There was a simple note on Pinterest’s FB fan page a few weeks back that said, “We’re having a summer celebration in San Francisco and we’d love to have some local Pinners join us!If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are in town the week of August 13th, send us a video illustrating how Pinterest has inspired you to do something positive in your real life.”
I stopped and thought for a second, hopped into my NOTES app on my iPhone, and charted my course. At the 11th hour on July 31st, I submitted my 1-minute application video and crossed my fingers…
And guess where I got to go last night? Oh yeah… to the Pinterest Summer Celebration!
I’ve always been a bit of a geeky fan-girl, but as you know, when I love something, I really really love it. I actually WANT everyone to know about it and have it and love it just like me. Pinterest has certainly been the darling of my current website rotation since early 2011, and being in a room with people geek-ing out on it as well… just too much!
And in throwing their first public party/gig, they did a great job of really catering to what people love about their site. They had “succulent garden pudding cupcakes” (catered by Rebecca Jean)…
… some delectable candy coated popcorn that everyone wanted more of… and bite-sized finger food that lived up to every awesome appetizer recipe you’ve ever seen on Pinterest (mini chicken & waffles!!!).
But they also played on the whimsy of Pinterest, and why we all love it so much.
Ryan Gosling’s “Hey Girl” memes…
artsy typography paper crafts…
instant photobooths, and, as co-founder Ben stated so appropriately, “the only thing cooler than terrariums, are terrariums in mason jars!” (can you see my little bumble bee from Cat Bear Express? I thought it was quite appropriate)
… oh, and they also decided to play my little application video in front of everyone. Yeah. Public blushing fully occurred, especially with the little “ahh!” reaction to Miss L’s cuteness.
The best part of the party was meeting the people behind the site. The engineers who pull the late-night shift when the servers go buggy. The front-end experience engineers who want to make the experience better. The “do-it-all-and-more” employees who love contributing to a company with a product that they love. And they all wanted to listen to the users…. and do more.
I also met MANY fellow prolific pinners who used the site in every which way. Social media directors for some of my favorite brands (Tea Collection, Zappos, Tiny Prints) who pin for their companies as inspiration, customer engagement and commercial marketing. Artists and designers who are inspired by the gorgeous photos that flash through their feed. Foodies who are looking for the latest recipes. Guys who want more guys pinning guy stuff. Teachers who are using the site to find best practices and enhance their student’s experiences. Travel planners who are creating virtual experiences for their clients. And Pinterest employees who love planning out Halloween costumes for their office dogs!
Everyone had ideas on how to make the site better: PRIVATE boards (oh my gosh do they want these!), the ability to rearrange the photos among boards organically (instead of by pin date), better blog pinning that points to permalinks instead of generic pages, predictive hiding capacity (so you won’t automatically follow wedding boards?), etc. And everyone was just sitting there listening. It was really great. Having had some pretty bad experiences mingling at cocktail parties with people too high in their britches (there was one not-so-lovely person I met last night – whose website I will never frequent because of how abrasive she was and, well, downright insulting & self-bragging she was) in any given field, I fell even more in love with the company and am a pretty dedicated cheerleader. It’s very similar to how I felt the first time we visited Pixar HQ… very similar vibe of happy good people.
In all, it was a fun getaway to the bay for the night and I’m glad I got to go, even if it was all by my lonesome self. Thanks for extending me an invite to your lovely affair, Pinterest. If you ever need a brand ambassador, I’m more than willing to jump up and help out with that as well… ;)