I am having a lot of fun playing on Pinterest, I probably visit it daily and add something each day. But there are a few things that annoy me.
1 Lack of Curating of Categories
Pinterest have set up a set of default categories, which you don’t have to use.
I like to browse through these categories for ideas, particularly the architecture, history and geek categories.
I’m prepared to stretch a definition but it’s getting ridiculous. Here are three items from each of the categories I mentioned.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for yoga and for more understanding of individuals with autism, and I’m really happy for you if Leather Honey Leather Conditioner really is the best leather conditioner. These things just don’t belong where they’re categorised.
The history category seems to be the worst curated – with images of everything from Cameron Diaz at the Oscars to a memorial of a soldier killed in Afghanistan to perfume bottles from the 1950s. I get that all items represented stuff from the past, but it’s not History.
2 Lack of Privacy controls
You cannot set up private boards – where you could collect images of Christmas presents or wedding ideas before the big day. Or protect yourself from online stalkers.
You cannot block people – so those annoying posters who provide 20 percent content and 80 percent advertising will always appear in the main streams.
Pinterest have no plans to change this as the goal of their site is to share as much as possible. Fair enough in one sense, until someone comes along with either a site that allows more functionality or a tool to complement Pinterest and give users the functionality they want.
3 Image rights
The terms and conditions state
By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.
Which means that any image that goes on to Pinterest could be resold by them without any payment to you. If they did a deal with a digital publisher your images could land in a book without you getting royalties.
For amateurs like me it’s not much of an issue – I’d probably be so thrilled that a photo I took was published in an actual book I’d immediately order five copies. But for professional artists this is an issue. On one hand they want their images seen on pinterest, on the other hand they don’t want to lose revenue. Which means that the pinterest “no pin” code is not a solution. One artist, Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void fame, has solved this by slapping a big ‘copyright’ watermark on all images in his online shop. Smart guy.
Pinterest is a relatively young site, and they’ve demonstrated that they can drive traffic and that they listen to user input. Let’s hope they’re listening!