July 12, 2014
Something I've noticed over the past year or so is this phenomenon where people credit Pinterest for all the neat things they find on the internet.
Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest. I'm an enthusiastic, active user, but I don't give credit to it as an original source for anything. Maybe that's because I started blogging (on various platforms) long before its existence and widespread popularity, but sourcing Pinterest seems to make as much sense as sourcing Google for something you might find on Wikipedia or the Weather Channel.
For me, Pinterest is the online equivalent of tearing out blurbs and images from your favorite magazines and newspaper to collect and refer back to. It's an inspiration board, but it's even more awesome because you get to share it and show people your own personal style and interests. I'm all for sharing free information and being as open and helpful to my peers as possible, but there is something about this trend that seems a little too generic to me. Why is everyone suddenly oblivious to the origins of publication, however informal they may be? Am I missing something?
For instance, I recently found this article in the Phoenix New Times titled Make Your Own Chai Tea Concentrate, Thanks to Pinterest by Laura Gill wherein she writes an article about the struggles of finding the perfect chai concentrate, and jests about how a "Pinterest User" saves the day:
"Oh, I love how Pinterest always comes to the rescue... It knows when I have a problem even before I do!"
The "Pinterest recipe" Ms. Gill is referring to here is a post from my blog for Spiced Chai Concentrate published back in August 2011 (you knew that was coming, right?), and remains one of my most popular recipe posts of all time. And, aside from the fact that it's a damn tasty recipe, the reason it has gone viral over everything else I've ever published continues to mystify me.
After all, the images aren't that pretty, and the recipe isn't even originally mine. I merely adapted it from the Tasty Kitchen Blog and posted my version so I could share the deliciousness with anyone who might be interested.
But that brings to mind an interesting point. Whenever you see a recipe post on the internet these days, it's usually an adaptation or modification from some other source. Most people are good enough to list their sources, but over time you start to see the same recipe done over and over again, and the list of sources becomes piled so high that it's difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to locate the original. Maybe this Pinterest issue is merely the next step in letting go of our need to give (and take) credit because credit due has become too convoluted, a natural result of the rapid speed information is passed on the internet.