Why the success of Pinterest points to an internet civilisation
A new buzz exists on technology applications to business, and it particularly has to do with Pinterest. It has existed for a while now in the world, but in Kenya, it has only just started. Its effects, piled onto those of the entire social media network, are colossal in informing how you use the web.
With Pinterest, any user can curate photos on pinboards. It is easy to create or follow other pinboards, belonging to individuals or businesses. It has been easy for Pinterest to gain a high number of users in a short time because it does not require people to create their own account. People generally dread filling up forms and giving out their email addresses and personal details.
- Instead of asking for that, Pinterest is allowing users to come in with their Facebook and Twitter profiles and it integrates them automatically. The two social network sites i.e. Facebook and Twitter are the biggest, everyone knows that by now. To reach a similar level, Pinterest is using them, rather than competing with them.
From interconnection to crowdsourcing
The end of the blog as we used to know it is almost here. New services like Twitter, Tumblr, and now Pinterest are pushing the limit of sharing online stories, and at the same time putting offline interests onto the web. When you wake up tomorrow, it will be much different, definitely easier to place content for your friends and customers to see and interact with.
The new channels are bringing in a new wave of search-crowdsourcing, something that engineers and designers of the web have always backed. For example, with Pinterest it is not always about pictures; no, it goes further than that as the pictures tell a story. They exist on specific pinboards, and act as a rich information source, given their linkage to the content being exhibited by their curators.
Just like you would follow someone on twitter to get the latest in their industry, it is also possible to follow a curator on, let’s say, men’s shoes in Kenya, and get images and ideas about the industry and where to buy the items, as well as their pros and cons.
With Pinterest, the effort of combing various sites for particular information or ideas lies with the curator, and because they are many, the results are plentiful. You can go over choices forever.
Civilization taking place online
The web’s impetus we knew in 2005 is archaic compared to the one we are witnessing in 2012-2013. It’s all social now, with Google coming in big with Google+ complete with author profiles and people popularity ranking. It is no longer a straight approach to building a website with links for SEO. Now, its building a name online, and doing that requires extensive social networking. You might say the online game is now about who knows you and how they perceive you.
The civilization of the digital world is concerned with embracing social cultivation at a massive scale, with almost every site looking to get as many users as possible and owning what they say or do on the site. On a positive note, owning the content makes it possible for the platform owners to use it in building a complete profile of the user. For example, if a Facebook user is using a Facebook commenting system, like Disqus on the OpenBook blog, then their comments become part of their profiles on Facebook, and you can use their name to check their profile, and what more they have to say.
Spam filtering evolves
On this note, using social platforms to enhance blogs is a positive and progressive practice. It prevents both human and robot spam. Robots are still unable to fully mimic human behavior and generate conversational content effectively.
If you create content on the web, it is inadvisable to use your public profile to go on rants on personal attacks because you know Google, Facebook, and Twitter and now Pinterest is watching. If that happens, you may have an unpleasant resume on LinkedIn and some not so cool appearances on Instagram.
According to Jimmy Orr, who is the online managing director of the LA Times, people who are trolls will do anything to deceive their friends that they are not trolls. The integration of social media to traditional sites, allowing people to use their profiles as their online ID, make it easy for people to spot their troll friends and shame them.
As the web gets rid of anonymity by using social networks, it becomes easier and faster for strangers to meet; and businesses to treat customers as they are, and not as mere numbers. The best thing is that society is finally getting a full representation online.
The future internet is social
Soon, it will be all social online, just as it is offline. Companies will have to create water coolers where people interact while taking a break, all done online, like it currently happens on Elance.
If you want to ride this wave, you need to know that as the web changes; real people with real projects are becoming its driving power. With Google+ and mostly Pinterest we know it’s the real name of the person or the business they represent. This assurance of a real profile makes it easy for you to get behind it, have a word, share a thought, become friends, make a sale and so on, just like you do with your offline relations.
Think about the civilization emerging on the web and go a little further to think about how your business is adapting to the changes.
Keeps this discussion burning; share your thoughts below. Remember it’s possible to use your Facebook, Disqus, Twitter and even OpenID profile to comment.
Photo credit: zaneology