By Shane Richard Bell
Staff writer/Coeur d’Alene Press
Pinterest is a window into the world of a person’s creative mind, an online collage of self-expression, found in discovering and sharing ideas, images, and hobbies.
One of the fastest growing websites to date and nominated the 24th most popular website in the U.S., Pinterest has skyrocketed since its launch in March 2010. Pinterest is an online virtual pinboard where you can organize and share ideas and pictures on the web with friends, family, and strangers.
What may seem confusing to those unfamiliar with Pinterest is really simple and beautiful. “We’re helping people discover things that they didn’t know they wanted,” says Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann.
In America, between 200,000 and 250,000 people download the iPhone app for Pinterest every day, according to Brandignity, an online marketing firm. In March 2012, Pinterest traced 2.3 billion page views. That’s enough page views to equal a quarter of the world’s population.
Permeating America and packing its ideas for an international flight, Pinterest is expanding to other countries, markets, and circles of ingenuity.
LOCAL PINTEREST FANS
But the essence of Pinterest is that anybody, anywhere, can be a Pinterest artist. Meet three Coeur d’Alene locals who are discovering the potential of Pinterest.
Robyn Novotny, 21, has used Pinterest for about eight months. She has 20 followers, and follows 98 subscribers. She got hooked when she needed ideas for planning a baby shower for a friend. “It’s opened my mind to new ways of thinking,” said Robyn Novotny. “I understand how I can add my own character to my home without spending a large amount of money. There are so many things you can do all on your own if only given the idea and resources to do so.”
Pinterest is a safe and fun environment, says Novotny. “It is not a place for gossip or dating. It’s simply a network to share common interests. The time I spend on there getting these ideas has become a sort of stress relief for me; it helps me get my mind off of other things and just relax,” she said.
In the future, Novotny looks forward to how Pinterest can help her generate ideas for a family and a home of her own. “I love its positive outlook on life and families,” Novotny said.
Alex Litz, 27, is a bit of an anomaly in the Pinterest world. “Not that many guys get on it, but my sisters really encouraged me to try it,” Litz said. “So I did, and I love it.” According to Pinterest, 80 percent of its users are female, and 20 percent male.
Litz has a reason to love it. As the Coeur d’Alene Resort Social Media Director and Sales Manager, Litz is a strong believer in the social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) as a way to market the Coeur d’Alene Resort and its hospitality services.
“Our first big thing was getting our presence out there and really sharing our images of the Coeur d’Alene Resort with the world,” said Litz. “We were one of the first hotels in the region to really jump on it. And we’ve learned it’s a great medium to get Coeur d’Alene out to a potentially huge audience.”
Through Pinterest’s “Pin Boards,” sets of content with a particular theme, Litz advertises The Coeur d’Alene Resort through images of dining, drinking, golfing, weddings, spa fitness and beauty services, as well as Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area. “Pinterest is extremely based on visuals,” he says, “which is great because we like to think of ourselves as a bucket-list destination.”
Litz enjoys Pinterest off the clock, too. “I have a lot of fun with it. The humor part of it is great. You can find great recipes. I made a great queso dip and a dessert with Hershey kisses stuffed inside raspberries.”
Kristi Granier, 27, another local, also uses Pinterest for work and play. “I’ve got recipes, I’ve got clothing, accessories, and decorating ideas,” said Kristi Granier. “I have a quotes section and a board for work materials.”
Pinterest compartmentalizes Granier’s worlds of interest. “It’s a place where I can put everything that I am interested in all in one place, whether that’s a picture I like, a recipe, or a project, it’s all in one place where I can find it again,” Granier said.
“It’s accessible and easy to use. I can visually see something that catches my eye without using a bunch of websites and then store it all in one place,” she said. “Like people who cut things out of magazines because they like it, that’s what I do with Pinterest.”
Granier admits how big of a Pinterest fan she is. “I check it everyday. Although I spend a lot of time on there, I am getting something out of it that helps me with my life.” Perhaps the truth worth of Pinterest is not its trendy looks and features, but its ability to inspire its followers to find his or her place in a technological world.