Monday, May 21, 2012

Do Tell: Is Pinterest Hurting the Blog World?

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I have been pretty addicted to Pinterest since the site first gained popularity last year. I don’t remember exactly when I first joined, but it has probably been around six months now. I believe that Pinterest is a very valuable and powerful tool for anyone seeking to leverage or promote a brand or product and it has been a constant source of inspiration for me for several months now. Not to mention, I have gained followers much more quickly on Pinterest than on any other social media site. The thing I love most about it, is that when I come across an image I love, rather than saving it on my hard drive like I once did, I now pin everything and keep the images on my boards. Doing this keeps me so much more organized. Many times, I’ll notice that I have subconsciously pinned a bunch of images that share a common style or theme and voila, a blog post is born!

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While millions of people seem to be hooked on Pinterest, there are plenty of people out there who have negative feelings about it. I have heard several people say that they feel Pinterest will lead to the end of blogging. When blogging first surged a few years ago, everyone said magazines were losing readership because people were turning to blogs to get their images and information more quickly and for free. Now that Pinterest is here, it seems some people believe that the blogging world will suffer from a loss of creativity and that fewer people will read blogs because they will get a constant, more instantaneous “inspiration fix” on Pinterest. I honestly think it’s all in how you look at it and how you use Pinterest. For me, it’s a great organization tool and it provides me with inspiration, but I don’t think it has affected the quality of my blogging in a negative way. If anything, I think social media as a whole is changing and has come to be completely prevalent and readily available to just about everyone. In fact, a few months ago, I had lunch with a very well respected and prominent blogger who asked me if I was getting fewer comments on my blog lately and the answer was yes. My readership continues to grow steadily as does hers, but we both noticed that fewer people take the time to leave a comment—most likely because making the rounds to all of their blogs is not what it was in 2008. Now, there are millions of blogs with new ones popping up each day! What are your feelings on Pinterest? Are you a member? If so, are you hooked? Do you feel that Pinterest has negatively impacted the world of style blogs? I find this topic very interesting and would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a blogger, so I can't speak from the perspective of someone trying to amass followers. As a reader/pinner, however, I can say that I have started following more blogs as a result of Pinterest. Before Pinterest, I wasn't sure what to do with all of the images/posts I found on blogs, so I just emailed myself a jillion links. With Pinterest, I can keep everything organized in one spot. I have filled up my Google Reader with many more blogs now that I know what, exactly, to do with all of that fabulous inspiration!

bevy said...

The only way I see Pinterest affecting blogs is that more bloggers are lazy about identifying their source and just listing Pinterest as the source, which really isn't fair if you think about it.

Regarding comments, I tend to not comment as much, mostly because if I don't feel like I have much to say beyond "That's so cute!" then the comment isn't really worth it. Plus, I'm really annoyed with the word verification some bloggers have. It's become even more difficult to decipher these "words." Are they really even words? Most I've never heard of.

It's funny though, sometimes I see some of my favorite bloggers all using the same image within the same week of each other. I guess we all like the same things.

Anonymous said...

This is a great topic, but I agree with you - Pinterest will in no way lead to the end of blogging. Pinterest has actually enabled me to find additional blogs to add to my daily reading list. Plus, when I pin, it's great exposure for that source - be it a blog, designer, or general website - for all of my Facebook friends to discover since I log into Pinterest via FB.

And, just as you do, I find it fantastic to organize images. I no longer have to have a million tear sheets in a drawer, and being able to see everything together in thumbnails makes it easier to pinpoint the overall style that I like the most.

Lastly, to answer your question of being hooked - yes, I am! But I find it to be a new way to engage and save favorites of my favorite bloggers and share their work.

Annette

Amber said...

i too am addicted to pinterest. and I blog. on two separate platforms and for me its been awesome. Pinterest isnt' necessarily how i choose to promote my brand but it gets it out there without a lot of thought on my part simply by pinning images of makeup i've created.
on the other hand. I've been so inspired by the images I've found- that I post them on my blog and link to the original source to encourage others to check them out.
I've even found quite a few new blogs that way. Like you, I've noticed a trend in the images I pin and how even though they seem random there is clearly a theme that runs through them and it helps me organize my thoughts on absolutely everything!!
I think it continues to help blogs grow as people from all over are connected by some random image and then try to find the original source and the next thing you know you're sucked in to a new blog and you fall in love.
I am happy to have found Pinterest and am grateful for the things I've been exposed to because of it.

