Brace yourself for a little ranty-pants session.
Pinterest has been howling around my networks like pertinent lolcat lately. I like it, I see it is for commerce and I’ve been trying it watchfully, as you might with new web toys. As a former art student, it’s hardly surprising that I might like to play with a toy that works on gathering pretty pictures.
Beyond this, I’ve been rather naturally reading the take on this site from friends and connections.
“OMG! It’s fulla wimmins things, all frilly an pink and there’s shoes!”
Mostly – and it might be the way my online network radio is tuned – I’ve read a lot of “OMG! It’s fulla wimmins things, all frilly an pink and there’s shoes!” (I may be exaggerating.) That was mostly from menfolk. The womenfolk I follow seem to have been using Pinterest and connecting to one another, feeling their way and deciding whether to use it.
The gender divide and the way that girls and boys perceive and use their technology intrigues me. There’s a fault already in this post – which you might have already spotted, but it is pertinent and will be my third point.
First point being – there does seem to be a lot of apparently feminine content on Pinterest and I think it might be the first time that I have seen this pattern in adoption – the rules of old chivalry – Ladies First. So. Good.
“When did you last join a site, forum or online area where you were not already in your echo chamber or surrounded by everyone you know on other sites?”
Second point being more of a question – “When did you last join a site, forum or online area where you were not already in your echo chamber or surrounded by everyone you know on other sites?” I see it, and do it a lot. In many ways, I like it – it means there are friends and innovators around to lead the way and discuss things…although on Google+ it was mildly insane for weeks, folk seemed to post nothing but thoughts on where they were. It was like being at a bus stop surrounded by friends describing the bus stop.
Pinterest has drawn me out a little bit, into an area of the web where there are fewer familiar people and exposed me to their pictorial influences. (I’m not selling it here, this is my experience and I am watching how their ecommerce tie ins develop.) This in turn has led me onward to other sites too, many blogs and interesting places I would not normally go to.
In a classic action of stating the bloody obvious, the population of the web is huge and though there are a few people I would rather not hang out with, there’s an incalculable amount that I have not met and do not know about. So, going to a site, with unfamiliar surroundings, feels a bit like travelling to a new and interesting place.
I am glad that there are women on the web who are not nerds. Now, you’ll all know that I love nerdy women who inspire me pretty much every day. They spur me on to do better. But there are also many women displaying great examples in areas that I might not immediately explore and they doubtless have routes online that I do not know. Who better to guide me?
The third and final point is related to my opener here. Because I follow tech opinion and (throw rocks if you like) this field is still somewhat dominated by men, then of course I will hear menfolk whining about a site with pretty things. That’s my own echo chamber and the new frilly place, is where I can break a hole in that and explore. I already know where to find the funny star wars pictures and comic book references, cars, coding tips and lolcats. (Don’t start, I know there are women there too and that we like this.)
Add your own picture of a scantily clad model washing a car in her knickers if it makes you feel better.
As an aggregation site grows, it will change. It’s just that girls seemed to work it out first. Before long I guess there will be more balanced input and maybe it will tip the other way when boys catch up.
I reckon though, stop your whinging and take a look around. Add your own picture of a scantily clad model washing a car in her knickers if it makes you feel better. There might be strange images and ideas, but do you want women to sound like men on the web? Do you not find the unfamiliar interesting? Then maybe you’re safe in your chamber.
Also – it’s not pink. Amen to that.