Mini online research activity (option 1)

Pinterest is a great example of a website (also an app) that is tailored towards emotional information seeking. Pinterest is an online bulletin board where users can “pin” items that they find online and link back to the original source. Users can search for items that have already been pinned on the site or bring in other items that they find online. Users can organize their pins into customized categories that are meaningful to them.

The overall tone of the site is emotional, lending itself well to this project. The default boards (which users can modify or delete) are “Products I Love,” “Favorite Spaces and Places,” “Books Worth Reading,” “My Style,” and “For the Home” – all evoking personal feelings and emotions about the items placed into these categories. Although the target group is not explicitly defined, a large proportion of its users are female and it is often used to organize ideas for wedding planning, recipes, home decor, fashion, and crafts/DIY.

It would result in a rich case study because it can be analyzed for both its information seeking and classification aspects. Additionally, Pinterest is increasingly being used for commercial purposes – companies are pinning their own products to promote them. As with many online projects, the key challenge would be defining the boundaries of the project, because Pinterest has such a large number of users and endless possibilities for how it is used.

– Cynthia


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