It’s About to Get Real

I’ve been trying to write for days so I apologize to my dozen of readers for the delay. The truth is the idea for this blog was born partially from my own desire (need) to bask in the happy. Lately I have been coming up short. You may have noticed from the rather whiney tone of the last two posts.

I do have something interesting to say though and it is about an old article I recently read called “Look Who’s Talking”. In it, Wired.com writer Howard Rheingold discusses the complicated relationship between the Amish and technology. More specifically, the piece focuses on Amish communities’ rules for acceptance of technology for communication. What I found most useful in their individual evaluation of each tool and nuance was their question, “Will it bring us together or pull us apart?” The piece was written in 1999 but that question is even more meaningful now because of the many sound-clip-esque and “disembodied” ways that we communicate. The Amish are concerned about telephones minimizing face-to-face interaction, but what about texting? What about Facebook? What about Twitter? Do these build community? Are these online communities real or imagined?

Farmville

An even more critical question posed by these cultural rebels is whether the use of technology changes us. I say it does. This blog says it can, for good, not just bad. So I continue to look for real encounters where micro-blogger turns journalist, as many did during the start of the Arab spring, and where art school weirdo becomes entrepreneur because of platforms like Kick Starter.

Sorry for the serious tone of this post. It’s been a serious week (life), and we can’t always cling to cat violence gifs for relief. Sometimes we gotta think deep.

Here’s a serious cat gif to go with the conversation. I couldn’t help myself.

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Not That Pintrested

pinterest-pinboard-600In trying to be well rounded I wanted to look at other ways that we communicate and create online and realized that there are a couple of significant social media apps that I haven’t mentioned yet. Among the most influential of these are Twitter (which doesn’t really need much debate, anticipated IPO notwithstanding) and Pintrest.

So, who uses Pintrest? According to my savvy 23 year-old admin mostly middle-aged women (a group that I vehemently refuse to ever be absorbed by). I’ve seen Pintrest around for a minute (that means a long time, like at least 2 years), but never really got into it. Finally I gave in to an invite by my bestie and created an account. Today was the third time in 6 months that I have been on it. Why doesn’t it capture my attention, because I refuse to be a middle-aged woman? Because I love the words, and short of a little word art and typography, text is not really Pintrest’s thing? Maybe. The more I think about it though, the more I believe it is my #shyness. I am afraid to pin outfits I like or décor that inspires me because I am one sarcastic (lady) and think that others would respond to my eclectic tastes with similar subtlety. So Pintrest is not for the insecure at heart.

Also, Pintrest is way organized. In fact it is more about organization than it is about interacting with other users and this is another wah wah wah area for me. I am a technology extrovert. If I am going to be sitting alone at home getting irradiated by a 15 inch screen then I want to at least believe that someone is on the other side. Therefore, being in constant need of validation is another factor. Hmmm, starting to think Pintrest is not the one with the problem here.
CBGC logo

From a marketing perspective Pintrest is brilliant and I can see it doing for a home décor niche (like CaribbeanGingerbread.com) what Tumblr did for Nutella. Did you catch that plug? I work for those guys (Caribbean Gingerbread, not Nutella) and helped develop the site, wrote most of the copy, … please validate me. There I go again.

Breakthrough moment – Pintrest is awesome for creating a Christmas list!