This is an open letter to my 72 followers on Pinterest, including my friend, Sue, who stood next to me in line on the high school cheerleading squad; my sorority Big Sister; Mobile Marketing Association CEO Greg Stuart, fellow Social Media Insider David Berkowitz, and that guy I worked with way, way long ago at Ogilvy & Mather.
Here’s what I want to tell you: I’m sorry that my pinning is so sporadic, and so, well, lame. Three weeks in, I have no earthly idea what I should do with this thing, so I’m throwing it out to all of you. What should a personage like me pin?
I know! I’ll start a board consisting completely of pictures of question marks, because that’s what comes to mind every time I think about what I might do on Pinterest.
And this whole, weird, cart-before-the-horse relationship on Pinterest between followers and my (in)ability to produce meaningful content is only making my case of pinner’s block worse. If you’re wondering exactly what I mean, in all the years I’ve been playing on social platforms, I’ve never seen a platform in which the early adapters that I hang out with professionally, and the aforementioned people from high school, all discover a platform at roughly the same time.
(Well, except for Berkowitz, who is prescient enough that I think he joined some platforms before they even existed.)
When I joined Facebook, back in February 5, 2007 (thank you, Timeline), I felt like a soccer mom turned stalker, the kind of 40something evildoer who ends up being the centerpiece of a bad movie on Lifetime. The whole experience was unsettling. I was writing a story about social networks for Adweek, and slowly came to the realization that the only way I was going to make sense of Facebook was to join Facebook.
Joining Facebook to write about Facebook? What a concept! But back then, joining Facebook felt like going undercover. I spent a few minutes scrolling through other Facebook members from Westchester County, New York, only to find that virtually everyone else was a high school or college student, several decades my junior. Facebook was not a place for women with two kids, dust bunnies for pets, a (then) four-year-old mini-van and a coupon habit. It was several years before people like me were there in any number.
As for Twitter, the advancement of the so-called “normal” people in my life onto Twitter has never happened. It’s as though high school and college friends who do follow me only do so because they had a sudden spasm in their index finger one night and started following me by accident.
But not so with Pinterest. Sure, its integration with Facebook has helped boost its traffic, but similar integration between Facebook and Twitter never resulted in the same random accumulation of followers that I’ve racked up on Pinterest in only a few short weeks, and all without posting anything.
While one can only be impressed with Pinterest’s growth -- the site has reached the 10 million unique monthly visitor mark faster than any site in history -- as I said above, that doesn’t mean I have any clue as to what to do with it.
So far I’ve posted a picture of that woman we used to call Madge on my board “Aging Pop Stars.” My second one is of “Social Media Cheat Sheets.” Its only visual is a poster that synopsizes the whats and wherefores of different social platforms (though not Pinterest).
Lame. Where do I go from here? Should I post pictures of my cat? Nah, too obsessive. Jeremy Lin? Too trendy. My myriad attempts at making better weekday meals? No, that would only expose my unnatural fixation with making soup. My favorite baseball mascot, Mr. Met? Pitiful, on several levels.
Help me out here. This case of pinner’s block is about to drive me crazy. Leave your ideas below.