A website called Pinterest has become one of the hottest social networks for women. It’s a virtual bulletin board with photos, recipes, decorating ideas…and more.
Elizabeth Fraser likes to look at photos of dogs on Pinterest.
“Those of us who don’t really have kids often will feel like our pets are our children," Fraser explains, "and I think it’s really cute when people have them on Pinterest.”
Fraser says she’s addicted to the feel-good digital scrapbook, geared primarily toward women with travel photos, fashion ideas, and home decorating tips. Although it’s been online about two years, it has caught the attention of millions of women over just the past few months, making it one of the fastest-growing websites ever.
“I think it’s one of those things that you can do mindlessly," Fraser says. "People are posting new stuff to it all the time and so it kind of never gets old.”
Fraser also likes that Pinterest is easy to use. She can keep pictures of things she sees on Pinterest or anywhere else on the Internet. She just “pins” the images onto “boards” she’s created on various topics. Some images are connected to a video or blog. Fraser says she’s eating up the recipe ideas.
“Sometimes I’ll just pull this up and show it to my husband and say ‘what do you think we should have for dinner' and he can pick something,” Fraser says as she clicks on a pinned recipe.
Maryland novelist Rebecca Coleman jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon when she realized it could be used as a marketing tool. She set up a Pinterest page to promote her latest book “The Kingdom of Childhood.”
“As soon as the page went up, the next day I saw an increase in my sales online," Coleman says. "I was selling a lot more copies right away because of it."
Pinterest sends her emails when people “pin” her book.
“It really is great for publicity," notes Coleman, "because my friends have pinned the image of my book on their pages, and so it spreads the word very similarly to word of mouth, except in a visual way that can reach a lot of people.”
Stay-at-home mom Jamie Brunson became so captivated by what she found on Pinterest that she began “The Pinterest Project” with a friend. The blog, not affiliated with Pinterest, highlights crafts and recipes and takes them a step further.
“We thought it would be fun to actually do the things we pin," explains Brunson. "And we tell people, it works, it doesn’t.
She dyed yarn using a powdered fruit drink and knit a hat for her daughter. She also gave a photo of her child a distressed look.
"To me, it’s more homey. It has a little bit more character," Brunson insists.
"The Pinterest Project" blog quickly gained fans.
“We have seen a lot of hits on the blog through Pinterest itself, where people read the blog and re-pin our blog,” Brunson says.
Some people wonder if Pinterest is here to stay or will it burn out as the buzz dies down? For now, Pinterest is pinning its hopes on its loyal followers.