There have been many pretenders but Facebook and twitter have been able to defend their thrones at the top of the social media totem pole (excuse the mixed metaphors) until recently.  (Google+ came close but seems to have become a geek haven which hasn’t caught on…).  The only alternate that I really love is the photo sharing app Instagram which has proved that it has staying power- if you have an iphone go download this as it an amazing window into the lives of people all over the world.

I keep hearing about two new online social spheres- Pinterest and Path.  I had vowed not to even look at them as I am already on social media overload and can’t imagine that my time would be well spent by adding in another venue.  Of course, that ended as people began to send me invitations, or post interesting material.  When friends of mine who don’t even like computers begin telling me about their new favorite site (Pinterest) then the least I can do is check them out.

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Pinterest:  Pinterest lets people create a virtual “pin board” with the images that they find interesting.  Anything can be pinned (and of course ”repinned” as a way to pass it on).  On Pinterest you can create a wedding scrapbook or pictures for your dream kitchen.  You can fill it with kittens or pithy sayings.  What makes it cool is that you get to give a visual picture of who you are and what you find interesting.  For a while it was assumed (for some reason) that this site would really be of interest just to women but as it grows, men seem to be getting into it as well.  They have been flooded by requests to join and at this point, I think you need to be invited by someone who is already in the system.  Retailers are catching on as they see it as a great way to promote their products as people find things they like and pass them on.

My take on it?  Pinterest is fun but it hasn’t grabbed me yet.  I really only went on to check out a picture from twittabling (great twitter jewelry) which a friend recommended.  I do see the value for people who like to “share cool stuff” whether it is art or a new kitchen sink.  I like Pinterest and can see myself getting sucked in to spending more time there.  

Path:  Path was created to be a “private” social network app.   Path is really just for your true friends and people that you actually know.  If you want  forward the post to Facebook or twitter you have that option.  In theory, this is great because there are times when you want to share pictures of your kids or ideas which are not for public consumption either because they are two mundane or you don’t want to let the entire world know where you are at that moment- just the other people that might be interested in joining you.  Path has been picking up, especially for the privacy conscious. 

My take on it?  Path would be great if I was already using it, or could transport my friends to it.  I like the idea of having an “inner circle” but at the same time- I am very skeptical of any social media network that could lull a person into thinking that it was, in fact, private.  No matter how closed it is, I absolutely believe that ANYTHING which you post can/will be out there for public consumption.  My friends who are using Path seem to like it, and it may tempt me someday but for now I am not signing up.

Have you used Pinterest or Path?  Are you converts or staying away?  Leave a comment or have the conversation on twitter- tweet me @sarahnadav

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