The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four

Before we speak of The Pinterest Predicament and the Rule of Four we need to spend a moment addressing line of sight.

In this particular situation I am not referring to the line of sight that refers to any sort of military application. This isn’t about firing missiles, guns or anything of that sort.

Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon NLOS-C

Image via Wikipedia

Rather this is tied into our perspective and how children impact it.

Those of you who have had to baby proof a home probably recall that one of the things you try to do is target the dangerous items that are in a baby’s line of sight.  I am sure that you also remember as your child grows their line of sight adjusts accordingly. When they are crawling it is at one level and at another when they start to walk.

I suppose that we could say that our line of sight continues to change as we grow and that it doesn’t stop until we stop growing. We could also say that our personal line of sight varies from those we live with, that is assuming that those you share a home with are of varying heights.

Though I am tempted to spend a few moments discussing the business applications of line of sight I think we’ll save that.

The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four

Until relatively recently I didn’t pay any attention to Pinterest. I didn’t see any value in it for me and ignored it  but then I read a few posts about and it started to wonder if I had made a mistake.

When I said that I saw it as being “estrogen centric” I wasn’t trying to be cute, ok maybe just a little. But from what little I knew, had read and had heard it sounded like something that was geared for women and I wasn’t particularly interested.

Part of that is based upon The Rule of Four which is a law I created for myself that said I could not participate on more than four social media platforms for the simple reason that I don’t have enough time to do it.

So the last thing I wanted to do was get involved in something else. I didn’t and so I continued to ignore Pinterest. Along the way I made a few snarky comments about it and chuckled at my very funny jokes.

Line Of Sight Revisited

Ready for the big punch line? My line of sight changed and I signed up for Pinterest. Here is why.

Pinterest is growing at an enormous rate and it is sending large volumes of traffic to blogs.  A Shareaholic study from January 2012 shows that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

Remember that although I am blogging first for me and then for you I have several goals in mind for my blog. Many of them are tied into the success of my blog.

One of my dreams is to turn my writing into a full time gig. I want to finish writing my book, publish it and write more. I don’t have  an agent or a publisher. Frankly I haven’t made an effort yet to secure either. Who knows, maybe I’ll forego both and self publish.

I don’t know but I am certain that it can’t hurt me to have a larger platform to promote my writing with. So from that perspective it makes sense to me to try and obtain some of that Pinterest traffic.

There are are two other factors that play into my decision. It is not unusual for me to take on social media projects for work so it only makes sense for me to become more familiar with Pinterest and how it functions.

Perhaps the most important factor is that I suddenly realized I had a very strong personal interest in it. For a while now I have been looking for more ways to express myself and to cultivate creativity and this seemed like it had potential to scratch that itch.

So it is official now, I  ate the apple. I look forward to seeing what happens. If you would like you can follow me on Pinterest right here.

Are you on Pinterest? Do you like it? Do you have any recommendations or advice for me?


  1. Phyllis March 27, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I am new to social media and am finding that pinterest is the most difficult as you are communicating with pictures rather than text I question how do people find me.

    I sell jewelry so it is a necessary evil for me and I just came across your blog while researching using pinterest. Thanks for the post!

    • Jack March 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

      There is a lot of good information out there about how to effectively use Pinterest and other social media platforms.

      But some of the best tricks I have found have been through trial and error because much of it depends on what works best for you.

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  5. Annie Andre April 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Damn you Jack. I let my pinterest account lay idle but after reading this i just went and updated. I even put a pin it button up on my browswer bar so i can pin things easily.

    I’ll start by posting my blog posts and then go from there. Thanks for getting me on my fourth social network. I just got on google plus reluctantly. I do like pinterest a lot though so i think it’s going to be fun. A visual bookmarker and like you said in another comment. a picture is worth a thousand words.

    • Jack April 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Annie,

      Test it out and see how it works for you. You might find that it provides results that you can’t ignore. That would be ideal to see a huge return.

      Truthfully I haven’t had a huge run of traffic but I find it has been quite useful for generating ideas so the time is still well spent.

  6. Sharon Greenthal March 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I am a big fan of both Pinterest and Twitter.

  7. shelton keys dunning March 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I felt that way about Twitter. (I think I still do to a certain extent). I’m still on the fence about Pinterest, but I haven’t looked at it in a while so maybe…Fudge, and I just started playing around with GoodReads…

    • Jack March 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Hi Shelton,

      Twitter has been great for me and has generated business/opportunities.

