A group blog on regional web trends by the Knoxville News Sentinel web staff
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Posts tagged "Pinterest"

My #trending post this Sunday focuses on curation being an effective method to curb data fatigue. Read on!

Data deluge image by The Economist

I suffer from information overload. Every day, I’m inundated with an array of text messages, breaking-news alerts, instant messages, Facebook notifications and email. And that doesn’t even include my scouring of my Facebook feed, Web perusing and general news consumption via newspapers, magazines and television.

I delight in learning what’s happening in the world. But it’s taking a toll. There is too much data to sift through and not enough guidance on what I must see immediately. I’m a little data fatigued.

How does one filter through the mass (or mess) of information available online to find what they’re looking for?

A growing answer appears to be curated news. Consider it the Web equivalent of the evening news — or heck, your daily newspaper!

For instance, while I get more than 50 emails a day, one that I always look forward to is an aggregated newsletter called NextDraft. Created by San Francisco-based Dave Pell, NextDraft is a wonderful example of curated news that amuses and informs without being overwhelming.

Pell started NextDraft about a decade ago. He stopped writing it for a while, but some readers suggested he bring it back. In an email to me, Pell mentioned misgivings. “I was dubious. I wondered if people would be interested in a curated newsletter focused on fascinating news in the age of Facebook and Twitter.”

It turns out people did enjoy the breadth of content he selected from media outlets and organized into a daily email; NextDraft now has about 15,000 subscribers.

In some ways, Facebook is doing this in its news feed. It highlights links that several people in your network have mentioned in an additional effort to bring it to the top of your feed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook soon unveils  personalized daily top 10 news highlights, aimed at further curating one’s feed.

Pinterest is another example of curating content. How many times have you heard a friend say they found a recipe on Pinterest? Actually, a human found that blog post and curated it by pinning it to a theme-specific board.

Engauge, a digital media company, wrote an analysis of Pinterest and its rapid growth. “People stare into a fire hose of information every day, and it’s having an impact. They’re actively seeking ways to not only filter and organize what they find, but also to less stressfully consume more content.”

It’s funny, we’ve come full circle by increasingly relying on a human’s touch to sort through the deluge of information being posted on the Internet.

Pell agrees. He said, “I think the next big thing on the Web will be the return of the humans. There’s just too much information out there, and people want to receive the information via other humans, not a computer algorithm.

“This is Web 3.0. I am the algorithm.”

My close friends and colleagues are probably sick of me preaching the benefits of Pinterest. But I think the social networking sites really covers a lot of niches well (hello, endless recipe ideas!). But the idea of vacation planning via Pinterest is new to me.

In the last few weeks, several tourism entities have started following the knoxnews Pinterest account I manage. They stopped me in my tracks with images of breathtaking mountain views, picturesque cabins and adventures to be had.

It got me thinking that this is a huge opportunity to attract vacationers to our area. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

Based on these boards, who wouldn’t want to visit East Tennessee?

Has anyone else used Pinterest to plan a vacation? Do you have any other accounts for vacation planning I should know about?

The Knight Digital Media Center blog has an interesting post on how someone is using Pinterest as a way to challenge commonly held notions as to what a black man looks like.

Last month, Dori Maynard had just begun experimenting with Pinterest as a way to use images to counter stereotypes. When the shooting death of Trayvon Martin started making national headlines, she decided to combat negative media images of black men by offering a collection of photos of ordinary and extraordinary black men in her life.

Read the full post by the Knight Digital Media Center

The Pinterest board, that is shown above.

As the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival fast approaches, here are a few ways to follow our updates of the event:

Bonnaroo board on Pinterest

No, it wasn’t a literal smackdown Tuesday night at Calhoun’s, but the verbal back-and-forth was plenty to feast on.

The Social Media Club Knoxville hosted its first “social media smackdown,” an event that promised to air out the differences among four of the most popular social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

The panelists, from left to right, are Katie Granju, backing Facebook; Nicole Denton, supporting Pinterest; Rick Laney, advocating for Twitter; and Shane Rhyne, plugging Google+.