BréBri said...

I love Pinterest. I especially like how Pinterest links the user back to the original sources. I feel like it has open my eyes to more blogs and sources of inspiration than before.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I read your blog everyday but never leave a comment and never really thought about the affects of that. I have been a member of pinterest for a little over a year. I love pinterest and I certainly love repinning some wonderful things people pin on there. My favorite way to utilize pinterest though is to comb through several blogs and find my favorite things. I think that maybe pinterest has lessened the amount of "frequent flyers" to a certain blog, but I click on where pins are from to check out the website/blog and I'm sure other people do as well. The internet is an ever changing thing and there are always things to love and hate but I think both pinterest and blogs are here to stay because, for me, blogs sustain pinterest. Love your blog, Jordyn

Emily Davis said...

Paloma- what an interesting topic for discussion. I agree that with the addition of Pinterest, "inspiration overload" can occur. I think Pinterest will drive bloggers to have more original content to their blog... and that can't be a bad thing, right? That being said, I will always love blogs. The personal touch of WRITING can't be found on Pinterest.

xoxo, Emily
www.mainstreetchic.blogspot.com

Meghan said...

Love this topic. I think it depends on the purpose of your blog. For example, I started my blog as a place to archive things I found inspirational, not necessarily as a social media format or even with a goal to gain a large readership. So once I started Pinterest, I've definitely slacked off in blog posts, since the inspirational images I would normally post are all there in my Pinterest boards anyway.

However, if the purpose of your blog is to promote your business or if your blog IS your business, I think Pinterest should be secondary...in other words, it's easy to fall back on Pinterest at the cost of your blog, so it's up to the blogger to take true ownership of their site and to create new content that hasn't already made the rounds on Pinterest. In that sense, Pinterest could be a good thing for blogs as it encourages more original content. I've also come across many new, fantastic blogs when I find a pretty Pinterest image and link back to the original poster.

Martha said...

Great post, thanks for bringing it up. I've discovered SO MANY blogs that I read regularly now through Pinterest so I would have to say as a reader, it's not hurting my blog world. I've just started to read blogs over the last year and began pinning at the same time so they seem to go hand in hand for me. I'd much rather follow a blogger on Pinterest than Twitter or FB. When my friends pin a blog post there is a good chance I'll read it. If they just comment on it I might never know how awesome it was!

LiveLaughDecorate said...

Paloma, I have to confess I share your addiction to Pinterest, and since we started on Pinterest we've have gotten a lot followers to our blog. Since our blog is mainly a design blog Pinterest allows us to show our other design sides. I agree with Emily that Pinterest will push bloggers to have more original contents on their blogs and that can never be a bad thing.

house of earnest said...

I'm a blogger, trying to grow readership and I had thought a lot about this around the beginning of the year.
I decided that if the blogger is bringing either their own design work, or a fresh new perspective to the table, than the effect if far less. However, if the blogger is re-blogging photos for inspiration/ideas that are already out there in a big way on pinterest, then yes, there is possibly a negitive effect on their growth or readership due to Pinterest.

I've taken this personally as a challenge to up my game on original content - which I think has overall improved my work and will improve the work of lots of bloggers!

Heidi said...

Interesting topic. I have been thinking about this lately. I blog and often have the same images on my pinterest and on my blog. Was worried people would stop reading my blog and start just looking at my pinterest. But I get feedback from people that they come to my blog for the images AND the writing. Pinterest will never have that. I love Pinterest but I love my daily blog reads more. Thanks for bringing this up,good discussion. -Heidi www.therusticmodernist.com

Brooke Shemwell said...

I really like Pinterest for the organization aspect. I was constantly losing sources and images and now it's such a great way to have it all in one place. I hope people still comment and read blogs! I'm really trying to gain more followers, but is a major struggle for me.

Prippy Handbook said...

This is a great topic and something I've been thinking about a lot. I'm a blogger and a Pinterest lover, and I use the platforms for different purposes.

