I admit on the surface Pinterest looks to many like a load of pretty pictures of clothes you’ll never wear, recipes you’ll never cook and abs you’ll never achieve!! But I love it.
What would Minnie do?
And, I’m not the only one. Pinterest is having a growth spurt – last December stats showed its growth was up almost 40-fold in just six months. This means its fan base has developed almost 5 times faster than that of sites such as Google and Twitter. In fact it’s now the third most popular social networking site, behind Twitter and Facebook.
Pinterest works like a virtual pin board. Once you have an account you set up your own boards and pin images or videos to them, either from a website or by uploading an image you have on your phone or PC. Generally your boards are topic-based – like plans for your kid’s next birthday party. Any pin on Pinterest can be repined by others using the site, and all pins link back to their source, which means your pin can go ‘viral’! You can follow other pinners, maybe your friends, or complete strangers who share your interests. There is also the option to ‘like’ a pin or comment on it.
Barbie could choose an Action Man...
A massive majority (97%!) of Pinterest users are female, and the site is way ahead of the competition when it comes to converting pinners to purchasers (59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on Pinterest). It’s basically marketing gold!
But more than that – Pinterest is fun! It’s like shopping without leaving your house and the ensuing credit card bill, it can give ideas on interiors without first filling your house with glossy magazines, it can make you laugh and make you cry. You can plan, dream and motivate yourself.
My first Pinterest ‘client’ is a dog breed organization – The Hungarian Vizsla Club – a not-for-profit group that exists to ensure those that are considering buying a puppy or dog of this breed know what to expect, find a reputable breeder and care for that dog correctly throughout its life. It also runs a welfare section that will take in vizslas that can no longer stay with owners. It will pay vet bills and care for that dog until rehoming is possible. This helps take the strain off national charities; that are inundated with abandoned and abused animals.
Through the Pinterest account I am managing for the Club, I hope to ensure people buy healthy pups from breeders following appropriate guidelines and really understand what a vizsla needs in terms of care, exercise and environment. Sure, there are pretty pictures and jokes, but they lead people back to the Club as a point of contact. Sadly, puppy farmers often advertise successfully via the web, and I hope this helps to offset their influence online.
With these thoughts in my mind, this week’s creative writing project is a short story for an anthology that is accepting submissions on the way the lives of humans and animals intersect. It’s a work in progress at this point, but focusses on the healing affects rescue dogs can have on those that adopt them – and in this case – vice versa. My open-hearted, dog-obsessed elder daughter is the inspiration for the little girl in the tale who truly loves her new pet.