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14 Mar

The Internet Is For Everyone. Even Men.

So I’ve been trying to get my husband to blog. And he’s sort of open to the idea. Open enough, anyway, that he’s begun experimenting with building his own site on WordPress and setting up categories and posting a picture or twenty. It is totally not called Her Bad Father. (His as yet unrevealed blog does not have a name. Suggestions are welcome and encouraged.)

One of his categories is ‘Bourbon.’ Another is “I Like This,” and another still is “I Made This.” Which are awesome categories – he has great taste, in bourbon and many other things, and he does make a lot of cool stuff – but still: my immediate reaction upon seeing them was to say, dude, these should be Pinterest boards!

He also tried to – unsuccessfully – bread our cat, which is totally unrelated to Pinterest, unless someone among knows of any breaded cat boards, in which case you need to immediately provide me with the links.

Which got me thinking: are there really any ‘man boards’ on Pinterest? I mean, I’ve followed the discussions about how Pinterest is lady-facing and traffics primarily in the sort of content that women tend to prefer, and I’ve rolled my eyes at those discussions, because a) who cares if something is lady-facing? Most of the entirety of culture has been primarily man-facing for eons, so, really, if something important is built that plays primarily to the cultural interests of women, isn’t it about freaking time? and b) men can be interested in things like food and DIY too, you know. But it occurred to me, after telling Kyle that he should get on Pinterest, that I hadn’t really given any real thought to what kind of content there might appeal to him.

Turns out, there’s a lot.

There are fishing boards. There are beer boards. There are whiskey boards. I haven’t yet found a bourbon board, but I’m sure that’s just because I’m not looking hard enough. There are treehouse boards (I have a treehouse board.) There are boards on chickens, which are kind of manly, maybe. There’s at least one board for ‘Knives and Axes,’ which, I don’t know how I feel about that, but it really is pretty manly, or at least manlier than boards on chickens, so.

Among my own boards – in addition to the treehouse board – there’s the Social Media Dork board and the Awesome board and the I Want To Go To There Board and the If I Had An Unlimited Design Budget board, all of which he’d like, if he ever went on Pinterest, which he doesn’t. Yet. My point is just this: there’s a lot there for him. For any guy. But more than this: so much of what’s there that he’d like isn’t specifically guy-oriented. My girly gallery of boards  contains much that is not girly. Sure, there’s a board called Princesses, For The Win, and he probably wouldn’t be into Want This Look, but beyond that the offerings are, if not gender neutral in terms of their orientation, gender inclusive. So.

I may be overshooting here in my campaign to get Kyle onto social media in a way that isn’t entirely dependent upon Facebook; leapfrogging over things like blogs and Twitter profiles to get Pinterest is certainly not a cautious strategy. But it reflects, I think, the nature of the digital space as it’s evolving. We’re no longer, many of us, rooting our social media identities primarily in blogs and websites – we’re more diffuse than that; we’re creators and publishers and networkers and curators and so much more – and we’re certainly not restricting ourselves in the communities that we align with. We’re connecting with each other on the basis of interests, as well as on more traditionally social bases. And that means, maybe, that we’re moving – slowly – toward a place and condition in which our gender alliances matter less and less. Maybe. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I need to go find that bourbon board.

You see how this post is on my Intel Digital Life page? That’s because I wrote it with my Intel hat on, which is totally a little foil beanie that receives satellite transmissions from the galaxy of AWESOME. Or something. Anyway, it’s part of the series that you see here, on this humble page, about living la vida digital, which is also part of this whole storytelling exercise over here, on Facebook. You should check it out.