I think that Pinterest will change the blog world, and I predict fashion and design bloggers will feel the impact the most as followers move to Pinterest boards more and more for inspiration. Plus, as other readers point out, a lot of blogs post very similar content which can lead to a Follower "checking out" of the blog world and "checking in" to Pinterest to quickly see what is trending.

I think it brings up some interesting and challenging intellectual property right issues that will need to be tackled. While some of these issues have loomed over the blog world, Pinterest takes it to a new level. If you're putting original pics/content on Pinterest, be sure you're aware of the possible use and abuse of the photo. While this is true for any photo online, I think people who are making things/products need to be especially aware on Pinterest.

Personally, I love both platforms and can't wait to see what's next.

Bethany @ Powell Brower Home said...

My only complaint with Pinterest is that ubiquitous-ness of images across blogland and Pinterest, making things a bit 'less' creative and more streamlined. It used to be, i'd get my fix from blogs and when you would stumble across a great image (and store it on your harddrive), it was unique. it wasnt all over every page. now, so many images are every where, its hard to find anything that is sacred anymore.

Kim @ keller-creative said...

One thing I notice is that people that aren't bloggers seem to post pictures of things on facebook that they've created (a recipe or craft project) and say how it's a pinterest project. A lot of the credit for orginal ideas seems to be getting lost.

Priscilla said...

I like both blogging and Pinterest. I have cut out some of the blogs that aren't relevant to me, anymore. But I love to pin from blogs and e-magazines. I can find these faster than searching through past blogs for things I wish I'd kept.

Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy} said...

Such an interesting topic (and I must apologise as I do love your blog but I'm not a frequent commenter) - it's something I've considered in the past. I, like so many others, love Pinterest. As a blogger, it's been invaluable in organising posts, spotting trends - just copying the image and copying the original image location is so simple too! No more remembering where something came from!

I think what it's going to do, however, is force bloggers who only post inspiration posts and none of their own original content to up their game a bit. If you are even vaguely aware of the SEO value of original content then you know that this is where the internet is going anyway.

As a blog follower, I read many blogs because I *like* the blogger - not just their style but also their own voice and the personality that comes through in their writing. It's not just about pretty pictures for me, it's the whole package. Yes, I can get inspiration from Pinterest - but personal experiences and someone's writing style is completely unique. And the people I've met via blogging and the relationships I've formed through it just wouldn't have happened through Pinterest which is pretty impersonal.

Sorry on a roll there, I'll shut up now ;) xxx

Where the Style Things Are said...

As a blogger, I love being able to knock out simple visual posts now by just going to Pinterest - I still feel that a blog post is the best format for a service piece or other sharing format. Pinterest is great because of the visual aspect, but I think we'll always need a forum to put longer articles. Pinterest, I believe, is at its core a pin board, not a place to put long-winded posts. Let the visuals talk!

Where the Style Things Are said...

As a blogger, I love being able to knock out simple visual posts now by just going to Pinterest - I still feel that a blog post is the best format for a service piece or other sharing format. Pinterest is great because of the visual aspect, but I think we'll always need a forum to put longer articles. Pinterest, I believe, is at its core a pin board, not a place to put long-winded posts. Let the visuals talk!

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

I love the commentary going on here. I love Pinterest and blogging, They compliment each other. I think Tumblr poses more of a threat to blogging.


Lisa x

EAC said...

I read many design blogs, and while I do love Pinterest, many of the people I follow repin the same images. Once the newness wore off I stopped visiting as frequently. I have started following at least two new blogs after seeing images on Pinterest. I can't shake the feeling that one day it will all shut down, so I continue to save images on my hard drive. For images I need to share with an electrician, a carpenter, or someone else, Pinterest boards are GREAT- gives an idea what I need without emailing files or trading discs.

Eboné Smiley said...

Great topic and conversation starter Paloma. I agree with others and see Pinterest as an enhancement to blogging. My Tumblr blog is primarily images, with some text so i love being able to share images from the blog on Pinterest. I also love being able to see how many of my "friends" have similar tastes and discovering so many great sites, blogs, articles and brands via the site. Blogging will not suffer, only those bloggers that do not use it strategically and wisely to enhance their brand and curate their perspective and manage all the recipes they want to cook in their slow cooker! :)

Eboné Smiley, The Smiley Effect
www.pinterest.com/thesmileyeffect
www.thesmileyeffect.tumblr.com

beautifullifeandstyle.com said...

