Months and months ago, Eustacia would say things like, "I saw that on Pinterest," or "I want to make the things I found on Pinterest." I had no idea what she was talking about, and when she described this new website she was spending time with, I couldn't picture it. And honestly, I didn't want to. I didn't think I had room in my day or in my head for another website to check in with every day.
But I finally gave in. I was afraid it would become an obsession, a thing to glue me to my chair as I scrolled the endless posting of photographs. At first I would pop in hoping for an interesting recipe, and two hours later, I would find I hadn't blinked for too long, and my jaw had gone slack. I've managed to be disciplined about how I use Pinterest, though, and only stop on the postings that I find particularly interesting.
I discovered something yesterday that I hope does not become a trend, because I think it would completely alter the site and ruin it. Because Pinterest has become so popular, it has caught the attention of businesses, and they are slowly stepping in. And why wouldn't they? Imagine the impact if you could get a few pinners to post photos of your product, and then others would repin the image and so on and so on until it's practically gone viral. You'd be foolish if you didn't take advantage of this new social site, and why not sweeten the pot by offering free things?
H&M and Starbucks, for example, are offering gift cards, and the icons they offer for pinning are sizable. When enough people pin them, the Pinterest home page can look like an ad page, one big homogeneous ad page with no personal interjection from the millions of users who normally post more personal images. We'll all have to keep an eye on that.
In the mean time, here is my Pinterest column written for today's edition of Small Town Newspaper.