Sunday, February 19, 2012
PinInterest - Discovery versus Searching
Nothing is more frustrating than having too so much information and not enough time or motivation to filter through it all to get to the one result we want. No where is this more apparent than on the internet today, even with powerful search engines like Google, the results we get back are often hundreds of pages and somewhat biased to the guy who pays the most. As a user and more importantly as a consumer we often don't get to the real information we want very efficiently if at all. It all ends up being a bad experience searching doesn't really lead to a satisfactory result in most cases. Searching is easy and simple, but finding the right results to your interest is a real problem. So what other alternatives might there be?
Well, a new site gaining popularity is PinInterest and maybe suggests another alternative for people who are searching for items online. The concept of PinInterest is simple, people get to clip things they like, the emphasis is on visual elements to keep it interesting. Users are in control of gathering things they like and sharing them with others. This along with making the site fun and enjoyable, easy to use and about interests rather than friends make for an interesting difference to normal searching. This article lists 10 reasons why pininterest is proving successful.
The new paradigm is discovery rather than searching for content. Finding people with similar interests that may have found more relevant content on the web. The experience, is much more like shopping used to be, with the catalog feel of browsing glossy images, but now with the added dimension of real time updating and user reviews. The new value proposition is that in some instances the things people are pinning are recommendations and this will be more efficient at bubbling the more valuable content to the top of those groups. For selling items to consumers this changes how we think about searching and finding items. For example if we want to find the best running shoes, instead of Google'ing the browser, we can see what actual runners prefer and are talking about most in these groups. It becomes a type of crowd-sourced recommendation engine and gives you access to those that are in the know. Users are now more responsible for filtering out the good content they find from the bad. As of right now there is also less push on those companies that pay the most to appear at the top of the list. Instead of always seeing Nike as No.1 maybe you might discover something new and better, that you hadn't expected
It has been seen time and again the power of social recommendation. Amazon and their ratings, as well as, reviews has become the norm for any company online that wants to help consumers make their selections. Psychology has recognized the power of in-group bias, where we tend to give preferential treatment to those we picture as in our own group. Also the effect of the authority bias leads us to trust the opinions of those considered experts in the group we are consulting with. These two conditions play well in the discovery form of searching, making us more likely to follow the leads that certain people may suggest rather than a series of return results from a search engine that maybe have no attributed author or social group attached to them. Other conditions that fall out of this kind of searching includes, feelings of having access to exclusive insight to maybe less mainstream content, increasing our perceptions of its value. There is also the surprise element of finding something unexpected or new that you maybe hadn't considered before and of course we mustn't forget the power of reducing choices as helping people get to a decision.
With all these powerful psychological forces acting on someone in the new PinInterest site, it is no wonder that it is already proving a very popular destination on the web and new way to discover and find content and consumables, as well as, interesting topics and subjects you can follow.