Pinterest: Or, More Reasons For My Obsolescence (Part 1 of N)

Pin me! The Pinterest Logo

Pin me! The Pinterest Logo

Last night I was introduced to Pinterest – think primarily visual, media rich content, like Tumblr, only more spare and better networked.

I promptly got into it. Even have my own boards up already. Okay, so they’re a touch scattered, and not nearly as “curated” as some of the others (more about that word in a bit). But still, solo parenting as I am for a few days, this was not the smartest move. I really should have gone right to bed at a decent hour. Instead of which I stayed up way too late, looked around the site (it was even more addictive than the first time I laid eyes on Etsy – I happen to make earrings for fun). Which brings me to the title of this post….

As Eli Pariser writes, quoting Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt in The Filter Bubble (which I will be adding with alacrity to my “Books You Should Read” Pinterest Board):

We are overwhelmed by a torrent of information: 900,000 blog posts, 50 million tweets, more than 60 million Facebook status updates, and 210 billion e-mails are sent off into the electronic ether every day. Eric Schmidt likes to point out that if you recorded all human communication from the dawn of time to 2003, it’d take up about 5 billion gigabytes of storage space. Now we’re creating that much data every two days.

Eli Pariser's Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser's Filter Bubble, A Must Read For Anyone Online

Well, a big ass chunk of that data was generated by people like me. People who write. People who revel in words. People who would have beat Dickens with a stick in the “use twenty words where one will do because you get paid by the word” department. People who have stories to tell but don’t do the telling well without words. People who, sometimes, have no design or visual ability. At all. Except today, content is increasingly all about the images. I think of it as the web’s version of when TV came to the media party. All of a sudden radio became less important and print was given a serious run for its money because a picture’s worth a thousand words.

Blue Windows

I could tell you what it's like to sit at this window .... or you could just look at the picture and fall into it. (image originally at Apartment Therapy)

Therein lies the problem.

I love Pinterest. In fact I find it easier than Tumblr – where I also have a presence that I don’t yet publicize (that’ll be part 2 of this series). And I imagine that for people who are like me – self taught, want to tell a story, but rather tech-challenged*, Pinterest is exactly what does the job.

So I now nervously wait. To see how the entire social media and online community landscape is about to change, yet again, to Web 3.0, and see if and where there’s room for me.

Hey, I’ve reinvented myself some 8 times since 1989. And have managed to be moderately successful, or at least fail upward, each time. I hold on to that thought as I stave off the frustration of not being able to get work done on a go-slow sunday by curating my Pinterest boards.

And that brings me to this post’s aside – curate, or what I consider the “synergy” or “out of the box thinking” of the online now. I don’t meet many social media or online community professionals these days who don’t use the word but freely admit they’re tired of it and think the word’s totally jumped the shark.

For those of you who do something else for a living, curating comes down to managing, tending, and weeding out the excess of your online life. You know, like curating an art show or exhibition which is what the word is still most commonly understood. But then about a year ago, we began to curate everything, including our data, twitter streams, and many things not artistic. At which point it became a touch twee, if not flat out pretentious. Except I don’t have an alternative to the word. Do you?

* (I know, that probably comes as a surprise to clients for whom I routinely set up and manage all manner of interwebs things)