At the beginning of March, I deleted my Pinterest account because I was concerned about copyright infringement.
More than a month later, I came back to Pinterest with a renewed strategy – both personally and professionally.
This week, I spoke at a Pinterest training session at Brookfield Home & Idea Center.
Yes, you could say that Pinterest and I have had an on and off and now on again relationship.
I treated you badly, Pinterest
I’m blessed to have a lot of great relationships in my life. One of the things I tell my close friends is that it takes a lot to burn a bridge with me. I’m very forgiving – almost to a fault. I tell my friends to feel free to argue with me and be honest with me. We might hit a little blip in our relationship, but the good usually overcomes the bad and our friendship will survive. I even acknowledge that relationships change over time and accept that.
Throughout my career, I treated software the same way. I haven’t fought change with new versions of software when it came to graphic design technology. I believed that upgrades were created for progress and to make the software easier to use. My use of that software might change, but the relationship (use) of it would remain strong.
In my new venture, my “software” is mainly social media networks and I’ve used a similar approach. I didn’t raise a fuss when Facebook or Google+ announced their changes (even if those changes seemed to make the two networks more alike). And when a new network burst its way into the industry, I usually welcomed it and looked forward to trying it out.
When Pinterest first arrived, I welcomed it too. But now I look back and I remember that I was hesitant and almost pouty about it; almost as if I didn’t want to like Pinterest before I even gave it a chance. And then, when the first little blip threatened the relationship (granted that little blip was legal issues with copyright), I burned the bridge and immediately deleted my account. Why?
The Tom Cruise effect
When I was a teenager, all my friends just loved, loved, loved Tom Cruise. They gushed about how cute he was and how great his movies were. They would come to my house and bring VHS tapes with Tom Cruise movies on them and force me to watch them over and over again. They’d try to get me to say that he was the teenage girl’s dream man.
I rebelled. I didn’t want to follow the crowd. Just because every girl I knew loved Tom Cruise didn’t mean I had to love him. (Quite frankly, I preferred Christian Slater but they laughed at me when I said that.)
Thinking back, it’s quite possible that I might have loved Tom Cruise if left to make my own decision. He’s a decent-looking guy and has a prestigious acting career. It’s even more possible that I shoved that potential love for Tom Cruise away because everyone wanted me to love him.
This might have been what happened with Pinterest and me. By the time I joined Pinterest the first time, it was already very popular – especially with my female friends. They’d gush to me about it over the phone and during dinners. They all thought Pinterest was the greatest thing to be invented since Facebook.
Now I wonder if I pushed Pinterest away because of the Tom Cruise effect.
It’s all the little things
No matter how long I know someone, I always discover new nuances to their personality that makes me even more interested and invested in that person. The better I get to know a person, the more I care.
In the weeks leading up to the Pinterest training session, I really delved into the network. I played around on the desktop and mobile sites, I read blog posts and I did little experiments. I discovered a number of features that I not only decided to share during the presentation but also cemented my relationship with Pinterest. For example, the addition of video, group collaboration on boards and pricing on images suddenly made the network pertinent for business to me.
I don’t regret the path my relationship with Pinterest took, but I’m glad I gave it another chance. I’m much more invested in the network and am dreaming up new experiments and strategies every day. Now excuse me while I go pin something.