I played with Pinterest at work, mainly working my way around it for the first article. I went to lunch at my favorite pub and tried to fiddle with it more via my phone’s app, Pinspiration, but I couldn’t really do what I wanted because I hadn’t set it up right yet. It’s like joining Reddit and the default subreddits being knitting, dudes who look good, and a crap-tonne of sexy looking cars. Cars, I get, but I can only stare at them for so long.
So, taking my Reddit addiction into account, I am setting out tonight to tweak my followings to see if I can really get into this. The first thing I did was take on the “Geek” category, picking out decent posts and following their owners or sub-groups (called boards). That’s something I’ll probably have to keep doing, because it seems that you tend not to follow just a set number of people for conversations, like Twitter, rather just trying to cast a wide net and hope you get more than a school of turdfish.
After that, I searched for topics like those that I follow on Reddit: Guns, Fallout, Jeep, Tech news, and the like. Again, I see a post I like, then I click the user that pinned it and visit their profile. I can choose to follow their entire repertoire, or only select boards of theirs. This took about 20 minutes before I ran out of things I could think of. Among the good results, there’s lot of crap. I get a lot of good results: people who like video games, but have one board solely dedicated to half-naked men. Keeps me on my toes, I guess.
While I’m on the topic of Reddit, I must note the similarity and differences between the two. Reddit, famous for it’s political views, memes and boys-club atmosphere, is largely text-based. The home page is almost entirely text, aside from ads and preview images for posts. The preview images are small, and don’t serve as much more than a general idea of what you’re looking at – memes aside. Pintrest, however, is the polar opposite. The focus is on the pictures, trying to show off the cute shoes, nice car, pretty handgun, funny quip, etc. Both sites, however, are enhanced by Hover Zoom. Oh, and the plus to the big images? You can instantly see the 100′s of reposts (repins) that have happened.
Despite my attempts to organize my home page last night, I can’t seem to get past the waves of very similar pictures. As of right now, I have 3 classic Mercedes-Benz cars on my screen, two watches and a ton of old mopeds. I’m starting to think that searching is the only way to find cool things. Perhaps this has to do with the way I selected my first 5 images when I joined. I picked 5 that seemed like they’d fit me, but they didn’t come with context. Pinterest then used the people who posted them as the first people I followed, so I get flooded with their pictures, whatever they may be.
Searching, however, turns up what I want to see. For instance, I have been looking for a dresser for my daughter’s room, which is Dr. Seuss themed. Of course, I can pay $1000 for a custom dresser (lol, nope) or I can scour Craigslist for an old dresser, then refinish it. I look up ‘refinished’ and boom, tons of relevant pictures. This is an area that Pinterest really shines in: DIY. Everything from sewing to woodworking, remodels to refurbs, it’s all there. It’s a very arts and crafts site, and I’m quite impressed by many of the projects that I see, even if they’re not my style.
Expanding on that, it’s a great place to look for ideas on room redesign as well. Google Images has become increasingly difficult to find what I’m looking for, because I enter vague terms and get pictures from all over the spectrum, but if I enter “bedroom remodel” into both, I get similar results, but in a more pleasing manner on Pinterest. Also, clicking the images takes you to the post, which links you to the source page automatically, allowing you to read whatever article contained that image. Surprisingly, the projects and posts aren’t all feminine. They have a soft touch, but the designs are still tasteful, usually. I guess DIY and remodeling are high points so far.
Yeah, I missed a few days. Those days weren’t spent doing anything cool, however. I forced myself to use the site, but it became more and more of a chore. I went from being reasonably able to spend an hour on the site looking up random things, but it was never organic. As of now, I don’t want to use the site unless I have a specific idea that might have been posted, but I imagine I can use Google just as easily, and with better search functionality.
As far as the masculine side of Pinterest, it exists, but isn’t overly useful or even cool. I still can’t get my home page to look like anything other than a fashion magazine, filled with guy’s clothes and old cars. And there’s almost no conversation, which is a big part of the internet for me. I can’t justify the comment you add when you re-pin something as conversation. Of course, you can always go to the source link and comment, but that’s if they have comments available, and if the page is over a week old, forget about replies or good comments. Also, it’s still really feminine.
I do not like Pinterest. I gave it a fair shot. I was constantly reminded of how gay it was, even though I thought our readers might like an actual review, unlike some we’ve done in the past. If you are looking for a project, it’s a great site to find ideas. One of the best, as far as I can tell, assuming you’re doing a craft project and not something with a breadboard. Don’t shy away from it if you’re looking for artistic ideas, because it’s fairly easy to search and browse, but be prepared for multiple copies of one thing.
I’ll not be back for regular visits to Pinterest. I guess it’s just not for me, but I can tell that the site isn’t going anywhere. It’s a constantly growing list of how-to projects that you might want to try, and with a better sorting algorithm, it might be passable for the average male. Maybe. Can I have my man card back, Vitto?