Pinterest: The Power of Images

Over the past few years, there have been a mind-boggling number of technology innovations. So many, that it has our heads spinning. As for social networks this past year, the launch of Google+ was big. But, by all reports, the next big thing is Pinterest. Pinterest has over 4 million registered users as of this week and is growing rapidly. 1.5 million of the predominately female audience visit Pinterest every day – spending 14 minutes on the site on average.

Alexa.com reports “Pinterest.com is ranked #133 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings… The site’s visitors view 10.7 unique pages each day on average.”

In our individual attempts to make sense of the vast sea of information that the internet gives us access to, we bookmark things in our browsers, we like things in Facebook, and now you can Pin things to boards in Pinterest. This is more than a personal organizing tool, it is a social tool, where you find friends and other people who like what you like. If you thought you had seen it all, trust me, you haven’t. Whatever your interest, it’s already pinned to a board somewhere on Pinterest, and easy to find with categories and search.  In fact, it’s fun and by many accounts, addictive. Once you’ve found pictures of your favorite place in the world, you want to keep looking.

For businesses who have visual products, whether it is fashion, art or power tools, Pinterest is a great tool for getting feedback from your audience on what they like. I created this board to collect my favorite Marketing Infographics. I search Pinterest to repin things to my board from other boards, and was notified immediately when someone liked my image.

We marketers know that there is plenty of content out there to curate and share with our audiences to engage them. Pinterest makes it visual. Business applications abound. For instance, interior design firms create thematic boards to show clients and get feedback.  A pet store might have a cute puppy contest where entrants post photos. The winner is the pinner who got the most repins. The examples are endless.

Businesses can create their own account and add the pin it icon to their website so visitors can pin images from your site that they like.  If you have a Facebook business strategy, this works well with it since Pinterest integrates with Facebook and has an iPhone app for pinning where ever you are. For SEO purposes, when a user pins one of your images to their board, it links back to you, adding to your inbound links and making your site more relevant.

We will be hearing more about how this tool will work for marketers. I encourage you to share your Pinterest strategy, and even better, share your Pinterest links. Weber Media has just started using the tool. Go find us at http://pinterest.com/WeberMedia/.

 

 

 

The SOPA Debate

On the surface, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) sounds like a good idea – to punish those who pirate intellectual property. As an writer and artist, I am all too aware of the dangers of posting your work and then finding it elsewhere, without your permission. Imagine the cost implications for movie studios, record labels, and of course the individual who has few resources to go after the culprit.

The idea behind this bill, according to those who have followed the debate, was sound. The result, however, has been described as a threat to free speech, web-related businesses, users who upload content, internal networks, open source software, and internet security and could lead to a global collapse of the internet.

These accusations are based in the assertion that the bill only broadly defines what is a violation, puts any consumer who hosts a website at risk of violation, and holds internet services such as YouTube responsible for the content their users upload. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology criticize the bill’s wording as vague enough that “a single complaint about even a major website could be enough to cause the site to be blocked, with the burden of proof then resting on the website to get itself un-blocked.”

EFF has indicated that companies like Etsy, Flickr and Vimeo would have little choice but to shut down if the bill becomes law.

Defenders of the bill say that it will protect revenues of content creators and protect against counterfeit drugs. Companies that rely on copyright, including the Motion Picture Association of American, Pfizer, Nike, and L’Oreal support the bill, as does the AFL-CIO and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday, January 18th, Reddit plans a 12-hour knowledge blackout in protest of the bill. As this bill evolves and the House Judiciary Committee continues to debate it, you can keep apprised of it’s progress through our legal system by visiting the Wikipedia article, which is updated daily.

As someone who was around for the very beginning of the wild wild web, we have certainly come a long way. I am not surprised that there are those who try to profit from the content of others. Now, let’s see what we do about it.