Category Archives: Assemblage

Pinterest – Assembling a new publishing powerhouse!

Today I am doing a more personal post on my new-found addiction – Pinterest!

Keeping in the theme of this blog, I promise it’s relevant to publishing too…but I can’t help but write about what I have been doing so often this past week since discovering the joy’s of ‘pinning’. 

‘Pinning’, in fact, is exactly what I have been doing!!

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to display and share all the beautiful things you find on the web through the simple click of the ‘Pin It’ button.

You can add this button to your browser for easy access whenever you need.

So easy, so quick, so….FUN! Believe me, one ‘pin’ down and you can’t help yourself. Whether it’s pinning things to your own board, or trawling through the countless boards created by other users, you are part of the network (and why wouldn’t you want to be part of a network where rule number 1 in the Pinning Etiquette is to ‘be nice’?)

Here is an example of the type of board you can create.

Here is Pinterest’s mission statement. As they say, their network is about connecting people…

Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

It is the being ‘connected’ part of Pinterest that is really interesting to me. As a designer, I could use Pinterest to organise my thoughts and inspirations for a design (good-bye to the hours spent laboriously cutting paper images out to make mood boards!). More than this, I can be connected with others as I create meaning a continuous ability to search the site for fresh ideas, or find out who else has been inspired by similar things to me and ‘re-pin’ anything of interest so that it appears on my own board. It means asking questions or receiving instant feedback from other users through the ‘comments function’ and of course the ability to ‘Follow’ anyone whose inspirations and interests you would like to stay updated with.

Another thing is that being connected never looked so good. The site layout and the pin boards are eye-pleasing, beautifully streamlined and chic, but also HEAVY on the images, which makes you want to stick around and peruse away. Images are the main focus of this site and Pinterest’s point of difference to other popular social networking sites like FB or Twitter.

Pinterest is all about the images.

Now, speaking of networks and being connected brings us straight to the publishing part of this post, as Pinterest is a new platform of digital publishing. It is also a contemporary example of what Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Manuel DeLanda (some smart media theorist guys if you’re wondering) call an ‘assemblage‘.

They use the term ‘assemblage’ to explore publishing and it’s relation to broader society, simply meaning an assembling of elements or relations. In this case study Pinterest is part of the assemblage of Digital Publishing, which can be broken down further to relate to ‘New Media’, and could be broken down once again to focus in on Pinterest itself as a new media platform.

Pinterest is a micro example of an ‘assemblage’ because it is a place where assembling literally happens (people ‘pinning’ content from the web to their boards), but also it is the catalyst for a series of other relationships that come with an ‘assemblage’ i.e. the relationship between you and Pinterest, you and your pin board, other creators, the web at large, other digital publishing platforms, how digital publishing relates to society in the broader context and we could go on! Essentially, what is assembled by Pinterest is an online ‘public space’ that has a relationship with publishing and it’s place in broader society.

So I think that’s enough on the publishing side… I’m going back to the joy’s of pinning!

I will leave you with some stats about how Pinterest is taking of in Aus, and in comparison to other social media sites. (Keep in mind it’s really only taken off here in the last 2 months) but I think it is about to get BIG! (and take note of the almost even percent of males/females using the site….awesome).

Pinterest in Australia – February 2012 (Data from Social Media News)

  • Unique Australian Visitors (UAVs) to the site – 160,000 per month
  • Page Views – 8.9 million per month
  • Total Visits – 970,000 per month
  • Average Time on site – 14 minutes 20 seconds
  • Audience – 57% female, 43% male

Social Media Statistics Australia – February 2012 (Data from Social Media News)

1. Facebook – 10,703,160 Australian users (this number is actually down about 180 users to January) – 13 million UAVs according to Google Adplanner (steady from Jan figures). The higher number of unique visitors to users is probably people logging into Facebook from home, school, work etc.
2. YouTube – 11,000,000 UAVs (steady)
3. Blogspot – 3,500,000 (steady)
4. LinkedIn – 2,200,000 (up 400,000)
5. Twitter – 1,800,000 (steady)
6. WordPress.com – 1,600,000 (up 100,000)
7. Google Plus – 1,200,000 users (Estimation* based on 90 million users globally)
8. Tumblr – 1,100,000 (up 100,000)
9. Flickr – 920,000 (up 90,000)
10. MySpace – 520,000 (up 50,000)
11. Instagram – 250,000 (down 100,000)
12. Pinterest – 160,000
13. Reddit – 160,000 (down 10,000)
14. StumbleUpon – 130,000 (down 10,000)
15. Digg – 84,000 (up 14,000)
16. Delicious – 44,000 (up 5,000)

Ciao for now.