How I Fell In Love With Pinterest (and Why You Should Too)
Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1
(I am giving a talk about my use of Pinterest today – 2 PM Friday, July 18, 2014 at SAE Institute Nashville, 7 Music Circle N.)
In early January 2012, while teaching my Music & Social Media II class, I stumbled upon a new social media company/site/service called, “Pinterest.” Because, like Kip Dynamite, I love technology (and social media) and always jump into all things iPad, iPhone, iPod, and SM (social media).
I decided, as usual, that the best thing to do would be to discover and delve into this new social media company quickly, recklessly and this time in front of my students. I would visit the site, register at the site, explore, react, learn Pinterest’s features, organization, layout, capabilities, limits, make decisions and more in front of my students. We would be learning it at the same time – bring on the unexpected and unplanned – raise the entropy! A truly I’m gonna wave my entropy freak flag high, high (to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix) series of moments.
It is worth noting that the class consisted of 17 students – 15 males and 2 females – because what we encountered on Pinterest that afternoon were items heavily geared towards women. It was as if we had left the classroom and been transported to the most upscale women’s fashion retail store on 5th Avenue. The 15 males and I did not belong in this cyber uber upscale Pinterest Parlor.
We learned that Pinterest consists of “boards” – electronic rectangles that were filled with “pins” of photographs “pinned” by users. Below each pinned photo is space for text and in order to post a pin, one must add text.
I was shocked that for the first time I was confronted by a technology that screamed, “FEMALE.” I saw Boards named, “Things For My Wedding,” “It’s Wedding Season,” “Shoes,” “My Style,” “Things I’ve Crocheted,” “Yummy Delicious,” “For The Home,” “Hair/Beauty,” “Heavenly Heels,” “Bikini Season Inspiration,” “My Future Hunk Husband” and more. I always thought of technology as gender-neutral until the Dawn of My Age of Pinterest.
Yikes, I thought. Failing some unexpected trauma, falling in love with Pinterest will likely not happen anytime soon.
And for my class of 15 males and 2 females, the immediate challenge was to see if the 15 guys could transition from…
being appalled and horrified at shoes and weddings
a neutral acceptance of Pinterest
creating a board or two
becoming passionate pinners.
I think our efforts were successful – the women in the class were already there (way beyond acceptance as they were already at Level Giddy) and the guys went from mild acceptance to “Let’s Find Pictures of BACON!”
As for me….
I went at it with different thoughts in mind.
I knew that I didn’t want to see anymore handbags, lovely women’s legs (like at the top of this post), shoes with or without legs, chocolate, recipes, dream dates or furniture for the baby’s room. So I was left with these thoughts –
I do not normally approach creativity by envisioning a visual image or photograph but now I would be forced to do that. My instinct and bias was to find a photo that served my thoughts which is mostly the opposite of how Pinterest seemed to have been designed and/or evolved – I wanted to have ideas to express which would be followed by a photograph which would be followed by text.
Here is how I did Pinterest for the first time. For me, visual would come SECOND and AFTER the idea):
1. Learn to create a “Pinterest Board.”
2. Name the Pinterest board. The first board I created was, not surprisingly, “Music.”
3. Select the overall category of the Pinterest board from a menu of thirty-two (32) options that begins with “Animals,” “Architecture,” “Art” and includes “DIY,” “Education,” “Film, Music & Books,” and concludes with “Weddings,” Women’s Fashion” and “Other.” (I’ve forgotten about this “Category” section – perhaps I’ll revisit how I have categorized my boards soon. I am certain that I won’t use “Celebrities,” Cars & Motorcycles,” “Men’s Fashion” or “Tattoos” categories anytime soon.)
4. Learn how to “pin” onto a Pinterest board.
5. Determine/choose what I am thinking and want to express. Can it be expressed in words? Will I be able to find a photo that –
not at all
is at odds with or parodies and/or satirizes
with/to my thoughts to express?
6. Find a photo.
7. “Pin” the photo to the board.
8. Write text under the pin, i.e., the photo that was just pinned.
9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 to add to the board. When the NEXT BIG IDEA comes along, create and name a new Board and repeat steps 3 and 5 through 8.
10. Another option is the reverse of the above – find a photo, categorize the board destination of the photo, pin that photo and add text. Surprisingly, Pinterest has had a strong influence on me in this way. I see therefore I am inspired. Many times the visual will trigger my next thoughts.
As I recall, the class and I left our modest, maiden little Pinterest adventure after a few minutes and covered the course material scheduled for that day. We decided that we should do Pinterest over the weekend and then see where this new technology had lead us by the following week, as well as throughout the semester.
My first idea was to start with stuff I love that had had important meaning in my life. What were the most influential and inspirational ideas? MUSIC and several styles of music. My first board would therefore unsurprisingly be called –
and my first pins would include the most important and most important musical influences in my life:
a thick E Major 13 chord (although many other thick chords on “E” or other pitches would have worked too, I like big chords and I cannot lie…)
and than many more (as of this minute, there are 131 pins on my Music board). (Pinterest boards are built from the bottom up. As of July 2014, that seems to still be the case. One can rearrange boards but one cannot rearrange the pins within a board – they maintain their order of origin.)
In my next post, I will delve further into Pinterest and Pinterest as a brand for the user, Pinterest as a cloud and pinning as Cloud Branding.
(Music of Kip Dynamite and Jimi Hendrix.)