So what exactly is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to share ideas and images they find interesting and inspiring. Users upload or share images on Pinterest, these images become known as pins. These pins can then be posted onto users own categorized, themed boards (See Image 1). Boards can be created for any topic. The social media site works to connect users through the “things” they find interesting. These things could be a favorite book, toy, or recipe.
Who’s Using It?
Non-profits and retailers have quickly jumped on the bandwagon, while many government agencies have been slower to adopt the new network. This hesitation may have to do with the current demographic of Pinterest users in the U.S. In the U.S. Pinterest users are predominantly female, while in the UK the majority of the users are actually male. Interestingly, the U.S. Army has used the U.S. demographic to their advantage. Major Juanita Chang, Director of Online and Social Media for the U.S. Army explains:
“We saw that would be a way that we could potentially reach an audience that we don’t normally reach with our other platforms. We know Pinterest is highly dominated by women. A lot of people that follow the military are men because that's the majority of the military. We want to connect and reach out to the female population and maybe the Army spouses and family members -- the people who wouldn't have any other reason to follow the military otherwise.”
The Army’s boards reflect the targeted demographic and include boards on Army Style and Fashion, Chow, and DIY & Décor. That being said, the social media site is still very new and it is likely that the demographic will continue to evolve. Ryan Sammy, Director of Web Production at BlueGlass Interactive predicts, “As Pinterest grows, the male demographic will continue to grow and the site might eventually become balanced between genders.”
What’s NDU Press Doing With Pinterest?
A great deal of time goes into the planning of the NDU Press quarterly journals, Joint Force Quarterly and PRISM. Images are carefully selected and captioned to match each article. The result is a beautifully designed scholarly print journal with a quality that is virtually unmatched across both the private and public sector. Now when it comes to the web, NDU Press tends to put a greater emphasis on the content vs. design. This clean, simplistic approach to web design has proven to be very successful and our site gets an average of 12,500 visitors a month. And while I do believe the focus should be on the article’s content, Pinterest offers us a way to successfully showcase the images that set PRISM and JFQ apart from so many other journals.
Where To Find Us
To follow NDU Press on Pinterest, click here: http://www.pinterest.com/ndupress
Bryan Bishop, “US Army Turns to Pinterest and Social Media to Engage with a Broader Audience,” The Verge, February 23, 2012, available at <http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/23/2817902/us-army-pinterest-social-media-engage-broader-audience>.
Christine Erickson, “13 Pinteresting Facts About Pinterest Users,” Mashable, February 26, 2012, available at
Rebecca Greenfield, “What the Army is Doing on Pinterest,” The Atlantic Wire, February 21, 2012, available at <
Ryan Sammy, “The Bro’s Guide To Pinterest,” BlueGlass, February 21, 2012, available at
Vikki Chowney, “More Male Users in UK than Female: Infograph,” Econsultancy, February 15, 2012, available at