It takes a second the repin, comment, make your own board, etc.  And, as of now, it’s completely open so you don’t wait for permission from other pinners to repin, comment, or follow [once you’re a member].  You just do it. Bam. Instant interaction.

POSSIBLE DOWNSIDES:

1.  Pin Overload – Because the whole site is so fast and easy, it could be possible to create boards, repin, pin, comment, and like with reckless abandon.  The more pins you have, the less the individual pins probably mean to you.  I’m sure there’s a point of diminishing returns here.
2.  Insestous Pinning – The easiest function on the whole site is “repin” (IMHO).  While this is great, it almost discourages the creation of original content in favor of simply circulating stuff that’s already there.  Potential laziness builder/creativity killer.  {This is the Study-er of Communication Theory side of Alissa Jean coming out…}
3.  Limited Subjects/Demographics –  Based on my initial research, you are most likely to LOVE Pinterest if you have an interest in Fashion, Food, Quotes, Design (mostly of the interior variety), and crafts/DIY projects.  Just so happens that the majority of people who love these things are women. Go figure.  I am curious how these trends will continue to play out – there’s no reason that Pinterest users couldn’t have boards for any number of topics that interest them, this is simply the direction that Pinterest and the initial surge of users have moved in.

{Isn’t that part of the beauty of the internet?  How new pieces of it almost take on their own life and grow and change depending on how people use them?  It’s a whole new type of “social change”…}

Here’s the deal, you currently need an invite to participate, similar to how Google+ started.  You can view pins without being a member, but just looking removes the whole interactive element of the site, which is one of it’s greatest strengths.  So you have two options, request an invite on the site itself and wait a couple weeks, or request an invite from me and I should be able to send you one straight away.  {I originally requested one from the site before I even fully understood what the site was, and that worked out fine for me.  After reading this post, however, I’m guessing you’ll want to start pinning ASAP  – thus the offer to send invites 😉  Plus it makes me feel like a super special party host. ha.}

If nothing else, I think this site will do wonders for the phrase “put a pin in it”.  As in, that is now a positive thing.

Always, Alissa Jean  

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