By Naima Abdi
The route trend savvy enthusiasts take to adopt fresh tastes and inspire the like-minded to try new things, has evolved in a mini-phenomenon coined the virtual pin-board.
Whether it’s an interesting photo found on the web, DIY arts & crafts or a recipe, virtual pin-boards provide a simple and instant lifestyle-sharing tool. For users it’s a public space to organize, share and discover the things they love from wherever they are in the world.
“There are so many random things you can find because you can just search what everyone has pinned. I like that you can narrow down the search if you are only interested in one specific thing. It’s its own social network. You can find people with the same interests, follow them, comment and get their advice.” Said Laurie Berger, a member of Pinterest.
In these communities members produce the site’s content and much like a network of contributors on a blog, they keep people in the know. The cost of membership depending on the site, is only time. Smaller communities such as NOTCOT will accept new members without delay and breakout sites like Pinterest no longer grant instant membership. Instead, hooked visitors can request an invite and are placed in a digital waiting room of sorts. It can take anywhere from few days to a little over a full week to be confirmed a member. In the meantime visitors can still peruse the site until an invitation to join is sent.
Here’s a list the top five virtual pin-boards making noticeable traction on the web.
Famed for its ease of access and broad range of topics to search and browse, Pinterest is by far the fastest growing community. Launched in March 2010, the site caters to a practical and diverse crowd with a slew of interests. Popular topics such as wedding planning, health and fitness advice, gift ideas, home decorating and style tips are just some of the reasons recently informed visitors flock to the site.
Pinterest is simple, highly visual and intuitive to the users needs. Basically if you can think it then it’s likely you’ll find it on Pinterest because there is something for everyone. There’s even a section for gifts that range in price from $1 to $500 and up. Here members are genuine in their pursuit to gather and share new lifestyle bits. In other words this is not a catty or smug community. Which is undoubtedly due to the site’s regulations known as “Pin Etiquette.” These rules set the tone for what’s acceptable and what’s objectionable and the community follows them without problem.
The first rule requires users to always “Be Nice” and the second states members must have a credible source for items they pin. With these guiding principals, the site continues to flourish and attract people willing to wait for a spot in this community. Although with so many members, a lot of the same content gets re-pinned and that means looking at duplicates of one post over and over again. But in terms of negatives this is a minor aspect that over time becomes easy to ignore.
For more information visit Pinterest.com
Another invitation only site, PicoCool appeals to a more indie crowd and though has a decent following, hasn’t yet reached the level of a pin-board giant like Tumblr and soon to be Pinterest. Though that seems to be the intention. This site does a good job of revealing trends and other cool things in a simple and understated space. But overall has a limited selection of topics and tags to search, browse and post. So it’s best to browse the categories and go through each page for more results even though this takes more time.
PicoCool provides general sections like fashion, technology, culture, and lifestyle and unlike Pinterest, is more general and serves as a semi-underground global hub. The members here are low-key individuals with tastes in all things cool regardless of price.
For those who have the money to grab some of the things they see on this site, PicoCool is a good find because there are many unique and one of a kind items fairly unknown to the general public. Otherwise this may not be the site for people on a budget looking for things to purchase right away. Instead it can still be used as a great reason to save up or a helpful reference to get ideas from some of the posts.
For more information visit PicoCool.com
This fashion specific pin-board is wait-less and allows trend conscious individuals to scan new styles and even post pictures of their own. Lookbook.nu though simple is not structured like other pin-boards but is set up more like a blog and makes for constant scrolling and less images to be swooned by upon first glance.
Nevertheless the styles presented on the site are in every sense of the word fresh. This is in large part to Lookbook.nu’s extremely selective policy on posting your own look. Members must be in all photos submitted, full body shots only, no posts with nudity and no reposting previous looks to get more hype— are just a few rules out of ten that promote the site’s chic and cutting edge atmosphere.
Lookbook.nu serves an audience of fashion elitists and borderline hipsters. The looks submitted by members are elaborate and pseudo-editorial. This isn’t a site where users can take an average picture of an outfit in front of the mirror and submit it for posting. So if intimidated about posting your own look its probably best to just browse looks or work on a concept to submit because if it’s a mediocre photo, it probably won’t make it to the site.
For more information visit Lookbook.nu.
NOTCOT.org is the pin-board baby site of the NOTEMPIRE and their series of websites dedicated to the art of an independent lifestyle. This site is random but contains a vivid variety of inspirational photos, quotes, styles, art and pretty much everything in-between.
It’s easy to use and nice to look at and though the content is typically a free for all there’s a search bar for members to target certain posts. But the search capabilities are limited because the team at NOTCOT only recently began utilizing tags for posts.
Members of this site tend to have a multitude of interests and an eye for the unusual. Every post celebrates some element of life or an experience in a simple but meaningful way. It’s a great place to get a random dose of inspiration when not looking for anything specific or just to be stimulated.
For more information visit Notcot.org.
5. Fresh Bump
This Art and Design centered site is a niche pin-board for artists, designers in all fields and creative’s in general. Instead of a community, its more of a medium sized collective that resembles a digital museum designated to provoke inspiration and showcase intriguing art work and other visual aesthetics.
Fresh Bump’s member base consists of rising creative professionals as well as people with a heavy visual appetite. There are quite a few categories to look up and post about aside from art, including consumer oriented topics such as automobiles, shoes, cameras, bikes, gadgets and etc. The site introduces new ways of life that are all for sale somewhere on the web. But it’s the art that seems to be the force that is binding members with the site.
Fresh Bump is easy to use, has a large amount of content can be found via tags or through their search bar and there isn’t a wait to sign up and become a member.
For More Information visit Freshbump.com.
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