I don’t get obsessed about too many things, but I have definitely found my new obsession – along with everyone else in this office – Pinterest. Have you heard of it yet? If not, I am sure it is going to come up in conversation soon. We cannot stop talking about it around here – from a personal perspective AND from a business & client perspective. If you have a few hours on your hands, just start looking through the site. Trust me – if you have even one creative bone in your body – you will need the hours to start sifting through all the fabulousness that is Pinterest! If you thought Facebook and Twitter were time-sucks, be prepared to have those thoughts trumped.
Pinterest is basically a site where you get to create your own pinboards (or mood boards/inspiration boards, as I like to refer to them) with images from basically anywhere on the internet. You can make as many or as few mood boards as you would like and you can name and categorize them however you want. When you register your free account on Pinterest, you get a bookmarklet to drag in to your bookmark bar of your web browser. What this allows you to do is “pin” any image on any website that you see and want to add to one of your mood boards.
Over the years, being in this business and constantly researching and searching the internet, I have accumulated so many bookmarks in my browsers, that most of them don’t even make sense for me to have anymore. And many, many of these bookmarks were there because I saw a fabulous image and wanted to save it. Instead of dragging it to my desktop and taking up room on my hard drive, I would just bookmark it – and never go back and look at it again. NOW, with Pinterest, that method of collecting and organizing images is getting thrown out the back door! NOW, no matter where I am searching on the internet, if I see something I like, I just click my PIN bookmarklet and POOF it is saved to my mood boards. It is awesome – and it get’s even better…
On top of just being able to see what I am pinning, I can see what other people have found interesting while scouring the web and I can REPIN what they already pinned! Yes! It is another form of the social media world that we are completely engrossed in. I can “follow” mood boards of other people too and they can follow me back. Brilliant!
One of the really unique things, in my opinion, that Pinterest did a great job of incorporating in to their site, is what one journalist called the innovative use of “beyond the domain” user experience. What this refers to are these two experiences:
I see an image on Pinterest that I love, that someone else has already pinned. I click on it and it takes me to it’s own page. (This is similar to if you were on an e-commerce site and saw a product you liked. When you click on it, it takes you to an individual product page.) When I get to the image’s “product” page, if I click on the image again, it takes me directly to the original source of the image. Yep – it does.
Here is an example for you: You are on Pinterest and find an image of a pair of shoes that you love. You click on it and it takes you to the website where the image was pinned from – and then you purchase them – because it was so simple and you don’t even have to search for them. Impulsive buying/shopping at its finest. Genius.
I am doing my daily rounds of the blogs that I try and keep up with. On one of the blogs, I find a picture of some amazing typography work that I want to remember for inspiration. All I have to do is click my PIN IT bookmarklet and a window will pop up. It will then allow me to choose which mood board I want the image pinned to and I can leave a comment about it as well.
Do you see how these two experiences are taking you “beyond the domain”? Pinterest is saying “we want you to add content to our site from wherever is convenient for you.” Nothing is on Pinterest – yet everything is. It is taking things to a totally new level in the social online world.
Currently, I have 24 mood boards and over 300 individual pins to those boards. I have a board called “Louboutins” that is being filled up with amazing photos of some of my dream shoes. I have another board I call “Face Forward”. This board has various images of faces that have been made up with amazing makeup that I want to keep for personal inspiration. Another one I have termed “You Could Find Me Here” and the images are a collection of various places I envision finding myself when I have nothing else to do but sit and think or read or relax. There is one called “Design To Die For” that holds some brilliant designs from others around the world and even one I call “Girls Rule Boys Drool” (click through to see what it all about).
So the big question now for me and my team is how can we make this work for some of the brands we manage? How can we use this amazing site and turn it into another tool for us and our clients to increase brand recognition, increase brand awareness and increase sales? Trust me – we are thinking about it. Thinking really hard. What do you think? Is there something here for a business? What about for you personally? Will you use something like this to collect your interests and share them with the world?
(Note: You have to receive an invite to be a part of Pinterest right now, but it doesn’t seem like that is holding too many people at bay. Plus, I think the invites are going to disappear soon and it will be open to anyone who wants to join. They just launched a free iPhone app this week to go along with the website.)