Pinterest vs Tumblr

I wasn’t so hot on Pinterest when it first launched and, in fact, I made fun of it a bit.  Tumblr, on the other hand, I just loved–who wouldn’t love a micro-blogging service that both clipped and quoted and allowed original content?

Over the course of the past 18 months, I’ve made and launched multiple Tumblrs, mostly for work (news/community/media/events) and a little for fun.  Pinterest, not so much.

But then, this month, I bought a house. A house that was bare of window treatments, furniture, rugs, and pretty much everything else. A house I was going to have to plan and organize. Suddenly, I was all about Pinterest.

What started as a series of boards about ideas for my yard repairs (backyard was a wreck), fence and patio turned into more boards about what the living room might look like, home offices, and wall decor, as in hanging photos.  3 weeks in, that’s blossomed into additional boards on ceramics (a passion), textiles(another passion) and healthy eating.

Meanwhile, my tumblr is sitting kinda idle–and I am thrilled to have had a chance to learn more about the purpose of pinning.

So, what gives?

Pinterest really is great as a visual collection, mood board or organizer. This is true whether it’s an idea board for a visual project or a list of data visualizations or info graphics. The ability to sort and categorize and tag is very powerful on Pinterest and lends itself both to projects and to virtual collections.

Tumblr, on the other hand, is much more in the river of news mode. Tumblrs are great accretations of interesting snips, posts, images around a sensibility or a topic, and, unlike Pinterest, they do a great job of offering words as well as images,

Both services offer types of community–Pinterest through tagging and commenting functions, and Tumblr through hashtags and comments/questions.

So where would I use each?
Pinterest has totally captures my interest for riffs on a theme. Whether it’s a collection of Oakland cafes, vintage hankies, or photos of a newsmaker, Pinterest has a tremendous ability to catalog that is so appealing.

Tumblr, however, excels in presenting a sensibility or a theme in a more random, discovery-oriented fashion–and it’s funnier. The hellyeah! and Ryan Goslings series are hysterical on tumblr, not so much on Pinterest.