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Pinterest’s worst nightmare is its dream user (exclusive)
Meet Allison Tyler. In an exclusive interview, the creator of WTF, Pinterest? explains why she loves the site she critiques so sharply.
Pinterest pros and Daily Dot readers are already in the know when it comes to WTF, Pinterest, a cheeky blog that pokes fun at poorly thought-out additions to the online image board.
However, readers are not at all familiar with the blogger behind the curtain. The author has never revealed her identity … until right now. And right here.
The Daily Dot would like to introduce Allison Tyler, New Yorker, secretary, photographer, and founder of WTF, Pinterest, where she’s been posting Pinterest parody since Nov. 2011.
“Although I love Pinterest, from the start I poked fun at things I saw there,” she told us. “I put WTF up as a place to share the silly things that ran through my head while I was on Pinterest.”
From the beginning, Tyler kept her identity a secret. She revealed the site only to her fiancé and one of her best friends.
“Since then, only two other friends have found out I run the site,” she said. “With this interview I’ve officially outed myself.”
Even as her project remained a secret to family and friends, it took off online. Tyler told us her blog gets 50,000 hits per week. She’s surprised so many people resonate with what she finds funny, especially when what she finds funny includes seaweed scarves, zombie poodles, and
“I do it solely to amuse myself, so it’s evolving daily,” she said. “I am stunned that anyone reads the site, but very happy and appreciative that they do!”
“The Pinterject poster has now been repinned over 11,000 times,” she said. Automatic email notices about the poster flooded her inbox, causing Tyler to shut off notifications.
Tyler said she considers herself a very typical Pinterest user when it comes to her personal account. Engaged to be married, she possesses a “cliché” wedding board.
“That’s where I commit many of the Pinterest sins I make fun of,” she said.
Since she considers herself guilty of many of the crimes spotlighted by WTF, Pinterest?, Tyler said her authorial tone is “more Zooey Deschanel than Chelsea Handler.”
Some critics find her tone too cutting to agree with this assessment. Others say it isn’t harsh enough.
“I have received some hate mail,” she said. “People have been generous enough to take time out of their busy and interesting lives to tell me that I’m not funny, or that I’m ‘sick’ and ‘perverted,’ or that they feel I’m trying (and failing miserably) to be “the Regretsy of Pinterest.’”
Tyler doesn’t let comments like these get her down because she’s not concerned with making WTF, Pinterest? a lasting project. As soon as it stops being fun, she said, she’ll quit it.
“As Pinterest gains popularity, poking fun at the site might be a concept that jumps the shark as quickly as the term ‘jump the shark’ did,” she said. “It will be interesting for me to see where, if anywhere, it goes, or rather, where I take it.”
Regardless of what happens to WTF, Pinterest?, Tyler knows she’ll always have Pinterest.
And she loves it in the way only a sincere critic can.
“Pinterest is, usually, calming to me because it lacks the human interaction—it’s just … stuff, and some of it is beautiful or inspiring or thought-provoking to see, and some of it is wicked insane,” she said. “It’s a lovely escape.”
Lauren Rae Orsini is a web culture reporter who specializes in anime and the business of fandom. Her work has been published by Forbes and Business Insider.