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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Well that's [P]interesting

After years of avoiding and turning up my nose at the very thought of establishing a Twitter presence, Hell froze over the weekend and now I am one social network medium richer(?). To paraphrase Thomas Wheatley of Atanta Creative Loafing fame: I now have one more thing to water. 

Luckily, most of them are well integrated to each other so if something happens in one you should see it syndicated to at least one of the other outlets. I’m lazy like that.

This is what it's like to be on Pinterest. Really.
The thing that I am most excited about this week, however, is PinterestAs I struggle to find material for this blog, Pinterest has become a real boon of ideas for me.

The concept behind Pinterest, is that if you find something online—say a bread recipe or a scurf—you can "pin it" to any of the "boards" you've created. It's kind of like bookmarking except your pins and likes are shared publicly and your followers can see the things that interest you.

In the coming weeks, I will be cleaning up my boards as well as trying out some of the recipes and DIY arts and crafts projects that I've pinned. I want to feature my adventures in Pinteresting here at Wibbly-Wobbly at least once a month. I will also be taking project request in the near future, so stay tuned. I hear that there is a way I can make this into a contest on Pinterest.. 

Oh yeah! You can follow my Pinterest page here, by the way.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, then you’ve been sleeping under a rock, my friend. It's the new internet addiction. Human resource managers the world over felt a great disturbance in the Force with this one, as if millions of productive man-hours suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. That’s how addictive this thing is. Although the site continues to be an invite-only open beta, this social bookmarking site has become a internet start-up darling, not just to the individual users and investors, but also for brands such as Whole Foods and the U.S. Army.  It has been dubbed a game changer by many for the way it has driven traffic to online retailer sites

Pinterest has even experienced "scandals" already, the first of which involves how Pinterest makes money by adding tracking codes to certain "pins" associated with e-commerce sites who have signed up with affiliate programs. As this article by Josh Davis on explains, it's not that Pinterest does it that makes this issue ripe for commentary. In fact, Mr. Davis considers Pinterest's early ventures into revenue production to be unique and mold-breaking. The issue here is that the folks at this Palo Alto start-up decided to do it so quietly and surreptitiously that it draws observers to question whether or not privacy rights are being violated or if this practice stifles smaller brands who struggle to compete with those able to hire affiliate services. Mr. Davis argues that a disclosure regarding this not uncommon practice is needed. [1][2]

The other issue at hand is the classic pornography verse art debate. Although Pinterest's terms of service explicitly forbids pornography, it does make an exception for works of art. But where do we draw the line? Is a professional photographer guilty of violating these terms if she creates a board full of boudoir images from which to draw inspiration? How about that pin of a beautiful tattoo on a scantily clad vixen? Is that objectionable? Is it fair that Kate Moss's nipples in a professionally published advert is considered pornographic while shirtless pictures of Ryan Gossling, Channing Tatam and others are fair game? To be fair, despite its popularity among both sexes, Pinterest continues to be a female dominated site, most of whom are stay at home moms. To be trollish: Come on, Pinterest! Set up a (better) filtering system already!"

Recently, new questions about copyright laws and infringement have arisen regarding Pinterest and a "NoPin" script has been developed to allow websites to block Pinterest users from using images without permission.[3] Only time will tell where this all will lead, I suppose. But as brands, non-profits, and bloggers find new ways to integrate Pinterest into their web presence, this site will only become even more ubiquitous than it already is.

If you want to learn more about this new social media sensation checkout these articles and infographics from  the guys and gals at over Mashable. Or. Try it out for your self.