Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pinterest in the News - Video show about Pinterest

First episode of a new weekly video series about Pinterest.

I have been slowly moving into doing more video content. Like many of you, I grew up writing. At first I wrote as required by my education and later because I enjoyed it. Video is not an intuative format for me, but I have slowly been learning, and I am excited about a new weekly series that Lauren Orisni of the Daily Dot and I are doing about Pinterest.  Each week we are going to discuss the latest Pinterest news and provide insights for users and businesses.

This week we discuss four topics:

I hope you enjoy them.

Pinterest’s changes to group boards


Spammers who stole images and a business’ name


The best way to contact Pinterest: plus the end of comments on Pinterest’s blog


Pinterest humor with parody accounts

Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

Twitter finally using Summify software, and it looks great.

I am a big fan of Summify. I first wrote about Summify last year when I talked about it being a great option to get an overview of what the people shared while I was on vacation and not on Twitter. Since then I continue to look at the summary email every night. Summify does a good job of finding some of the more interesting and notable links shared each day.

On January 19th, Twitter bought Summify. I was concerned that Twitter would shut down Summify, and in fact there was some indication from Twitter that they would do that. Despite that indication, I continue to get Summify emails each day.

Today, I finally got a chance to see what Twitter plans to do with Summify. The image below shows a new email summary from Twitter (on the left) that looks so close to a Summify email (on the right), that I have to think it is a use of the technology.

New Twitter summary email is useful and may bring users back.

Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

The new Twitter email goes beyond just a summary of popular links shared by those you follow. It also includes five tweets that were popular in the last day, but that don’t have links in them.

The new Twitter email is very clean, and I think it will solve several issues that Twitter has. First, it keeps Twitter interesting and relevent for people who don’t check the service frequently. Secone, it is likely to get people  who previously signed up for Twitter, but who don’t use it, to try it again.

I looked at the notification pages for a few Twitter accounts I use, and I didn’t see a check box to sign-up for a summary email. It could be that Twitter will use previous opt-in permission to send this email, but the email is so useful I have to think that they will allow users to specifically signup for it in the future.


clipboard private alternative to pinterest

Learn how to use Clipboard from the CEO, plus instant access to the service.

Last week I spent some time talking to Gary Flake, the CEO and founder of Clipboard.

Clipboard is a free service that lets you clip and organize anything you find on the web. I have used it for a couple months, and it is pretty useful.

If you use Pinterest, but would like an option for private boards, it is worth checking out.

Click here to access the interview, plus there is a link to get instant access to the Clipboard service.

Actual Pinterest CAPTCHA That Got Rejected

Pinterest now preventing some users from pinning.

The problem of spam is one that Pinterest has been dealing with since the beginning of the year, but their efforts to stop it have some users unable to pin.

Today Heidi Kay of PediaStaff emailed to let me know that she was seeing a CAPTCHA when she tried to pin on Pinterest.

The actual CAPTCHA and message that Heidi received.

More troubling, even when she entered the correct CAPTCHA characters, she was unable to pin.

This isn’t the first time Heidi has had an issue with Pinterest. Heidi also had her ability to comment on pins taken away this month and was unable to get Pinterest to resolve it despite sending emails to Pinterest and @ messaging Pinterest engineers on Twitter. Heidi told me she often would post ten comments in the morning on her own boards as she actually uses Pinterest as way to communicate.

What we were trying to do is to develop discussion groups around certain pins where therapists could look at an idea and suggest ways it could be modified for use in special needs classrooms.   I thought it was a pretty innovative way to use the platform, but as I explained in my blog post I guess Pinterest didn’t like all the commenting I had to do to make it happen.   I think maybe it was because I was cutting and pasting the same comment to attract activity to my pins, but who knows.   Might just have been volume and the quick succession of timing.  Never got a clear answer from the engineers on this in February as to what was triggering the freeze, but when it seemed to stop for a while I thought we were home free and then when it started again in April it was ruthless.

In this latest episode starting April 3rd I couldn’t make more than 2 or three comments, and then it was 1 and now none.  I didn’t try to comment for about 5 days and still could not comment as of yesterday.

Why pins are being blocked

The best explanation for why Heidi is experiencing these issues is that she is a Pinterest power user, and her behavior might trigger anti-spam measures. Her Pinterest account for PediaStaff is one of the most active on Pinterest. While Pinterest itself doesn’t provide rankings, third party service Pinreach has the Pedia Staff account in the top 20 users as evaluated by reach.

In this case it could be an issue of pinning the same image to multiple boards. I asked her how many pins she did today before she got the CAPTCHA and she told me:

Today I pinned about 25 or 30 pins first thing this morning no problem.    Then around 2 PM I created a pin, duplicating it 5 times for the various boards I wanted it in (this is something I do all the time for the long term viability of my boards.   Sometimes pins overlap into several categories.   (I even have a pin that explains why we do multiple pins )

It is possible that Heidi might have to change the way she uses Pinterest or continue to deal with these issues. While no legitimate user should have their ability to pin taken away, it should be noted that the PediaStaff account is not the only one dealing with this failed CAPTCHA issue. I posted about this issue on the Facebook group page for #Pinchat, and while most users hadn’t experience the issue, one person did have the exact same experience. She tried to pin an image, got a CAPTCHA, entered the text correctly, and still wasn’t able to pin. She indicated that she doesn’t pin frequently so this issue could start to affect more people. Later she reported that she was able to pin, so this may be a temporary issue that Pinterest has now resolved.

Pinterest Spam

The point of a CAPTCHA is to stop bots run by spammers from pinning. Two posters on Black Hat World (a forum frequented by grey/black hat marketers, i.e. spammers) reported that the they were also unable to pin when they enter the CAPTCHA. It is unclear if they were using bots, and in the case of the poster who started the thread, he seemed to indicate it was no longer an issue.

Lauren Orsini brought attention to the spam issue with her piece on the spammer who claimed to be making over $1000 a day spamming Pinterest. As I told Lauren when she interviewed me, I actually alterted Ben Silbermann, the CEO of Pinterest, about Black Hat World as a place to check out what spammers where up to. At that time there wasn’t much talk of Pinterest, but now there are dozens of individual threads posted each week about spamming Pinterest.

Pinterest is addressing the spam issue (they actually published a blog post on the issue this past Friday), and while it does make sense that some legitimate accounts may have issues as Pinterest’s tries to stop spam, preventing a legitimate user from commenting and pinning is troubling.

Importance of Pinterest

Heidi told me that Pinterest is so important to PediaStaff’s business that they actually paid for audio/video hookups for the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference so they could incorporate their Pinterest boards into their booth. The conference is in two weeks, and she is concerned that all their work could be for naught if they can’t get normal access to Pinterest again.

Heidi has an email out to Pinterest on this issue. I have called Pinterest to get a comment, but I haven’t heard back yet.


Klout Page wants to connect with Facebook

Be careful when you access your Klout account.

I haven’t accessed Klout in over a month, but tonight I started getting requests to connect on Klout via Facebook.

To see what was going on, I clicked on the notification. It took me to my Klout page and asked me to send requests to 51 friends. Many who likely have no clue what Klout is.

Klout also preselected a check box that gives them approval to send requests from my account at any time in the future.

I obviously didn’t click on the Send Requests button, but based on the number of requests I am getting, it seems a number of people are doing it.

Klout doesn’t list any benefit to me for sending these requests, so it seems fairly self serving on their part.

I just wanted to make people aware how many alerts they could be sending to friends if they do happen to approve it.