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The Top 11 Things you Actually Need to Know About Pinterest

January 17, 2012 10 comments

The Pinterested

Detroit Free Press Technology columnist Mark W. Smith recently described the workings of the nascent social network Pinterest to readers in a column titled “Pinterest: 11 Things to Know About the Surging Social Network.”  Unfortunately the column focuses on practical and factual things.

Here’s what you will learn from using Pinterest:

  1. Pinterest is Like Falling Into a Display at New York & Company:  No, really.  The network is nearly 60 percent female.  If you have a  Y chromosome, you’ll feel like a salmon swimming upstream trying to find content for your socially-apportioned gender role.
  2. “The Secret” Lost out Big-time:  You know “The Secret?” – the faux-scientific motivational program that misapplies the law of attraction, encouraging adherents to cut out pictures of the things they want (as to help them with the “wanting” process which will magically attract those things to them) and plaster them on “Vision Boards?”  Well, guess what Pinterest is? – I guess Rhonda Byrne didn’t have “Coding” on her vision board.
  3. Women love Makeup: No, they really do.  It represents about 50 percent of the objects they pin (if you include photos of female celebrities they want to look like).
  4. You Never Knew There Were This Many Storage Solutions: Seriously.  Who knew there were so many ways to organize, sort, and compartmentalize our junk?  For some reason the next popular fetish after airbrushed celebrities is complete and total order in one’s closets and drawers.  This probably relates to our Purtian roots.
  5. Men are Perverts: Sure everybody knows men think about sex once every five nanoseconds, but Pinterest helps illustrate just how much men think about sex by plastering your board with “tasteful” nude photography from “art” from The Pinterested (that’s the name I’m coining for Pinterest users since I can’t seem to find an official one elsewhere).  Did you know incorporating paint, key lighting or toile into a photo is all it takes to render it not porn?  You do now – so get to work.
  6. Pinterest is not for People With Eating Disorders: Between all of the celebrity idolization and tasteful nudes, anyone with body issues is going to relate to the social networking site like a moth relates to a hot lightbulb.
  7. People Love Nostalgia:  Pinterest isn’t just for looking at the present and future of things we covet – it’s also for all of the things we’ve coveted in the past, from Underoos to black and white pictorials depicting celebrities of yesteryear.
  8. Food can be Pornographic:  While Pinterest seems to be relatively free of photos of cats, it’s not immune to its share of food porn.  Pinterest has photos of food for every stripe of culinary fetishist: from the tasteful and well-lit collages, to dirty, grainy amateur shots.
  9. America Needs More Free Counter Space:  There is apparently a deficit more serious than the one being addressed by the legislature in the Debt Ceiling debate – and that national shortage is on available horizontal space upon which to place tshotchkes.  No one has enough display shelves to hold all of the cutesy little projects you can complete yourself with just three trips to Michaels.
  10. Women Think Men pay Attention to Their Hairdos:  Given all of the how-tos, close-ups, and slideshows of the intricacies of the latest hairstyles the female users post – I can only assume they’re laboring under the delusion that men actually pay attention to what their hair looks like.  Bizarre!
  11. We Love Advice we Rarely Take:  One in five photos on Pinterest is an illustration of an aspirational/inspirational quote from someone notable.  Unfortunately, instead of following the advice we’re all collecting images of the material objects that will fill the gaping consumer voids we’ve all been trained to carve out since infancy.

Advertising Alongside a Parody of Yourself: the Power of the Semantic Web

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

The "Goldstein Advantage" Parody Video from John Kerfoot

A good friend tipped me off to the site “Not so Pure Michigan” – which parodies the brilliant and popular “Pure Michiganadvertising campaign run by the state, featuring the voice of Tim Allen.  Among the ribbing the parody site gives to U of M football fans, Grosse Pointe, and Construction Season is a parody of the commercials for well-known Michigan ambulance chase…err…civil litigator, Sam Bernstein.

Bernstein has recently begun featuring his children in his ads, as they’ve joined his law practice.  That prompted this less-than-P.C. parody:

Here’s the thing though; the Bernstein Law Firm uses Google ads, and they show up on the Not So Pure Michigan site:

The Bernstein Law Firm Advertising on NotSoPureMichigan.com via Google Ads

I’m not the only person to notice this either:

A post from someone else who saw a Bernstein Law Firm Google Ad appear on the video mocking the firm.

Advertising alongside a web video that ruthlessly mocks a handicap of one’s family member is either a brilliant bit of cutthroat advertising strategy, or an example of how clumsily wielding the power of the semantic web can go horribly wrong.

Either way, it’s another great reminder of the interesting times we live in.