      I don’t know if that will happen with Pinterest but I see potential.

  8. Terri Sonoda March 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Great post! I just bit into the Pinterest apple myself….last night. It was around 10 pm and a friend had pinned one of my poems up there and told me about it. Curious, I hopped over. I finally went to bed around 1:30 am. I didn’t see the value before, but I’m coming around. I just hope this new discovery doesn’t keep me from my writing goals. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jack March 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Hi Terri,

      I think it is a good place to find inspiration and ideas for writing. There is a lot of opportunity there, just waiting to be discovered.

  9. kgwaite March 10, 2012 at 5:28 am

    OK, you’ve convinced me. I have a pinterest account by have never used it, thinking it looked a bit too crafty and domestic for me. I’ll take a look today.

    • Jack March 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

      That was my initial impression, but I have found lots of things that grab me.

      Pictures of places I want to visit, cars, gadgets, words- it is not bad.

  10. TheJackB February 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    @dave_link The Rule of Four works- damn Pinterest screws it up a bit. :)

  11. Adrienne February 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I’ve been with them for a little while too Jack on the recommendation of a friend.

    I was using Evernote to tag things I wanted to come back to and a friend sent me an invitation to try Pinterest. To me they were the same so although I haven’t really “pinned” a lot of stuff.

    I guess I can see the fun people are having with it. Let’s face it, there are a lot of visual people out there and this site really helps with that.

    So I’m now following you so let’s see where this take us shall we! Will be waiting for a follow up post on how much traffic you’re receiving from it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      I will keep you posted regarding what I learn and my thoughts.

      Thus far the one thing I think it has impressed upon me is the need for me to include more visual elements (photos/videos/cartoons) in my posts.

      It is something that I probably should do anyway, but…

  12. TheJackB February 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

    @juliacantor Thank you.

  13. Mark Longbottom February 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Found you via Danny Brown, I would say ignore the hype and just use it. I have struggled to get excited about bookmarking sites before now. Wanting to be able to pass on Digg to my clients but find them so boring an awkward.

    Pinterest is easy to use, forget any SEO and traffic building it’s simple and easy. Then the sharing is natural and genuine. Yes someone will soon blog about copyright, I’m an artist work needs to be seen hide it in your attic and you’re not an artist, you’re a hoarder.

    The buzz around Pinterest will die down, it’s natural and natural for anyone and everyone to use it because it’s effective simple as that.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Hi Mark,

      You just made me chuckle out loud with that line about hiding art in your attic and becoming a hoarder. 😉

      I am enjoying playing with it. I don’t want to make myself crazy trying to find every little way to maximize the SEO value of it.

      I just want to have fun. I figure if I am having fun with it the rest will fall into place.

  14. Trey Burley February 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I’m learning to love it. Actually I barely like it now, but it is very effective at driving traffic for certain posts. Especially those crafty, photographic or motivational posts. I haven’t figured out how to use it for written posts (that I do the most of), but am working on it.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Hi Trey,

      I am very curious about the written posts because that is most of what I do too.

      But it seems to be a good place for shared interests and that is part of what caught my eye about it.

      Remains to be seen if I last there. There is never enough time.

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  16. Erica Allison February 20, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Jack, like you I resisted for quite some time, simply not having the time nor the inclination to jump in and figure it out. Why add something else to my rather full day and night?

    However, I too saw the light and find it fascinating and a great tool for some of my retail and ‘estrogen-centric’ clients. 😉 Happy Pinning, friend.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Hello Erica,

      Good to see you.I have an ongoing discussion with my son about the need to be open minded and why we should try things before we decide we don’t like them.

      I kind of had to follow my own advice on this one. It has been pretty cool.

  17. Andrea Meyer February 20, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Gini & I have exchanged notes on this topic–I definitely see this as a good way for smaller businesses to gain a new audience. I’ve purchased an item from one jewelry maker and am considering a dress. Photographers are getting lots of new exposure, too. Ultimately it is not a one-size-fits-all tool. A journalist recently wrote about trying it out immediately following news events to see how people react. There is room for many uses there.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Andrea,

      It certainly seems like an excellent tool for things like jewelry, photography and other artsy type items.

      But I can see some other opportunities as well.

  18. Gini Dietrich February 20, 2012 at 5:08 am


    And I’m very proud of you for putting aside your prejudices and checking it out.

    We tested a little theory the other day. I have a friend who makes Italian shirts. She only sells through specialty stores, but recently launched ecommerce to see about doing some online sales.

    I pinned a few of her shirts to a new board I created and it was the number three traffic source in less than an hour.

    It’s not for everyone. If you’re a B2B manufacturing company, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for you. But bloggers, any company with anything visual, or retailers have a lot to gain.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Hi Gini,

      I am glad that you argued so convincingly for people to try it.

      It remains to be seen whether it has not enough draw/utility for me to continue to break the rule of four but thus far I am impressed.

      It really is enjoyable. It is probably a good reason for me to work harder on adding more pix to this joint.

      Sounds like it works pretty well for your friend’s business.

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  20. Billy Delaney February 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I am signed up for this new thingy!
    But… your rule of four is solid.
    I sort of mess around with.
    write about it JackB and tell us what we can do with it that isn’t what everyone else is doing.
    That is what I am looking at.
    Will write about it next month.

    • Jack February 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Hi Billy,

      I can’t say too much about it, at least not with any expertise.

      All I can tell you is that I am slowly learning about what it has to offer.

  21. The Real Matt Daddy February 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I’ll be joining this week as well. As soon as I can get in invite from my wife, lol.

  22. Jens P. Berget February 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I signed up for it a while ago, but I haven’t been using it at all. I received a notification that we are friends on pinterest, so now I’ll have to take a second look at it. I have no idea why people are getting traffic from pinterest to their blogs, that’s something I need to study (thanks a lot for sharing the links).

    I have a rule of four as well, or maybe it’s a rule of three? I am active on Twitter, Facebook and G+, that’s about it. But I have profiles on many other social media platforms.

    • Jack February 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Jens,

      I am just a newbie but I expect that traffic is being driven by videos/pictures that are pinned from blog posts.

      Still that time factor is hard to get around.

  23. Hajra February 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I did sign for it and pinned a few things but I seem to have network issues and haven’t logged in for quiet some time now. I did feel a little edgy whne I couldn’t log in but now after reading this I am thinking why.

    Are we so addicted? Maybe the pleasure of visual things does it make it more interesting. But isn’t it like telling the world exactly everything about yourself. I feel privacy per se is an issue. I mean there are things which I like to share with everybody. But then shall I have to pin everything on the board?

    Imagine what this can do to first dates? 😉

  24. Absence of alternatives February 19, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for the tip! I have been resisting is image heavy and designed for that purpose our so I believe. I know if I were a pinterest lover I’d be upset to see all the texts. just me being weird.I have no problem with bloggers getting on it, ESP since I don’t go on

    • Jack February 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      I think you might be surprised by it. There is all sorts of interesting stuff.

      It is the variety that really catches my eye. So many different things to check out.

  25. Kaarina Dillabough February 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Well, now I really have to seriously look into Pinterest if you’re using it Jack!

  26. Betsy Cross February 19, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I started Pinterest last Fall and posted stuff found on Stumbleupon. I quickly tired of it until I realized I could put my blog posts on it. The very first day I posted I got more readers. That was a surprise. I have to put them on one by one and check the link after it’s posted (if a video shows up as the picture the link goes to the video only so I’ve had to choose a different image option that Pinterest makes available before you “pin” it. )
    I think it’s worth using for that alone. The rest its value remains to be uncovered by me. But I’m open. Who knows?

  27. Julie February 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I just signed up for it a couple of weeks ago, but when I went in there I realized that it could be a gigantic time suck for me…I guess now that you put it that way I will have to revisit but set a time limit on it! Waaaay too many pretty and interesting things to peruse.

    • Jack February 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Hi Julie,

      I think what I like best so far is that is a place to share interests. That intrigues me and I have to concede that there is a lot to stimulate my imagination too.

  28. vanita February 19, 2012 at 2:37 am

    i signed up for it. i actually asked my bloggy friend for an invite. ask me if i used it. i signed up for clip it recently too and loved it for the little time i used it, ask me if i used it again. but on your recommendation Jack, i’ll head over to Pinterest. we’ll see how long i last. 😀

    • Jack February 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Hi Vanita,

      I haven’t used it enough to say that I am proficient at it or that it works.

      But, I figure it can’t hurt out to find out firsthand if the stories are correct.

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