I learned a long time ago that digital entrepreneurs don’t succeed by developing tools I understand immediately. So I wasn’t worried last summer when I first created a Pinterest account but couldn’t figure out why I would use it.
If it was going to become an important social tool, I’d learn by watching how smarter people used it. And I am.
I knew something was happening with Pinterest late last year when people in my social networks (and some people I’d never heard of) started following my pinboards (which at the time meant they were following nothing). I started seeing some Pinterest chatter on social media and in blogs.
Adam Burnham, senior vice president for local digital sales at Digital First Media, asked me early this year what I knew about Pinterest. I told him I didn’t know much but had noticed the growing use of it and chatter about it. A Google search found some articles that gave me some quick background.
If you haven’t been prompted yet to figure out Pinterest, here’s a quick explanation: It’s kind of a social media scrapbook of online images. When a photo or other image on the Internet catches your eye, you “pin” the image, saving it (with a link and whatever text you add) to a “pinboard” of related images.
An interesting factor in Pinterest use I noticed in reading about it was that women were using it more than men by about a 4-to-1 margin. I queried and checked out some colleagues about their Pinterest use and saw a similar gender gap. The most active users were female colleagues: Buffy Andrews, Mandy Jenkins, Cheryl Sadler, Lisa Jonaitis, Maryanne MacLeod, Helen Bennett and Jen Westpfahl. (Ivan Lajara was the outlier, a guy who’s using Pinterest actively and well. Daniel Finney, a friend at the Des Moines Register, is another outlier.) (more…)