As I’ve been stepping up my game on Pinterest recently I’ve noticed myself talking about the platform more and more in casual conversation. What’s striking me about these conversations is that about half of the people I talk to are surprised to find out I’m even on Pinterest. “Oh, you’re on Pinterest and you’re a guy? It must be just because you’re going to work in Social Media right?” When I started pinning, I definitely would have said that was why. And there really weren’t all that many other men there. I’m growing to love Pinterest though, and I’m noticing more and men pinning alongside me. Here are a few reasons why I think men actually are on Pinterest, and why we’re going to see more male Pinners in the coming months.
Collecting may not be as common a pass-time as it was a few decades ago (think baseball cards and comic books), but those of us who still collect love showing off our collections and researching new items online. There are dedicated sites for some of the more involved collections like Discogs for records and Deckbox for Magic The Gathering cards, but Pinterest is a great place for casual collectors. It’s image heavy format and board-based organization system makes it great for organizing and displaying your collection. As I mentioned above, I’ve got a wish list board for my record collection that way I can remember exactly what I’m shopping for when I hit up the record store. Try searching for your collection (or one you want to start), I guarantee you’ll be overwhelmed with things you wish you had, as I was when I looked at some vintage camera collections the other day.
It may just be me, but it seems like there is much more interest in men’s fashion this year than in previous years, and Pinterest is a no-brainer for finding and sharing all sorts of fashion related content. From GQ and Esquire to lesser known (but equally interesting) curators who got their start online, Pinterest is full of great fashion inspiration for men of all types and dress codes. I personally am following more and more fashion related boards since I realized that my wardrobe has been getting pretty monochromatic and boring. Sure, many of us don’t have the money for the designer brands that often get pinned, but a lot of those styles are available at a much lower price point if you know how to strategically search on Amazon.
I’ve been gradually redesigning this site in between homework assignments and job applications; nearly all of my inspiration for this process has come from design work I’ve discovered on Pinterest. UX/UI Design boards abound on Pinterest, as do print and publication design boards which serve as equally great motivators for designing. Some of these boards will even link to free backgrounds, typefaces and other design resources. I constantly recommend boards to my web designer friends who are typically blown away by the resources they’ve been missing. The art and design communities on Pinterest actually remind me a lot of the early days of Tumblr, when it was primarily used for sharing inspiration images as well. I think Pinterest has held the attention of artists and designers longer than Tumblr did because of its categorization features and more powerful search. I just hope they keep building on this foundation even though it may not be as easy to monetize as some of the more retail oriented communities.
Wish List 3.0
Remember going through the Sears and Toys ‘R Us catalogs as a kid and circling all of the things you wanted your parents to get you? A lot of the appeal of Pinterest is that it is pretty much the same process, just more social. And Pinterest has more cool toys and gift ideas than all of those catalogs combined thanks to the eclectic interests of its users. Whether you’re building your own wish list or brainstorming ideas for friends and family, Pinterest is an excellent gift planning tool, and I can’t believe more men don’t use it just for this reason. My dad, for example, is extremely difficult to buy gifts for, but I keep a stash of nerdy tech gifts on one of my Pinboards when I’m shopping for his birthday and Father’s Day each year. I’m even considering sending a Pinboard as my list of gift preferences during the holidays this year instead of my family’s traditional Amazon Wish Lists.