If you are like me, you’ve got a healthy amount of scepticism when it comes to new and emerging ‘tech-trends’. Fly-by-nights and the dot.com explosions have created a culture of ‘join and forget’ – how many times have you joined some ‘amazing’ and ‘popular’ or ‘revolutionary’ thing just to forget about it - or slowly drift away from it (MySpace, anyone?)
I confess I am guilty of this, with an abundance of ‘cool things’. I joined and used (temporarily):
-Superbetter & Mindbloom: Gamified daily activities site, a bit like a diary, that challenges you to confront your fears and stresses.
-Glitch: a free MMO (in Beta) that takes place inside the minds of gods – completely organic and a good example users giving direction to a project (It bills itself as a ‘super metaphorical’ game).
-Still using Bottlenose (a bit): which is an all-in-one social network platform, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and others, I’m sure) all on the same site!
-Reddit: Popular internet ‘popular culture’ hub.
-Canvas (from the creator of 4chan): a bit like Reddit, but image-driven, with image editing tools built in.
I could use more examples, but you see my point – I go through them pretty quickly. This is why, when I heard about Pinterest, I was unimpressed and uninterested – yet another tumblr ‘curation’ site - as if we don’t have enough already.
It kept gaining steam and getting mentioned in headlines, it became something of a ‘movement’, with analysts predicting successes and how it could be used for marketing for financial businesses. “Ridiculous!” I hear you say, “The Finance Industry, using a visual focused social social network?”
Yet, it’s true. It may have been dismissed as a wedding planning tool and a new avenue to look at ‘Instagram’d’ versions of rusty tricycles - and it may no longer feature much in news – but it’s still going strong.
What’s so interesting about Pinterest?
It’s been lauded as one of the best curation sites out there. What is curation, anyway? Wikipedia defines this practice as “the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets” and sharing them, which means (and correct me if you can) that all of these sites are glorified browser bookmarks.
The point of Pinterest is to curate content, yet if you agree with Brian Andreas, content curation is actually far from a community or social experience; it’s actually “incredibly self-centred. Pins of things that I want, pictures of food I ate, tweets about stories I read.”
He said, “Our so called “social” worlds have become flat and one-dimensional, just like the static content we curate on a daily basis. Where’s the collaboration…Being constantly inundated with our social updates tires us out--we’re fatigued and we’re annoyed with each other”.
This is effectively emphasized by an excerpt from the ‘Beginners Guide to Pinterest: “how about sharing your love for the unspeakably, incomprehensibly amazing coffee that can only be found at Ruta Maya coffee in Austin? That is interesting.”
What do you think? Do you have a Pinterest account? Do you find it social and/or useful?