I think that the big question is - what kind of reader are you losing? Pinterest/ tumblr will replace blogs for the reader who is looking solely for images. I mean, if I type in "cozy reading nook" I get at least 50 unique images... there is no faster way on the internet to get a great collection of images.

However, what blogging provides is the "idea" to type "cozy reading nook" in the first place. Its an inspiration that you provide that other people find interesting. I might not be inspired to type that on a certain day- but you might be inspired to write about it! A blog post might also add information about how to style your own reading nook, or some great books on your specific reading list.

So yes, I think that overall, less people will use blogs, but I don't think less people will READ blogs- if you keep providing unique ideas to images, then you will still have readership.

Personally, I would rather have 100 people who actually READ what I have to say than 1000 people who LOOK at my site for pictures.

Katie said...

I love Pinterest and you are one of my favorites to follow. I do not think it has made me read less blogs, in fact I've found several new ones through Pinterest. I do not comment much, but that's because there are so many blogs I read that I just don't have a lot of time to.

emi said...

I joined Pinterest in 2010, but didn't begin to use it until last year... I honestly do not read blogs the same way I used to because the content posted is often not "new" by the time I get to my RSS feed.. I've also found bloggers are posting less.. So, I think you're asking a valid question.. social media will continue to evolve, and bloggers will have to evolve with it in order to remain relevant

design roundup said...

Love blogging. Love Pinterest. I will never stop reading, I'm a crazy reader. Reading 100's of blogs, 8-10 magazines and 3 novels nearly daily. But that's just me, for some they are, what I like to call photo obsessed, they enjoy looking at beautiful things, so for those they may feel overwhelmed by all the blogs, online magazines, Nook books, etc. And as far as comments, I comment when What I'm reading evokes an emotion ��; like today. Great post Paloma!

Carla Aston said...

I feel like Pinterest is competition for blogs that just post pretty pictures. Blogs that have a message and information will always do well.

Blair said...

I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about this same topic in the past months! My comments have gone down but subscribers and traffic has continued to increase. However I see that people repin images from my post or like it on facebook. It is hard to know how to respond. I do think that what blogs can offer is that they curate all the images on pinterest and perhaps take it to another next level. With that said I cant even count how many times I have said in the past month how blogs are the past and pinterest is the future. However, I adore blogging and will never stop! Thank you for bringing this up. xoxox

Bekah said...

Paloma,
Great topic!
I love Pinterest, and use it to gather images I love or quotes that resonate with me. I love how it amasses images that really give a snapshot overview of who a person is, and I try to create boards that reflect who I am.
As a blogger, I try to avoid using images that have been used over and over again on Pinterest. It definitely makes me work harder on original content, and pushes my creative limits. Blogging may be harder, but I hope it is getting (slowly) better.

Sarah said...

Great topic!! Well, the Entrepreneuriss Academy would beg to differ - I actually took a quickie 1 hour course with The Decorista how you should be using Pinterest to promote not only your blog, but your business too. It is very interesting and I have to admit when I started pinning, I did get a surge of readers for my blog too - I have never had a lot of people comment, but, now it seems like no one comments or very rarely. Great food for thought!!

DNA (designers+artists) said...

I think any new social media that comes on to the forefront can be potentially harmful to blogs. Reason being is that our attention span has gotten smaller and faster, so when Tumblr became popular, people wanted more images. I think the same is happening with Pinterest. It's too much of quantity over quality.

That's kind of why I am really into TheFancy right now. Because it's not pressuring you to post every single thing, but from its aesthetic alone, you automatically ge t that their demographic is precisely high-end design, fashion brands, cool wookworked crafts and more architectural I guess.

I think Pinterest put everything on the table way too fast without explaining its complete vision.

We like to Pin because everyone's doing it. However, we also like The Fancy because we actually enjoy the content of images better for some reason.

http://www.designers-artists.com

Adriana Iris La Dulce Vida said...

Blog that are well written won't lose readership in my opinion.

Glamour Drops said...

What a fascinating list of comments, and of course, a fascinating topic too - which needs to be discussed. I love both - for different reasons. But yes, I agree with many of your commenters that pinterest will emphasise the need for more original content on blogs - which i think is fabulous. Just as Carla put it.

