Penned by Janet Thaeler
People often ask when more men will be on Pinterest. Even though it’s a legitimate question it still annoys me. I’m used to being in a male-dominated industry. When I got on Twitter I was in the minority. But still, I don’t remember anyone talking about or suggesting a Twitter for women.
Just about every time you say something about Pinterest someone jumps in to tell you there is a Pinterest for men. However, Gentlemint and other social networks will never take off like Pinterest has. Just like sites copying Facebook or any other brand name will never rival the original. We only need one social network of its kind, and we go to the most popular.
Instead, I’m seeing Pinterest inspire redesigns of web sites and blogs. Rather than being men or women focused they are more visually-focused. Like Facebook and Pinterest, we can scroll and scroll to view content (no clicking needed).
Pinterest is making the web prettier and that’s a good thing.
When I speak about Pinterest I feel like I’m speaking for women. We might be attractive but we also want to be taken seriously. A lot of businesses take one look and dismiss Pinterest as being too cute and crafty. So my first goal whenever I speak about Pinterest for business is for businesses to take Pinterest seriously.
Sometimes the questions take on a sexist or condescending tone. Enter Brandon Wirtz who said this to me on Facebook, “Pinterest is Stumble-upon for Mommy bloggers and people who are barely literate enough to use the web, so they click on pretty pictures.”
Rather than pointing out just how easy to use and frictionless Pinterest is, Brandon makes Pinterest out as a social network for stupid people. He’s wrong. Pinterest is full of smart, college educated, higher income moms. Utah is the top state. I’m all of the above so this starts to feel like a personal jab too. Nevermind the slam on mommy bloggers!
The best mom bloggers have become brand advocates because of their incredible ability to connect to their audience and tell stories. Which makes for great marketing. They were already using images for their stories. Many have become talented photographers in the process, making them an even better fit with Pinterest.
I don’t remember anyone asking when Wikipedia, Reddit, or Digg would be less male-dominated. And if there was an anti-social social network it would be Wikipedia. Or if there were an anti-social CEO it would be Mark Zuckerberg (though he’s gotten better).
Both Digg and Wikipedia have generally obnoxious and rude cultures. They are also anti-marketing. Just try it and you’ll be eaten up. They are ruthless. The regulars are anti-business. Digg has died and Wikipedia has fundraising drives to support itself. If there was a social network that I’d tell most businesses not to participate in, it would be them.
I’ll take cute and people who shower any time over mean.
When I’m asked if Pinterest will draw more men, I say only if they change their categories. Digg’s categories include business, gaming, politics, science, sports, and technology. Compare that to Pinterest where the categories are things like pets, art, fitness, gardening, weddings, and hair & beauty. Of course these categories will attract more women than men on Pinterest.
That doesn’t mean men won’t join or be successful on Pinterest? No, but I believe Pinterest will continue to be heavily skewed towards women. And truthfully, I like it that way.