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Pinterest. Have you been stuck yet?

, Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Ok, here goes.  My name is Amy and I am addicted to Pinterest.  Maybe just a little addicted.  And definitely, I’m not the only one.  In case you hadn’t heard, Pinterest, the virtual scrapbook, is currently the fastest growing social network and is a particular hit with women.

Why is Pinterest growing so fast? Here are a couple things that make it appealing…

  • Low-barrier to entry
    Once you get an invitation and set up an account, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to pin – especially if you’re using the bookmarklet, and how to find and follow other pinners.  Pins do best when they have a short, relevant description.   Sweet relief!  You don’t have to write an entire blog post and you’re also not limited to 140 characters.  The image does most of the talking and, as you know, a picture is worth…
  • Visual elegance
    The beauty of Pinterest is the simple but elegant layout.  An adaptable grid presents discrete chunks of information in fixed column widths. This is brilliant, really. The design leverages your cognitive processing skills – allowing you to quickly scan the columns and detect what’s new and/or interesting.
  • Curated content
    The curated content model is working well around the web.  Being able to post and share content that you find valuable / interesting / funny throughout your network is a fairly common practice now.  In general, most follows beyond your personal network are based on an affinity you have for the quality of the individual pinner’s posts.   Pinterest employs one-way permissions process which allows you to follow whoever you want without their needing to give permission or follow you back.
  • The Ripple EffectIt is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
    One of the things I find most unique about Pinterest is how quickly and broadly a pinned item can be shared outside a circle of followers.  Last night I posted a hand-drawn quote from the book “The Little Prince.”  A few hours later, it had been repined by 11 people – only 1 of whom I actually know. It reminds me of the shampoo commercial, “And she told two friends and so on and so on…”

Nonprofits using Pinterest

Mostly I’ve been using Pinterest for personal posts – Words that Inspire, Places to Go, Stuff for Home.  But over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeing more and more about nonprofits making use of Pinterest.

At first I wasn’t completely convinced of the value for nonprofits, then I clicked on over to Amnesty International’s boards.  Amnesty pins to multiple boards.  A couple that I like in particular: Fair Trade (goods), Inspiring Quotes & People, Human Rights Reading List, Facts (infographics!) and Little Activists (stuff for kids).  Just a couple quick clicks and I had the perfect present for my nephew’s fifth birthday!  Well done, Amnesty, well done.

Some other nonprofits that are worth a look are Charity : Water, National Wildlife Federation, and AARP.

I can’t speak to whether Pinterest is having a significant impact on these nonprofits’ bottom line as of yet.  But, it is increasing visibility and if you are talking about your social media strategy, it’s definitely worth including in the conversation.

Is your organization on Pinterest already? Let me know – I’m always looking for more great boards to follow. You can follow me at: http://pinterest.com/amyk1203/