This isn't merely about the long-form writing becoming dumbed down to button-pushing.
Once you get past the pictures of shirtless Ryan Gosling there is something really powerful: similar to how Google captured the link graph, Pinterest is capturing the interest graph .
I think people are getting way to focused on creating a broader theme around Pinterest's success from a technical implementation POV and not focusing on some of the bigger drivers. I see Pinterest being successful because of:
- Content: Foods, Crafts, Home, Babies: How many web services address these market as their primary focus? I'm only really up to speed on the craft industry and that alone is worth $30B a year. You'd have to combine the video game and music industries together to match that. Now think about how many companies are focusing on Music/Games vs. crafts and Pinterest's success isn't that crazy. They basically have a monopoly of...
- Women aged 15-55: I'm a heavy user, but from what I've seen ~98% of users are women. The site has a "feminine" aesthetic and a design first layout. Its a pleasure to browse on any screen.
- Fun: The collecting instinct is strong, the site makes it easy to collect, and I can build up a collection quickly. It is "Gamified" without any of the overplayed tropes of badges or leaderboards. It also is very "pretty" like a magazine.
It is useful (helps me collect recipes), Targeted (No boys allowed), fun (games/cool layout), and as johnnyn said "Real World Social". Users collect recipes and cook together, or talk about ideas while looking at an ipad together. It utilizes real social networks for distribution.
I may be wrong, but look at this list of "Social Curation" websites which behave very similarly to Pinterest and think about why they have not experienced the rocket ship growth:
Wrote a post with my thoughts on this recently: http://www.entrepreneursunpluggd.com/blog/pinterest
Pinterest seems to connect a lot with "real people", not just the techies. Every mention I've heard of it from the former group is relating to some portion of their regular daily lives.
maybe they could make a browser plugin that lets users grunt at things to "generate content".
I tried four square for a few days before forgetting it existed. I ignore facebook feeds. A tweet occasionally get my attention because some aggregation site highlights it. StumbleUpon entertained me for a while. None of these sites contain original content.
I don't agree with Blogger being included in that group. Blogger, and blogs in general, focus on creating content rather than merely leeching someone else's creation.
I would like to see a breakdown of popular content. Strip out the one hit wonders and see just how many people truly and consistently contribute content.
Some of these comments show a heavy bias towards creating consumable content over actually creating something new and physical. My experience with users of Pinterest is that they increase their actual output of creative physical things. I think that's good. If they don't blog about their experience creating a new Christmas card holder or batch of cookies that's fine by me (I liked eating the cookies).
This is a good insight, and I echo it. My wife loves Pinterest and she gets new cooking and decorating ideas from it all the time.
Creating new ways to interact with content on the web doesn't seem to me to be a bad thing, especially when it's usable enough for anyone to participate.
Creating and leeching are not mutually exclusive.
They sent me an invite and I refused to give them my Facebook/Twitter credentials.
It's why I stopped creating them, and went into product. Much more "spiritually" fulfilling too.