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Pinterest: Another Example of Web Content Sharing Trends

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bottomupmind.com H3'ed 7/30/12
Recently I have been dabbling with the site known as pinterest.com. This site's concept is creating a digital pin up board with unlimited space. Like pin up boards in reality, users pin pictures and other content on the board for other users to see. However, because pinterest is a digital board, users can also pin videos. It truly does feature unlimited space because as the user scrolls down the page, the board continues to update more pins. Through this online content sharing, pinterest follows the common relevant trends of other social media and networking sites such as facebook and google +. sharing various forms of content online is a primary internet activity in the digital age.

Users can sign up, make a profile, and then begin to start pinning up content. There really isn't that much to the design or initial setup because the site is very user friendly. The site functions almost like that of a stripped down facebook or google+ in that the essential content sharing aspect is identical, yet the amount of things to do on the site is more limited. The user can find their friends from other social media sites and see the content that they are pinning up. Similar to that of stumbleupon and youtube, pinterest offers users the ability to leave comments and like and comment on the content they view on the digital board. They can also chose to re-pin something so that it is shared again. This sharing scheme is also similar to hash tagging to promote content in other places online. The site also runs on a interest and category list like that of stumbleupon that determines the type of content that will be visible on the board. The user can pick topics such as sports, cooking, entertainment, etc.

Other common site conventions include a simple search bar to locate specific desired content. Apart from the search bar, the site features four essential buttons to categorize what the user views on the board and more or less navigate the main content of the site. The categories button leads to the alphabetized list of categories that the user can click through and then the board shifts the content to fit what the user selects. The next button is the everything button. When the user clicks this, the board shifts to show literally everything from all the categories in the pins so that the user can see a broad overview of the content represented. The next button is the popular button which organizes the pins that are trending across the internet such as pins that have been re-pinned and shared multiple times. Under each pin, the number of re-pins, likes, and comments is stated much like that of facebook. The last button is the gifts button where the pins display various pictures with information regarding all kinds of gifts online. The gifts are organized by price range. This aspect of the site functions like that of digital window shopping, a concept made popular through sites such as ebay or amazon. Users can also like and comment on these gifts and share the pins with their friends.

The site does have a simple and yet interesting concept. In my Introduction to Media Technology course at Temple, I learned that some of the first examples of social media were through bulletin boards that networked people with similar interests together. The first example being fans of the popular band The Grateful Dead. This website took an old way of social networking and digitized it, to make it relevant to the common trends on the internet. It wasn't so long ago that people had no internet or social networking outside physical methods such as actual bulletin boards. While facebook took the concept of socializing in college and put it online, pinterest took a specific concept that is commonplace is college campuses and put that online. Most populated areas such as city centers and college campuses utilize a bulletin board system to promote events and provide information. It makes sense to take this idea and adapt it to be an online activity with more content to view.

This site provides a simple service that just seems to be following the trends of the many other social networking sites I have been reviewing. It is quite evident that social networking follows a specific formula to be easy to use, fun and exciting to keep the user coming back, and most of all keeps users on it for long periods of time. Pinterest is simply another site to follow friends and other users, discuss various things, and above all consume time. While other sites offer more content and more things to do on them, this site strives for simplicity. Overall, it is still very impressive. I would not say that it is as practical to use as some of the other sites with more things to do. However, if a user simply wants yet another site to consume time traversing through pictures and videos with friends, then pinterest is just another good one to add to the list.

 

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bottomupmind.com

My name is Justin Roden and I am Junior in the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University. My Major is Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media with a focus in Emerging media studies.

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