Matt Collins watched the Facebook boom and the Twitter explosion. When Pinterest threatened to do the same, the entrepreneur wasn’t going to let opportunity pass him a third time.
“Pinterest has taken curation to a new level,” he told the Daily Dot. “People can now discover and share the things they like more easily than ever before. That's great for everyone, but particularly for anyone creating beautiful things that now have a powerful new way to be discovered.”
The 36-year-old Londoner started Total Pinterest, one of the first and only blogs devoted to Pinterest news and marketing. What sets Collins out from the crowd is his knack for recognizing and exposing shady marketing practices. His was one of the blogs to first spot spammers on the platform and is constantly catching seedy new techniques before anybody else catches wind of them.
But Collins doesn’t have an inside source to help him spot this stuff first. Instead, he relies on his intuition as a programmer.
“My background is quite technical, so I’ve been known to notice people doing slightly dodgy things,” said Collins, who sold his most intensive endeavor, a Groupon-like deal finding program, to Time Out London, before launching Total Pinterest.
“I’ve got an idea of the kinds of things people might try to do to market online.”
For example, Collins first noticed spammers on the site by looking into regular, legal Amazon affiliate marketing by checking Amazon as a Pinterest source. From there, he realized a lot of the affiliate pins appeared to originate from one user.
“I picked up on a chap doing some affiliate marketing and creating lots and lots of accounts and sort of spamming and repinning from one to another,” he said.
“It’s partly just keeping a close eye on Pinterest and seeing if anything unusual is happening.”
That intuition has made Collins a valuable follow. Total Pinterest is an oft-quoted source, not just by the Daily Dot but also The Atlantic and many other sites that cover the platform.
Collins suspects his next big story will be about a major shift in how we use Pinterest.
“One thing that could be a real game changer will be when they finally release the API,” he said. “A lot of people are ready to build things off of Pinterest. It could release the creativity of hundreds of thousands of people to do things that aren’t being done yet.”
When it happens, we suspect Collins will be the first to know.
Photo via Matt Collins