It started on another social networking site, but the topic of discussion was Pinterest: the rising social site that features a corkboard style interface to let users share a visualization of their interests. Despite still being beta, Pinterest boasts over 4 million active users. An old college friend was calling out his former roommate with the quote,

“My wife found you on Pinterest. Explain yourself!”

The defendant in the case, an entirely macho rugby playing guy defended himself by saying he was using it to find new recipes. A debate ensued, which erupted into a questioning of whether Pinterest was really intended as a gathering place for women. The aggressor went as far as stating,

The Colonel Sanders had some good recipes too...he started his own business and made millions...not (by) follow(ing) 20 something year young wives on bulls### fantasy crap they will never have....it's time for an intervention…”

As a male, fan and user of Pinterest myself, I stepped in to say that Pinterest would be a more gender neutral site and much cooler if guys weren’t afraid of it. It seems that because women have been the earliest adopters and have come to dominate the site with photos of desired shoes, home décor and cute animals many men have decided there is no hope for the masculinization of Pinterest.

Yet, if you dig deep enough you’ll find a great deal of manly and cross-gender content across, tech, fashion, geek, design and yes- even food. The speed of sharing is incredible and sections filled with recipes and DIY home improvement projects could keep you a busy hobbyist for life. It’s also an impressive collaborative tool for creative projects at work. It certainly boasts an endless realm of possibility once it becomes public and even more users get to play with it.

The point that the situation I encountered raises: are new social sites subject to gender control? Does Pinterest need to promote use by males in order to maximize its audience? Should they just hone in on the demo that has shown the most interest? Where are the revenue streams in sites like Pinterest? Are men really that pathetic that they run and hide if the ladies put their stake in the ground first?

It brings up plenty of topics for discussion. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! You can also view my personal Pinterest page by following me www.pinterest.com/jmtnyc