Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pinterest Update @ 1 Month

The past month has been a time of discovering the wonderful world of Pinterest and I think I have overdone it. My brother said I have too much time and I agree. I created 43 boards pinned and repinned (99%) over 8500 images (99%) and videoclips covering a broad range of interests (that's what this is all about, pinning your interest), thoughts, sharing and love. Absolutely by visiting my profile you will know mostly about my likes and perhaps interest you to start yours too. The only cost, for the moment, for non-business, I think is your time and zero subscription. As of now I have attracted over 100 followers. Somebody asked how is Pinterest going to make money? I think the answer is already here. They have Pinterest for Business which I believe will be subscription based.

However I pin for personal interest and don't feel the pressure to reach a wider audience or create a strong network presence. But the ego in me will always want to perform against the hobbyist approach so in my free time I would 'collect' pins like seashells from the beach to be added to my growing collections. In the coming years I know with sustained interest my board size will grow and so will, I hope my followship. The ultimate purpose I have quizzed myself, to what end and for what useful purpose? The answer is simply this: For the joy of doing something even worthless monetarily just to feel good. Pinterest have given retirees something to while away. I may never know my followers but every time Pinterest sends me an email update that I have been followed and my pins repinned, a sense of pride and satisfaction well within. My site have been noticed and my pins deemed good to be repinned and my boards followed. My agony will always be to fine tune the focus of my boards, many of which are too general but if I am a generalist by nature it is hard to be specialists, so my followers are likely to be of like mind.

What did I learn?

1. I need to organize myself from the beginning. Being a person who like to do things systematically let me say I am just half successful. Pinterest is like going to Disneyland for the first time and you just don't know how to start, where to start and what to start. If I remember well my first boards were on food and drinks (I love food but unfortunately cannot eat all so can only feast with my eyes), holiday moments (If I can I'd love to be at every place I pinned), gardens and flowers (I simply love everything natural and colorful, they zest up my life), all things Chinese (I proud to be born one and living through this great era of Chinese domination of the world) and Jesus Christ (He is someone to be seriously considered). Over the weeks I learned to better plan my boards and added those that matter.

2. The concept of Pinterest evolves around an interactive community who share their boards and their contents (pins) using the methodology of following and being followed. Following another user means being kept updated when he/she post a new pin(s) that may be of interest to you so you either like, comment or repin into your appropriate board(s). If your boards have reached a point of generating interest other users may want to follow you. That's when you begin to 'earn' a group of followers after your site or boards. I find having followers extremely satisfying. It means my boards are good enough to have a following and must work to keeping them interesting.

3. Pinning require thoughtfulness. I am not incline to pin everything related to the subject matter of my board but choose those I like and meaningful. In my inexperience I have taken the wrong approach again and again - pin based on the attraction of the pictures or the quotes and not considering the underlying URL link, which is where my followers, if they wish, will click to read more. Some URLs are badly written, have little or no useful contents, or are actually links to entice visitors to do what they won't like, or regret later. I believe pinners must take serious efforts of checking the URL of each and every image that attracts their attention, read the contents, and if deem useful only to repin them. I guess not everyone is this conscientious and I have fallen into the trap of the fatal attraction from which I must rescue myself when I have time to check and delete pins that don't matter.

4. Someone urge users not to pin/repin more than 40 images per day. I immediately pleaded guilty but that's because in my early days of growing into the Pinterest community I really need contents and interesting ones too. I have to build my foundation and I am not about to spend 6 months doing it slowly. I think my first months have successfully put me into the league of users with a substantial content that are handpicked. In the coming months I don't think I will be repinning as much but for the sake of my followers (I don't want them to think I'm dead. LOL) I have to pin/repin as often as I can.

5. I was tempted to go into group boards and even try getting invited into some popular ones. I even thought of inviting some of my followers to contribute to some of my boards. Opening up my boards or inviting shared boards into my profile may increase traffic and boost the number of followers. I often ask myself, what am I doing at Pinterest? If it is an ego trip then I am at a wrong place and need to get out, fast. But if, like this blog, I do it simply because I enjoy it and believe I profit for the various pins I adopted into my boards (I am guilty like most users, never read the underlying messages of the pins. Most pins carry a message so please find time to read them or else the core purpose of Pinterest is lost). For now I am still thinking hard about opening my site to other users. Although I can uninvite them later should I find they contributing stuffs that are not appropriate or relevant, taking such a move is not nice. I'd rather survey the background of the user first before extending my invite, or asking to be invited.

6. Board Cover is the window dressing to the contents. Users should take time to search from among the pins the best and most striking picture to pose on the cover.

7. Description. Many users don't describe their boards. Although optional it forces you to think hard what your board is going to collect and give you a right focus. A great description help visitors understand your mission in this project.

8. Category. I think Pinterest ought to expand the topics. Many of my boards are under Others because they don't fit into those listed, which is a shame.

9. Lastly I like the Pinterest team and their modest and low brow approach. I hope this remain their culture even as they grow big. Do you notice every now and then an error message would pop up to notify you something is wrong at THEIR end? Or the server is down and the TEAM would be informed? They seems to take all the blame and promise to rectify them. They also said they are a 'small team' and cannot respond to every email but so far they have, usually within 2 days, which is a feat because I believe Pinterest now have over 12 million users worldwide. If the speculation that Pinterest will overtake Twitter and Facebook is correct then Pinterest will be the next big IPO to watch.

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