What Pinterest?

Farhad Manjoo


Pinterest feels like the least cynical place on the Web

At Slate’s annual retreat last summer, Holly Allen, one of the magazine’s Web designers, buttonholed me and exclaimed, “Have you heard of Pinterest? You’ve got to write about it!” I hadn’t heard about it, and rather than explain what it is—because while Pinterest is many things, easy to explain isn’t one of them—she rushed to get her iPad to show me the site.

Since then, I’ve noticed paeans to Pinterest everywhere I go. Several readers have exhorted me to write about it, calling it their favorite new thing on the Web. I’ve spotted Pinterest stickers on laptops at the offices of both Facebook and Google. And every day, my Facebook and Twitter feeds brim with links to Pinterest. This mania got me thinking that I really should write about why Pinterest is so wonderful, and how it’s the hottest new social site since Tumblr. There’s only one problem: I just don’t get it.

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