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Power to the Pin

Okay. Okay. Here we go. My first Symmetri blog. Under constant pressure from our Social Media Management Team, I have finally succumbed.

I think they expect me to write about some hot design topic or what I think of American Airlines’ new identity (which I find quite nice). Instead, I am going to write about a recent experience in their world, the social media world.

I am on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. I actively use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends (and the occasional client – Hi, Patti and Diane) and LinkedIn for work, but I don’t bother much with the other ones. I post some of my kids’ piano and funny-moments videos on YouTube just to see if any will go viral. They haven’t.

I will probably never tweet: too labor-intensive for me and I am a visual guy, not a word guy. Which brings me to the interesting experience I had, pinning things on Pinterest and experiencing the power of the social sphere.

Rewind to a cold, wintery evening in January (actually last night, but you may be reading this months from now). Bicycling magazine showed up in my mailbox. One of my favorite subscriptions. I was flipping through it as my kids were creating their usual pre-bedtime ruckus when I came across a huge advertising buy from Pinarello, the Italian bicycle maker.

I’ve always liked their road frames and about twice a year consider replacing my steel-framed LeMond with one of their carbon-fiber monsters. Then on the last page of this multi-page advertisement, there sat the Dogma XC 29er. A new 29” cross-country mountain bike from Pinarello. Interest piqued, I immediately went online. Watched a video. Read the specs. Found a bike shop to custom build one up. Put it in the site’s shopping cart ($7,300 in case you’re wondering). And then I woke up. Actually, my wife saw what I was doing and smacked me back to reality.

So I gave up and decided to pin it under “Products I Love.” Like I said earlier, I don’t use Pinterest that much. I had eight followers and I am following 18.  I added a new follower as a result of that pin. A cousin I have never met. His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. They went their separate ways as adults and although they stayed in touch, their descendants didn’t.

I went back to Facebook and friended this cousin. I immediately realized he was only five hours away in Detroit. He has a beautiful baby girl. Loves biking, Audis. And beer. And I think we look a lot alike. Weird. He invited me to ride the Tour de Troit (love that name) in the fall.

I think I am going to throw my kids, our bikes and the Mrs. in the minivan and drive to Detroit in September to meet my cousin, Anthony, and his family. Pretty cool social connection, huh? All because Elyse (the previously unnamed Social Media Manager) nags me about blogging and putting the power of social media to use.

Power to the Pin.