It’s been a long time since I’ve done a “featured website” post, so here goes. 🙂
Pinterest is a fun little site that gained a lot of popularity and users very fast. Some people say that it will become the next Facebook, but I don’t think it will, mostly because the two websites’ interfaces are very different. Pinterest allows you to create “pinboards” where you store pictures of things you like, or things that interest you. Those pictures (sometimes they’re links to other websites) are called “pins.” So on Pinterest, you can have five pinboards: dogs, cats, restaurants, babies, and books. You pin your favorite dog pictures to the “dogs” pinboard, your favorite books to the “books” pinboard, etc. You can “pin” images and links from all over the web, describe them, and share them with friends. You can also “follow” other people’s pinboards, as with any other social networking site.
Pinterest is a cute site, but it’s not my favorite. I prefer Tumblr, which is a similar interface, only instead of “pinning,” the term is “reblogging” and I would say that Tumblr contains more original user-uploaded content than Pinterest. (It’s also easier to post different types of media, like videos and IM chats, on Tumblr.) Yet, what I like about Pinterest is that its “pinboards” allow for better organization of “pins”; Tumblr (like other blog sites) has tags under which you can file your posts, but the tagging approach is not as user-friendly to me.
Also, the vast majority of Pinterest users are female; the most common types of pinboards on the site are dedicated to female-oriented topics like babies, weddings, cooking, housekeeping, clothes, jewelry, etc. There have been quite a few web developers out there who’ve been working on sites similar to Pinterest, but that feature more masculine-oriented content like cars, bodybuilding, video games, etc.
As with many social media sites, Pinterest definitely has the addictive factor down pat. Many users have over twenty pinboards with hundreds upon hundreds of pins on each. In a way, it’s a more attractive version of a bookmarking site. A lot of people use Pinterest to bookmark recipes they’d like to try, books they want to read, ideas for weddings, how-to guides, etc. So of course, the site has its uses, but as for the addiction factor… I suppose that depends on how many of your friends have a Pinterest account as well.
Pinterest is good for writers: it gives you a good spot to store and organize pictures of potential characters, settings, etc. Here are two articles about using Pinterest if you happen to be the writerly type: