The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted. By Oyl Miller.
Not all of the time. But most of the time.
The Internet can be our time machine. It can help propel us in the direction we want to go next. It can amplify our intentions. It can connect us with who we need to know next.
Or we can tread water. We can simply say what we are doing right now. We can over-connect and over-share. We can make the internet about cats and lunches and all of the other topics that represent us at our lowest common denominator.
When you find yourself staring at an update box, type something that will get you closer to where you want to be. Someone who might be able to help you will see it. Post things that you make, not only the things you observe. If you put effort into what you pour into the internet, the outcome might surprise you. I’ve been surprised enough times to feel the potential of the internet. And I want to feel it more.
I want us all to achieve our potential instead of merely hanging out.Tweet
As Pinterest is fast becoming the third major pillar of social media (Facebook and Twitter having already arrived) brands are scrambling to find ways to leverage this new powerful community of visual taste.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest isn’t all about you. It’s all about what you like. There are some brands out there, doing poorly on Pinterest, because they treat their profile like a campaign microsite. This will not attract the Pinterest community. Pinterest is not a place to be over stuffed with hashtag strategies or to serve as a dumping ground for coupons and print ads. Brands that approach Pinterest in this way will fail.
The brands that are succeeding, and have already earned tens of thousands of followers, have done it by following a very simple mantra: PIN INSPIRATION. Only through authentically pinning images and content that people will have an emotional reaction to, will your follower count and engagement levels rise. The great brands on Pinterest are human. They repin great content from other users. They only pin their own content if it is stylish and fits into the aesthetic of Pinterest.
The quickest way for a brand to fail on Pinterest is for them to start pinning out of desperation. To start worrying about posting schedules and corporate social media guidelines. The brands on Pinterest to only selectively pin and repin when they find an inspiring image, will continue to rise to power within the Pinterest community.
Pinterest is not a microsite. It’s not Twitter or Facebook for that matter. Pinterest is a place to collect, categorize and archive visual inspiration. Without inspiration, it’s merely hoarding content. Hoarding brands will never find success on Pinterest. Pin with soul and the user base will come.
(To view my personal Pinterest profile, with over 70,000 followers, go here.)Tweet
Welcome to the gold rush.
One week ago, my Pinterest account was sitting at around 150 followers. Not too bad, but as with every social media platform, I have ambition. I knew Pinterest had the potential to make content go crazy viral, and I wanted to find a way into the action.
I signed up for Pinterest over a year ago, and pretty much just had an account, but forgot about it. Then I started reading all this hype on Mashable and Fast Company about how Pinterest was going to be the next big platform. So I wanted to up my game before the big brands ‘figured it out,’ the way they have figured out Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest is the social media wild west. There are no reliable theories about how to do it. It is still a wide open range of possibility and experimental usage. The only thing that has guided me was a commitment to being authentic with how I chose the images I would pin. My Pinterest account has to be a pure reputation of my visual point of view. I will not repin anything that does not inspire me in some way.
Pinterest is not to be used as a platform to SPAM. If you do, as some brands are guilty of doing, you will fail. Your follower count will wither and die.
Aside from my commitment to authenticity, I also committed to a simple schedule. I committed to pinning for 15 minutes every morning when I came into the office. I would browse the internet specifically to find inspiring images to pin. The combination of this authenticity and discipline created a depth of quality and inspired images. I knew that each time I added even a single photo, that one day, when someone discovered it, it could be the one image they had been looking for.
With every single photo carefully considered and hand pinned, I can guarantee there is a quality to go along with the quantity of my boards. There are no throw away images, and the Internet is responding to my care and attention as I am now closing in on 50,000 followers in about one week’s time.
Pinterest is still the wild west. There are a lot of social media cowboys out there looking to get rich quick. But if the results and payoffs are your motivation, you will have clouded judgement when it comes to how you pick your images. If your point of view is not the lens through which you browse for images, viewers will sense the scattered, random nature of your board. If you pin simply to go viral, you are missing the entire point of Pinterest.
Pinterest is curated passion. Passion cannot be faked. It cannot be subjected to focus groups and marketing strategy. Passion comes from individuals with strong points of view. And that passion, is what makes people react like wild fire. That authentic passion is the reason I am the 226th most followed person or brand on Pinterest and rising.
Welcome to the gold rush. See you out on the range.Tweet
The last few days have been an absolute whirlwind surrounding my Pinterest account.
Four days ago, I was a standard Pinterest user, with a meager 250 followers. Then, I was discovered, and the follower notifications flooded my inbox. Currently I have 26,718 followers, which makes me the 267th most followed person or brand on Pinterest in the world. I now have more followers than Oprah, Martha Stewart or Etsy. Those are three entities that have supposedly mastered Pinterest.
In the past three days I have been contacted by global marketing directors, a chief innovation officer and dozens of interested digitally savvy folks. They all ask the same basic question: How did I do it?
While I don’t believe a perfect blueprint for overnight viral success can be mapped out, this has been a targeted goal of mine for the past three months. In that time, I have slowly, and daily, been charting out a roadmap for viral success on Pinterest.
Quite simply, I’ve been pinning my passions. All of them.
Right now, it is my Sports pins that have reached the all important digital Tipping Point. Every day, for the past two months, I have been spending 10 minutes each morning, surfing Tumblr and my favorite sports blogs, specifically for images to add to my Pinterest boards. Some days I added just one photo, other days I added ten. The only rule I had was to make sure I pinned something about sports every day. I knew that the discipline and focus of a mission like that wouldn’t hurt my chances of achieving viral success.
I have 24 boards, and I’m working to create a depth and taste with them all. I am very selective in what I pin. And I never think about if a certain image will be popular or not. My only filter is ‘does this image get me excited personally?’ If I am inspired by something about an image, I will pin it to the corresponding board on my Pinterest. You can’t force it. You just have to develop your instinct to know when you find something inspiring. It’s not about pinning the things you think you should like, but rather, pinning ONLY the things you actually love.
As the Sports images I have been curating are raking in hundreds of repins an hour, I feel certain that other boards of mine like Film or Hoop Dreams, will eventually also be discovered. It is the excitement that one day someone will stumble upon them that keeps me moving forward and trying to make each board as surprising as possible. There are a ton of bad Pinterest accounts out there. I am very selective in who I follow. If you actually take your time to curate only the best content, and not SPAM people with just any old images, people will be excited to see what you have to offer.
I see a lot of brands who really misuse Pinterest (and Facebook for that matter.) If you pin or post desperately, that vibe will come across to users. If you are indiscriminate about what you share, people will sense your sloppiness of thought and be turned away. However, if you commit to only showing the most fascinating things that make you personally excited, users and fans will be attracted to that authenticity, and the social recognition will follow.
Essentially, the more selfish you are about sharing only the things you like, the more chance you will have of deeply connecting and engaging with your audience. It doesn’t happen overnight, even though it seemed to have happened that way for me. The truth is that it took me three months of planning, consistency and discipline to put myself in a position to go viral. Now that I have gone viral, the depth of my content is serving me well, as posts from all different time periods are reaping the benefits of my new found exposure. I have taken the time and effort to ensure that every single pin on my boards is something that I am excited about. And now I am excited to share those visual findings with my new followers and beyond.
All 26,783 of them ;)
(I literally gained 65 new Pinterest followers in the time it took me to write this post.)Tweet
I am now being followed by over 23,000 people on Pinterest. I guess my new routine of taking 15 minutes every morning to devote to pinning has started to pay off. I look forward to more people discovering my boards, and hope to keep giving them inspiring images. You can check out and follow my Pinterest profile here: http://pinterest.com/oylmiller/
Written by Oyl Miller
Soundtrack by Oyl Miller
Starring Bryan Bernart
Directed, Shot, and Chopped by Joe Aimonetti
NIKE RUN Like ME | GPS JAPAN RUN - Our Nike interactive Facebook runner just completed a 6-day run in which he GPS ran the outline of Japan’s islands. The video recapping his run just went live. Huge props to Joseph Tame for his planning and running efforts on behalf of Nike RUN Like ME.
NIKE RUN Like ME Intro movie - Meet Joseph, the man who will run 100 meters for every Facebook Like!!
It’s time to retire the word Internet.
In its place we can simply say nothing, or we can say Life.
Listen, it’s not 1991 anymore. That year is finally over. Hamsters spinning on wheels are no longer a part of the ‘going online’ process. Our connection to the so-called Internet is more than 24/7. It’s not just a connection to a bunch of bits and bots. It’s a connection to each other. All of the fancy offerings and gadgets these days have been created to be more intuitive to provide a more fluid experience. All this means is that the technology is being rendered more and more invisible. Technology is just a time-erasing tool that has the power to stitch two sides of the globe together instantly.
Lags are minimal. The humanity is becoming maximal. Baby pictures, half eaten sandwiches, graduations, birthdays, favorite songs, you name it. These can all no be easily embedded into the conversations of our life. The great river or connectedness rolls on. You can contribute to the stream, or you can stay in your wi-fi-less cabin and pine for the Neanderthal days of geocities and Prodigy.
This is the new reality that everyone who wants to ‘connect’ needs to consider. Everything y build to launch into our new stream must be optimized for human consumption. If it looks, feels and works like it was made by robots, then it will probably only resonate with robots. And sadly, robots haven’t evolved to the point where their development can push the world forward. So until we arrive in some sort of dystopian world of ubiquitous AI, build things for humans.
