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Pinterest: Why What It’s Not Says So Much

From Mediashift

It’s almost impossible to explain Pinterest to someone who has never been on it.

And now that it’s hit the big time, there’s a lot of explaining to do — especially, it seems, to men who can’t seem to avoid hearing about Pinterest from the women in their lives.

Pinterest — which Mashable’s Pete Cashmore called “2012’s Hottest Website” in a piece on CNN last week — is sort of social networking, sort of blogging, sort of curation, sort of a bookmarking tool.

In short, it’s a way to “pin” (bookmark) things you like — photos, recipes, crafts, design ideas, photography, art, etc., and silo those items into “boards.”

When I gave the basic explanation to my husband, he said, “Isn’t that just what Reddit is for?”

Aha, I thought. Indeed. That’s it: Pinterest is Reddit for crafty women. (And by “crafty,” I mean a do-it-yourself, creative, arty, style-ly kind of gal, not the other definition of crafty, although the two aren’t always mutually exclusive.)

But the Reddit comparison doesn’t really do it justice, either.

In many ways, it’s easier to explain what Pinterest is not than what it is. And perhaps, that is why it’s taken such hold. It found an opening in an impossibly crowded social media landscape by being a beacon of simplicity.

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