Anonymous said...

To all bloggers - I am "anonymous" - not for less than glowing comments, but simply
because that is my only option.
I am not a fellow blogger and I use hotmail. Many blogs I can no longer comment because I don't have a google account.

pjseattle@hotmail

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

Great topic, and I really appreciate your view and take on it. I've noticed my comments are dropping, but my stats continue to grow. I assume it's because with so many blogs, how can anyone possibly comment on that many each day?! It does make it harder for the blogger to know if a post was read and enjoyed, or just clicked on.

As for Pinterest, it is now my blog's top referral. But my blog is mostly original projects, so the material is almost always new...and frequently pinned. It also helps me to know a fellow blogger better because I can peek into their world via their boards. :)

Ana said...

I have dropped blogs that are incredibly verbose mainly because I cannot stand reading 350+ words on a screen unless there are a lot of photos interspersed. Pinterest made it easy to drop those blogs because the images I cared about were collated in an incredible spot. I have come across many new blogs as a result and that's great! Although, I am finding that many of the blogs I frequent use the same images, so after visiting the blog every day for a couple weeks I'll either get bored or continue frequenting it. So, I think that Pinterest has also made blogs more disposable. It's raised the bar for creative and well-thought content. I think it's going to hit the lazy bloggers. Everyone else should be fine.

Anonymous said...

hello! i am not a blogger, but Pinterest opened my world up to blogging! i know follow almost 50 blogs & am addicted. i love pinterest & i love the blog world equally. my problem is i continue to find more blogs to follow! :) please keep blogging....i LOVE your blog & wonderful style.

Inner-Outer Beauty said...

I totally agree with you. Pinterest enhances blog life. I started my Pinterest account last week and love it. And "link with love" and track down the source as much as possible. Love Pinterest and it is a great complement for the reader on the blog as well. But you can't do it all...I don't do Facebook for example...

Mary said...

It is through my pinning that I have discovered blogs. Pinterest teases with an image - and makes me go looking for the words.

The enchanted home said...

Interesting topic but from my perspective Pinterest and blogging are two separate entities. I read my regular blogs because of the interaction I enjoy, the bloggers "take" on various things, and getting to know more about that blogger. If it was just about the pictures, I would go to Pinterest. They serve different purposes. I do not think Pinterest in any way can come close to offering the same kind of connection that is made between bloggers and the interaction that often takes place through personal posts, dialog,etc.....whereas Pintesest is simply a vault (a vast one at that) of fabulous images but thats where it ends.
I do get tons of referrals from Pinterest which is great, and if a picture is what draws someone to my blog, thats totally fine but I am hoping its the written word or something in my prose that keeps them there!

Anonymous said...

I found you on Pinterest!! I believe that I have only commented once, mostly because other than saying I enjoy your posts I don't have anything to really "share" and don't want to waste anyone's time! I appreciate Pinterest's ability to get me to the source of a pin, and I always try to go to the source. Pinterest may attract me to a blog, but it's the writing that keeps me coming back

Me said...

Well, I'm addicted to Pinterest, and I found La Dolce Vita through Pinterest, and now I read your posts every day, and here I am commenting! In my own experience, Pinterest has expanded my readership of blogs - it all circles back in one big flow of ideas and inspiration. I can understand the concerns over copyright issues, because oftentimes people are not careful to track the sources of their pins and others' pins, but I'd be curious if someone has proved that Pinterest significantly affected them or their business in a negative way?

Nora said...

Pinterist has actually helped me to discover several blogs, so I would defenitely say it is a boost to bloggers.

Valorie Hart - The Visual Vamp said...

Will someone please invite me to get on Pinterest?
I have been trying to join for over a year to no avail.
I think all the social media tools enhance one another.
And I learned a long time ago not to live or die by the number of comments I get or don't get.
And I will always read your blog Paloma!
xo xo

Valorie Hart - The Visual Vamp said...

Will someone please invite me to get on Pinterest?
I have been trying to join for over a year to no avail.
I think all the social media tools enhance one another.
And I learned a long time ago not to live or die by the number of comments I get or don't get.
And I will always read your blog Paloma!
xo xo

Andrea said...

