Much Ado About Pinning

Pinterest, the visual bookmarking site, blew up this month. I’ve had an account for a while, but became an active user only recently. And I think that’s because I started thinking like a woman.

As NPR reports, anywhere from “58 percent to 97 percent of Pinterest users are female.” (Related: Interest Spikes in Pinterest, Notably From Women {npr/ap}.)

Some of my womany pinboards are Retail, Home Retail, Home Inspiration and Kitchen Inspiration. No, I’m not planning to buy a house. Yes, I do love to cook. But that’s besides the point, because as the writer for QVC’s “Home & Garden” and “Kitchen & Food” pages, I use my boards as a repository for good copy I find on the web.

In other words, I’m using Pinterest to help me shop. It’s that aimless process of exploring, discovering and purchasing—something that’s so foreign to me—and is (I can only assume) what makes the site more appealing to the female class.

Katie Newport thinks it is what we make it:

If users approach Pinterest with a Girls Only mentality, then that’s what it’ll be. But, if users approach Pinterest like they do Twitter – where it’s acceptable to follow people with interesting perspectives and/or similar interests, then Pinterest could be much more.

As the interest in Pinterest grows, I’m curious to see if more media/journalism organizations will give it a go. One of the firsts is Propublica, who just launched a Pinterest page. In a blog post announcing the move, they said they saw Pinterest as an

easy-to-use bookmarking tool, [and] a place to collect things you’d like to do in the future. That’s why we’ve arranged most of our boards according to medium, rather than topic.

And for the record, I’m not saying any of this is a bad thing. It just so happens that women are the early adopters on this one.