Category Archives: new media

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.

How the shift to digital publishing crosses language barriers…

Accessibility to published materials is often determined by the provenance of what is being published.

For example, traditionally an English speaker living in an English speaking country would be unlikely to access or seek out a foreign publication, unless the works or published material had been translated into English.  This is an example of a ‘closed’ or ‘localised’ public network as you’re access to sources is limited by your language understanding.

Now such closed networks worked fine…for a while…but the world today is a globalised one and this calls for a more globalised public network.

Many modes of publishing contribute to a global network, from films and songs that are produced in different languages, news groups with international branches, or even images that often can be understood cross-culturally. In particular, however, is the shift to digital publishing, which has been instrumental in building a more globalised public network today, especially in terms of access to publications in foreign languages.

The definition of digital publishing - Publishing, essentially, is the act of putting together written, visual or audio materials and releasing them as a cohesive whole to the world at large. Originally, publishing was done in the form of books, whether as papyrus scrolls or bound in covers. Publishing continued in this form until paper was taken out of the equation and replaced by digital files placed online.

How does digital publishing do this?  

  1. Because the World Wide Web is exactly it’s namesake – ‘world wide’ – there is more incentive for published materials to be accessible in different languages i.e. many websites have the option to be viewed in different languages, and becomes a priority in the publishing process.
  2. Furthermore, even if a page is not able to be viewed in different language versions, all is not lost, there are now specific web technologies that will translate entire pages on the spot i.e. google translator

These are just two examples that paint the picture of how the nature of digital publishing itself incentivises globalised content and new technologies enhance this ability to be more accessible.

So what does this mean?

It means our social contexts, our ‘publics’ are more diverse than ever before, and not only in terms of the many different modes of publishing, but because language barriers are being crossed all the time leading to a more globalised ‘public’ space.

So what’s going to happen?

Free online translator’s similar to Google Translate will continue to offer easy and quick translations and other media company’s old and new might capitalise on the need for published material to be more global, like translating software companies Systran, or Translate Media.

If your interested, watch Translate Media’s software system overview below.

Translate media are a great example of a company capitalising on the need for more global materials with their service called ‘Transcreation’, a translating service specializing in marketing products and services to consumers around the world through cultural adapations – creative translating they have tagged it.

‘What is the Welsh translation for “microwave”? The correct translation is “micro-don” but we think “popty-ping” has a nice ring to it. If you are a Welsh speaker, you’ll understand why… By using our transcreation services, we can quickly provide you with content suitable for all your target markets, while taking into account any cultural differences that could affect your promotional material and making sure it remains interesting to read.’

The cross cultural aspect of publishing is becoming very important, and digital publishing in combination with new media technologies has expanded the accessibility to published materials. So go crazy, the digital world really is your playground!