I LOVE Pintrest and I have gained more customers from it, but besides that I love to look at beautiful images.
I don't think it will hurt blogs however, because most of us go to blogs to read/learn/share/communicate in ways that images alone cannot do. I'm with other commenters who have found more blogs to read from Pintrest.
As far as commenting goes, I comment only when I have something real to add to the conversation.
Great post!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog on Pinterest. I think blogs like yours won't suffer. You provide interesting content. And I enjoy the way you offer interaction with your readers as you did today asking for comments about Pinterest and blogging. The comments are thoughtful. Unlike bloggers who post a picture of themselves and get 300 responses of "That's so cute."
What I don't enjoy about Pinterest is that nothing seems original anymore. Everyone is doing the same thing. I loved the thrill of a find on a blog or in a magazine. Now those images are repeated over and over on Pinterest. So I now go to Pinterest to find good bloggers and not necessarily ideas because I am not interested in what everyone else is doing. Where is the creativity in that?

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I am a fan of Pinterest, primarily because it provides a way for me to organize images. Additionally, it has introduced me to several new blogs.

Do I ever think it will impact the world of blogging? I highly doubt it. People want stories, something personal that they can relate to, which just images can't provide.

To the point of the decline in readers leaving comments on blogs, I think the question to be asked is as a blogger, are you looking to increase readership or increase comments you receive. I would imagine that it would be the former. In that case, Pinterest would have probably helped bring in readers.

However, if it is the latter, I would think that you would need to get creative in promoting readers to leave their point of view - asking questions like the one in this post probably got more comments as it impacts people.

Rosemary said...

As a blogger, I've found that Pinterest has helped me in two ways: properly organizing and sourcing images as well as driving new traffic to my blog.

As a reader of blogs, I've found that since using Pinterest, blogs that only rehash images I've seen around the web or on Pinterest are no longer as relevant.

But Pinterest wouldn't exist without blogs, or at least it would take a major hit without them. I get the most traffic on my blog from Pinterest when people are pinning the original content I'm creating. It seems like Pinterest is requiring bloggers to up their game with more creative, new and original content in order to stay relevant.

Anonymous said...

I too blog and love Pinterest. The big negative that I've found with it is that people are sourcing to Pinterest. Pinterest. is. not. a. source. Somebody had to take that picture and post it somewhere in order for it to end up on Pinterest.

Both Tumblr and Pinterest are creating this huge grey area of crediting the source. It really drives me nuts. One of my own images was shared on somebody's blog. A pinner pinned my image and now that blog is getting credit.

I love Pinterest because of its organization, but a part of me wants to get rid of my account all together because of the sourcing. People don't see photography as an art and career. That is original work that needs to get credit even if it's a picture of the ocean from a vacation. Someone has the rights to that image, and they deserve all the credit.

Ann said...

I'm new to blogging but I do it for fun, not professionally. I really love that pinterest can lead me to other hobby bloggers and even some professional ones I didn't know about. I also think it is great to organize your thoughts and inspiration. I've used it quite a bit for sure.

Amy said...

I love Pinterest and have definitely been inspired by it, but it's different than reading a blog. I would never stop reading La Dolce Vita just because you happen to be on Pinterest. It's like the veggie burger. I like them very much! But it's not a substitute for a hamburger. (Wow...sorry for the rather crass metaphor!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Paloma - I love Pinterest. If anything it has introduced me to new blogs that I might never have found without it. I think Pinterest is a great platform for blogs.

Danielle Hutchinson said...

i'm a little late to comment but i think most great ideas on pinterest came from someones blog. Without blogging pinterest wouldn't be as great. Also. I found your blog from a pinterest link and i'm so happy i did :)

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katy electricians said...

I totally agree with you. Pinterest enhances blog life. I started my Pinterest account last week and love it. And "link with love" and track down the source as much as possible. Love Pinterest and it is a great complement for the reader on the blog as well. But you can't do it all...I don't do Facebook for example...

Katy texas electrician said...

What a fascinating list of comments, and of course, a fascinating topic too - which needs to be discussed. I love both - for different reasons. But yes, I agree with many of your commenters that pinterest will emphasise the need for more original content on blogs - which i think is fabulous. Just as Carla put it.