It doesn't matter if that content is photos, videos, weblinks or even shopping coupons, we, the consumer, have been inundated with countless tools that both strive to make it to the front screen of our smartphone and also make it to our browser bookmark bar.
That being said, I haven't seen any app have the wide spread attraction, so rapidly, as Pinterest.
At first glance it looks very simple and very straight-forward; online pinboards allowing users to gather images and links of anything they see and like across the web, and display it on a virtual pinboard.
That may be the initial view and general impression, but honestly, that doesn't even scratch the surface. What Pinterest is actually doing is allowing users to curate information ACROSS the Social InterWeb and share that information with existing contacts and new like-minded people. Now THAT’S powerful.
Sure, you can share these boards through your other primary social platforms, like Facebook and Tumblr, but one of the aspects that sets Pinterest apart from anything else available is the ability to open your boards to other contributors; Essentially allowing a community approach to building your boards and collaborating on creative content.
Take heed to this point, community building is essential for those looking to build relevance and credibility across the Social InterWeb. If you're trying to add the words “subject matter expert” or “trusted advisor” to your business card, you've got to have a conscious focus with building and engaging with your community. In a subtle way, Pinterest is helping foster that sort of social sharing and social community building.
Personally, I've taken advantage of the explosion occurring through Pinterest in a few ways. For my digital publishing efforts I've begun linking back and embedding Pinboards within the sidebar of various blogs that I run. Since I can choose boards that are complementary to the blog, it makes perfect sense to include references to images, videos and links from across the Social InterWeb. Not only does this practice allow me to integrate a new content medium into the blog, it also allows me to bring in a new visual element of the overall site community.
On the social sharing side, I'm using Pinterest to curate content that appeals to me personally. For instance, I have a board called "All Sorts of Awesome" and another titled "The Next Big Thing".
All Sorts of Awesome covers the coolest stuff out there, doesn't matter if it's technology, business, music, or what - if it's awesome - it goes in that board.
The Next Big Thing will be focused on business, primarily startups and those organizations that are new on the scene trying to do something great. If you’re striving to put a dent in the universe, to borrow a phrase from my one-time boss, Steve Jobs, then you’ll be on that list.
James Hicks is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at HicksNewMedia, a digital publishing and technology consulting team focused on assisting businesses and individuals to more effectively utilize the Social InterWeb.