Slate recently ran an article about Pinterest by Farhad Manjoo that, although not entirely negative, wasn't exactly complimentary either. In fact, it got my hackles up. Manjoo was right on target with some observations, like how difficult Pinterest is to explain to someone who's never heard of it and what an earnest little corner of the interwebs it is. But as a pretty regular Pinterest user (read: very close to having to start my own 12-step program, Pinners Anonymous), I resented his condescending tone. And like any good addict, I'm compelled to defend my drug.
Manjoo describes Pinterest as a "graphical social bookmarking site, a way to show off cool images you find online" and "a virtual pinboard of really pretty pictures." "If you're into pictures," he says, "you should stop reading and sign up right now." Of course, he notes that you should really only do so if you like pictures of cupcakes or home decor or Jake Gyllenhaal (shirtless).*
He admits that, theoretically, he should like Pinterest, in part because he likes "womanly interests" and "stereotypically feminine pursuits" like making yogurt and cooking. But he says that when he tried to use the site to look for recipes, it came up short:
"The main problem was that they were all over the place; unlike my favorite food blogs, Pinterest’s food collection felt cluttered and chaotic, a mishmash that wasn’t personalized to my own tastes. Many people will thrive on this diversity, but I found it numbing."
Either Manjoo is determined not to like the site, or he's missed the point.
More from living