Monday, August 18, 2014

How to get yourself kicked off of Pinterest

I work with a guy who is an Apple fanatic.  He owns the latest Apple everything, pretty much when it comes out.  He tracks the latest Apple trends.

"Last night, as me and my wife were watching a movie from my Mac through my Apple TV, I read the funniest thing on my MacBook Air."

"It was... Oh hang on, I'm getting a text on my iPhone."

"Did you know that the next iPhone will be built with Gorilla Glass?"

Another guy that I work with has the nickname "Gadget Guy".  He's not married to any one company, but he buys all of the cool toys. Like mosquito bite lasers and car mounted deer scaring air warblers. His office is equipped with a digital picture frame and a tablet that he uses to read books on at lunch time.

"Mosquitos were a problem at the cottage.  So then I installed a surround-sound mosquito repelling frequency emitter.  It's thought powered."

And then there's me, the late adopter of everything.

I never got a Facebook account, or a MySpace one when that was big.  I'm not on Twitter.  When I finally relented and got a cell phone two years ago, I got a cheap little pay-as-you go plan with a correspondingly cheap phone.

It doesn't text very well, its pictures are of terrible quality and it has no app for that.  It is, however, inexpensive.

I'm a Millennial, but when people talk about how technology and social-media savvy Millennials are... well, I must have missed the memo.

"Wait, come back!  This is really important stuff!"

Two years ago, I joined the latest social media craze - Pinterest.  Two months later, my Pinterest account was locked.

This is my story.

It is quite possible, given the rapid rise and fall of various social media sites, that in a few years, someone will be reading this and be all, "What's Pinterest?"

That person will have been born in 2020 and be reading the blog from the cyborg implant in their arm.
So, for that cyborg child, here is a description of Pinterest.

"Pinterest is a company that provides an Internet service that they describe as a visual discovery tool. People use Pinterest to collect ideas for projects and interests. Users create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips, develop projects, organize events or save articles and recipes."

In practise, it looks a lot like this:

OMG Events!

OMG Crafts!

OMG Food!

I got a Pinterest account a few years ago, on the advice of a co-worker.

What on earth would I use Pinterest for, I asked her.  She used Pinterest to do crafty things like design costumes for her kids and to plan super-fancy theme birthday parties.

For many years, I hadn't needed Pinterest to help me with my sewing projects.  I failed to start needing Pinterest to help with my sewing projects once I had Pinterest.

"If only I could look at the amazing project of someone more talented than me.  That would make me feel better about my own work." --Not said by me ever.

I looked elsewhere for my PINspiration.

Ha ha ha!  So original!  This is not a pun that has probably ever been used before!!!

So what else did people make boards of?  My first board featured pictures of things that I thought looked like fun.  Three days and twenty or so posted pictures later, the exercise felt self-indulgent; I got bored.

"OMG Space travel! ... I'm really reaching, aren't I?"

Pinterest niggled at me, though.  I felt like I needed to do something meaningful with it.  If this was to be my contribution to the great social network of the world, I wanted it to have oomph.

You know what is meaningful and contributes to the world?

I bet you weren't going to say stocks.


I decided to make a Pinterest page on stocks.  Specifically, dividend stocks.  Extra specifically, those dividend stocks that are listed in the Dividend Champions list.

Feel free to commence mocking me.  What can I say?  I like my stocks.

I didn't just stop there.  Oh no, if I was going to do a page on Stocks to Consider, I would analyze the heck out of those stocks.  I used the four questions of Derek Foster.

1 - Is it recession proof?
2 - Is it dominant in its industry?
3 - Does it have a long history of strong performance?
4 - Does it have a strong consumer brand loyalty?

(For the uninitiated, "Yes" is the right answer to all of the above questions.  To buy a stock, you would have a confident yes answer to all four questions.)

I started at the top of the alphabet.  On the first day, I pinned pictures representative of 3 companies and my analyses of those companies.

Three days later, I went to add the fourth stock to the super awesome board.  That's when I found out that my account was locked.

Pinterest had apparently found my board and decided that my pins were too commercial.  I had, in their opinion, violated their terms of service.

I was crushed.  For a full week, I mournfully checked every day to see if my password had started working again.


For a full week, my password continued to not work.

The following week, I pulled the tattered shreds of my life together and proceeded to ignore Pinterest.

"I can live without you, Pinterest."
Like a spurned ex-boyfriend, Pinterest didn't ignore me.

"What do you mean, you can live without me?"

Pinterest never deleted my account.  My Stocks to Consider page lives on.  Pinterest still sends me emails about all of the people who "re-pin" my pins... like it is something about which I should care deeply.

"Love meeeeeee..."

Could things have been different?  Could I have found a way to make a board about finance that wouldn't have gotten me kicked off of the website?  I'll never know.

Now I shun Pinterest and blog instead.  That is, until Blogger spurns me somehow.  Stay tuned!

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