Before you shove off in your technological raft to deliver your breakthrough product, take a long consideration about how humans work. Will your offering make our constant connection easier, more meaningful more human? Or are you adding more buttons because you think you should. Answer the central question of ‘why should I care?’ If you can craft compelling reasons for people to care deeply, your raft of technology is headed for the right current. If you can’t answer the ‘why’ part, then you may be in for a costly ride straight for a whirlpool of anti-progress.
The most powerful thing humans can do, have been the most powerful things they’ve always been able to do. The ability to make people feel. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me nostalgic, make me feel something. When I feel, I talk about it. I press buttons. I clap my hands like a circus monkey. If you can visualize your audience reacting like cymbal banging circus monkeys to your latest launch, launch it now. If not, hold back, and reengineer a bunch of humanity into the core, and release when it’s ready.Tweet
I have always been a creative person and the Internet always seemed like an ideal place to share and explore creativity. However, before Tumblr, there was was no singular place that felt like a proper platform for showcasing creativity across different media.
The first time I started my Tumblr account four years ago, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into what the future of the internet would be like. I loved how simple it was and how intuitive it was to host all kinds of media. The simple top bar with the icons for text, audio, video, etc, captures my excitement every time I see it.
When I started using Tumblr, most people I knew didn’t know about it. A lot of them were introduced to the platform through following my blog. Over the years I have become a sort of ‘Tumblr expert’ in my circles. I’ve helped many of my friends start up their own. It’s been fascinating to see how different people make use of the platform.
I have a ton of different media properties on the internet. But the single most valuable one, is my main Tumblr. That is the link that I send people who want to know more about me. It expresses who I am the best. People can browse my last four years of creative output and understand what makes me tick. I have used my main Tumblr to tell my life story of living in Japan, to show my professional advertising work and to capture the sights and sounds that have moved me.
Over the past four years, I feel like other platforms have added bells and whistles to try and come closer to what Tumblr is. But none of the other platforms have gained on the simple promise that Tumblr never fails to deliver on: Tumblr is the best way to express your creative life online. There is no runner up in this category.
I’ve been using Tumblr consistently for 4 years, but I still feel like I am only scratching the surface of possibility with the platform.
Tumblr is the hub of the creative web. Their platform has found a way to intuitively include multimedia content creation from across the whole web. Tumblr’s image is of cat photos and animated GIFs, but the platform itself is much broader than that. You can shape your Tumblr to reflect yourself as a creative person.
Twitter is the best way I’ve found to attract a creative audience. Facebook can generate content views among your friends, but Twitter is public facing. When you create content and broadcast it through Twitter, there is no telling who it can reach. Audience building is a core requirement of any creative person looking for more opportunity. Twitter can get you there.
Facebook is great for contacting your pre-established network and base of loyal supporters. They can be your messengers and evangelists. Facebook Pages provides a way to establish a more outward facing front to your creative web presence.
LinkedIn has become a vital part of how I operate on the creative web. For some, LinkedIn is seen as little more than a resume, but I see it as a way to network with creative talent, share inspiration in groups and even make yourself available for job opportunities and collaborations.
Google+ is new to the game, and I’m still working on building my initial audience. But I’ve already seen the value of how it is set up. I don’t see Google+ as a competitor to Facebook. Google+ is a social network based on shared interests. Facebook is a social network based on existing relationships. I see Google+ as valuable moving forward as a way to connect with a vast network of creative individuals. The possibilities feel much more open than on Facebook.
Visiting Klout has become a part of my morning routine. At first it was just my early adopter friends on there, but now I’m seeing a lot wider base of people. Klout seems to be the place to go if you want to be known for something. I think this will prove valuable moving forward. On the creative web, it’s vital for people to know if you are a photographer, a director, a writer, etc. I see Klout as a way to help people connect the dots about you. It gives people a snapshot into what region of the creative web you hang out in. What conversations you engage in most.
Instagram has redefined what a social network can be. They have effectively fired the warning cannons of Web 3.0. They are mobile, social, intuitive and now officially validated with their 1 billion dollar sale to Facebook. The upside is unlimited. On the surface it’s ‘just a photo-sharing app,’ but within its experience lies far more than that. It’s a way to share real time experience in a more visceral way that moves beyond the tired confines of status updates. It lets you connect lightly (likes) or deeply (comments and discussions that can unfurl beneath a single image). It’s searchable, it’s scaleable and for some reason, the photos always look great. Look for more companies to erect social networks around deceivingly simple premises, that engineer a ton of depth and emotion into the user experience.