As a writer who works from home, some days I need a change of scenery. On those days I head with my laptop to my favorite coffee shop. It’s close to home; it boasts free coffee refills; and it offers a reliable, complimentary WiFi service. Another thing it offers without even trying is an endless inspiration for new articles. An example would be the article that you’re reading right now!
My favorite seat is an overstuffed chair in a corner of the café. It’s comfortable, and the large window affords a view of the outdoors. My friends actually joke that I have a corner office! Just a few months ago, I was relaxing there when a group of college students came into the café. While they waited for their coffee they were chatting about a new social networking site called Pinterest – something I’d never heard of before that moment. So I did what any normal human would do – I Googled it. But when I looked it up, my first impression was that it seemed like it was a bunch of women sharing recipes and crafts.
Becoming One of the Privileged on Pinterest
Later that evening while enjoying dinner with my wife, I made a similar comment which was met with an icy stare. Apparently I was clueless about how Pinterest works, and I was about to get an education. It seems that despite being founded by three men, and even though 97% of Pinterest users are members of the fairer sex, my wife’s new goal was to introduce me to the newest, fastest-growing social network.
When I created my own Pinterest account, the process was much different than it is today. Once my application was accepted, actually using the site was something like driving a Shelby Cobra, going from zero to sixty in about 3.5 seconds. It was a lot like what British author Terry Pratchett was describing when he wrote, “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”
In all fairness, Pinterest is a lovely website but for the simplicity of its design, becoming a member wasn’t a simple process at all. Applying itself was easy enough but there was a waiting period involved. While it seemed a minor annoyance at first, in hindsight the wait made me feel like I was joining the upper echelon of social networks and in less than a week I received a reply that included everything I needed to join the virtual bulletin board. For those who are recent members, here’s the process that the first 10 million or so members had to endure.
- Request an invitation from a member.If I had gone this route and requested an invitation from my wife, then I would have become a member a lot faster. Using this method was quicker because it told Pinterest that you’re a real person. Now all that’s required is a valid email address or Facebook account.
- Request an invitation from the site.At the top of the main Pinterest page, you’d see a button that said “Request Invitation” next to a blank box. You would type your email in the blank box, click the button and you would be on your way.
- Share some pins.Whether it’s a recipe from your favorite culinary website that pays special attention to allergies or a picture of high school homecoming mums, your pin will show up in searches and on the “Everything” wall at some point, allowing people to share it at will.