I've been reading the dialog about social media sites and I can't help but see a parallel with the dotcom boom/bust cycle. Like social media, dotcoms began by giving something away for nothing. (Users didn't pay, advertisers did.) As soon as the market became saturated and companies were unable to monetize their sites, they started charging for content. The vast majority of dotcoms don't exist anymore.
Social media sites are giving away something for nothing--users don't pay, advertisers do. And, like the dotcom boom, people are being told that if they don't get on the social media bandwagon soon, they are going to be left behind. (actually it's in all caps: YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND!!!! with lots of punctuation)
When the dotcom boom started, there was one leader--Amazon--that everybody else imitated. Now there's Facebook, which everybody is trying to imitate.
Once Facebook goes public, it's only going to get worse.
The only difference is, maybe investors learned their lesson 10 years ago and start-up funds aren't as easy to come by, so there won't be a social site springing up in every basement.
Are there compelling differences? I'd like to hear your feedback.
@arenasolutions - Thanks for the comment. As with most sites like this that grow in usage and audience, both the marketers and the advertisers are bound to come. And you hit on something solid there--image-sharing is most beneficial if your product is attractive, recognizable, and exciting. It is a challenge when these three things are not attributes of your product set. But, we only ever find a new way by trying new things, so we can't discount the possibilities. Thanks again!
If I had a product with really really cool images, or something I could create images around, I would definitely use Pinterest. I still think it's finding its niche, but, I am sure there will be a time and a place for marketers to jump onboard.
I have read the copyright statement, as well as articles on the subject of how Pinterest violates online copyright law. It sounds like the site's proprietors have stated that the responsibility of making sure content is ok to share is on the part of the user. This is not uncommon. I can name several other sites with similar statements, Tumblr and Weheartit come to mind first. But this issue is not unique to Pinterest. Pictures shared on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, etc. all fall within this restriction. Pinterest is getting the attention because it is the fastest moving right now. Many of those objecting are photographers and artists who earn license fees for their work. This is actually only a small part of the images shared on the site. Most content shared on Pinterest is from sites, companies, and users who are exstatic for the traffic this site is generating. This is something to remember as the media gets caught up in the swell of talk around this copyright issue.
As for the connection to our industry, time will definitely tell. I see benefits in education around products with video, diagrams, and application images that lead to how-tos or blog posts around the best products for the job. This content exists, and Pintrest can be one more wa to reach audiences that we may not have had access to before.
I am a believer in early evaluation through light adoption. I like to know the ins and outs of a possibility so that, if and when the time comes, I can act with speed and decision. That approach began with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and continues today with Google+ and Pinterest. If we took all of these initially at face value regarding their importance to what we do, we would have missed out on some great avenues of online marketing. My job is to evaluate and experiment early. A byproduct of that is the education I can bring both to my teams, family, friends, and the readers of my articles.
There is still an ongoing discussion with the pros and cons of using Pinterest for marketing. The main issue is copyright. The site doesn't say too much about it. It only says how to report copyright infrigement:http://pinterest.com/about/copyright/
Yes, of course I have been evaluating the site to see what potential uses it can have in different areas, something more useful than just collecting pictures as a hobby. I haven't done a deep evaluation or arrived to useful conclusions yet, though.
How do you connect Pinterest to the electronics industry and manufacturing?
@Susan -- Thanks for the comment. I would say that, like most new sites, it would depend on your business model. It sounds like you have evaluated the site already which is good. However, groups like Neiman Marcus and Mashable disagree in the Marketing potential of the site. Neiman even uses it as a second eCommerce channel. Women have been the driving force behind other sites' growth before, namely Facebook, just not to such an extent. I agree there are some questions around copyright that Pinterest needs to address. There are other sharing sites that share these issues as well.
I like the idea of the visual sharing model, and even if Pinterest doesn't do it just right, I hope someone does. We gravitate to imagery in Marketing, and I feel this is an underutilized method for educating and selling.
I recently read that 98% of Pinterest's users are female. There are issues with copyright in Pinterest, and it's not good for marketing as far as I know. Do you believe it will have some use for business at some point? To me it seems to be like a place to kill hours and hours collecting pictures.
Ariella: Thanks for the added info--it makes things a lot more interesting. Of course age, gender, geography and factors we can't even measure yet contribute to the social media trend. It also makes sense that clusters will form around interest groups, and maybe US Pinterest started out with recipes and UK Pinterest with engine repair (or whatever. I defer to the beer-guzzling, muscle-car buying denizens of blogs past to decide.) As long as social media remains free for users, I'm content for sites to proliferate. As soon as subcription fees are required, we'll see how fast the market shakes out.
@Ariella -- on second thought, yes, 'women' might have been the better term. I love the note about the majority overseas being men. I find that the use of the site depends on what you find interesting. The technology section is very robust. Thanks for the comment.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.