(The panelists, from left to right, are Katie Granju, backing Facebook; Nicole Denton, supporting Pinterest; Rick Laney, advocating for Twitter; and Shane Rhyne, plugging Google+.)

This week’s #trending column, which will appear in Sunday’s News Sentinel, talks about the smackdown and highlights each panelist presented in defending his/her site.

But for those of you who can’t wait to hear the details, I’ll outline some right here.

Facebook: Granju argued that Facebook is almost ubiquitous, “like the telephone now.” And in many ways, I agree. Facebook messaging, for example, has taken over as my primary way of contacting people I don’t talk to regularly.

If I want to share photos or links with the majority of my friends, I go to Facebook. Party invitations? Nope. Just invite people through Facebook. You can announce big life changes to all your contacts at once; you can group message; or you can even share info with a private group you’re a part of.

Moderator Chad Parizman, who’s the director of social and mobile for Scripps Networks Interactive, pointed out how “Facebook is the underpinning of access to other sites.” And that’s totally true. So many sites ask you to sign in via Facebook.

In a world where it’s easier than ever to lose touch with friends and family, I truly think Facebook helps bridge that gap in many cases.

(Find knoxnews on Facebook.)

Twitter: Laney started off by telling the crowd why Twitter is better than Facebook. “It’s faster … and concise,” he said. And with tweets 140 characters or less, it’s less content to “wade through,” he argues.

And that’s true. I think of Twitter, and often use it in this way, as a more developed RSS feed. I visit the site, where I’m following people whose feeds I find interesting, and I’m met with a stream of useful links, funny banter and interactions with followers.

I can send someone a private message, or a DM, and that’s great, too. I do find the 140-character limit in messages slightly more challenging, but it’s a good challenge. How often are we more verbose than necessary?

(Find knoxnews on Twitter.)

Pinterest: Pinterest, according to Denton, is “drastically different” from other SM sites. It “helps build a lifestyle,” she said.

It’s simple, so it doesn’t feel like you’re joining another social network. And it’s niche, so users are looking for specific things and following people who share those same interests.

Yes, it is most poplar with women 18-34, but it’s still early. On my account, for instance, I see more and more men cropping up.

One metaphor I liked came from Katie Granju, who said: Pinterest is like the iPad, mostly for consuming content and some content creation, whereas other sites are like a laptop, more about creating content and some consumption.

(Find knoxnews on Pinterest.)

Google+: Oh, Google+. The least visited of these four sites, and the newest, it’s still a work in progress.

Rhyne insisted Google+ is the best because he can filter content and mix business and personal with no problems. And it’s got a killer spam-blocking mechanism, he said, because a company/brand on G+ can’t follow a user unless that user follows it.

One important factor he noted was making sure your profile is filled out well. He said that’s key in determining the value of what you’re posting when users consider adding you to their circles.

(Find knoxnews on Google+.)

The verdict: While there was no official winner announced, the 40 or so attendees were polled after all was said and done. If you were to choose only one site to use from now on, they were asked, which would you most want?

Pinterest? No takers.

Google+? Three opted for it.

Twitter? Four hands rose.

And Facebook? An overwhelming number indicated Facebook would take the cake as the only network they’d need.

So, all things considered, it seemed to me that Facebook took top honors as MVS — most valuable site.

I’ve noticed Chris Brogan mention a few times on Twitter that he loves Gentlemint.Today I clicked on their Twitter handle and found out that my beloved Pinterest has competition geared toward men.

According to the DailyDot, Gentlemint is launching as a Pinterest for men:

This new site is already making a name for itself as Pinterest, but for men. Manly men. Unlike the designer shoes and DIY projects you’ll likely see on Pinterest’s front page, here users share testosterone-charged photos of boxers and trucks.

Like Pinterest, membership is currently invitation only. Get on it, boys!