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Drew Hawkins didn’t really get the draw of Pinterest. So he created his own: a board especially for men.
Person of Pinterest is a new weekly feature in which we highlight people making new and innovative use of everyone’s favorite image sharing board. Today we profile Drew Hawkins, the founder and curator of viral pinboard Board of Man.
If you think Pinterest is just for the ladies, you haven’t seen Board of Man. From power tools to bacon, this testosterone-laden pinboard is pure dude. On a network that skews female and boasts thousands of boards dedicated to fashion and interior decorating, Board of Man sticks out like a dog with a handlebar ‘stache.
And users are noticing; at a time when some pinboards are considered moderately popular with just 130 followers, Board of Man has a whopping 87,000 friends—and counting.
It’s the brainchild of Drew Hawkins, an Atlanta, Georgia social media marketer at Engauge. The 24-year-old said that when his wife invited him to join Pinterest over the summer, he immediately grew bored.
“I didn’t do anything on it because nothing on there was for me,” he said.
But after talking about it with a coworker, Hawkins said he decided to give Pinterest a second chance. In October, he created Board of Man. It became clear that Hawkins wasn’t the only person on Pinterest who wished there was a board like this one; he said he gains around 2,000 new followers every day. The board even got its own local news article in KSDK.
Hawkins thinks the board got as big as it did because it’s a collaborative effort; he invited 25 of his friends around to country to also contribute pins. Plus, any Pinterest user anywhere can tag his (or her) pin with #menofpinterest to get Hawkins to repin it on the board. Hawkins said this is what shapes the board’s definition of what it means to be manly.
“If you look at what the most repinned things on there are, they’re really over the top satirical thing: Shark shooting laser beams, lumberjacks, anyone iconic like Bob Ross. Everyone has their own perspective about what is manly. That’s why I added contributors in the first place,” he said.
Even as Board of Man continues to grow, Hawkins is aware of Gentlemint, an entire Pinterest clone that purports to be for men. Yesterday, Hawkins wrote on his blog about why he doesn’t think Gentlemint will stick.
“It’s not Pinterest or the act of pinning that isn’t manly; Gentlemint has the exact same function,” he said. “It’s the content early adopters have pinned, and that is always changing.”
Now, this social media marketer is trying to figure out what made his board grow so big in order to make Engauge’s Pinterest presence a success.
“People are saying companies can use it, too. There’s so much use for Pinterest now beyond redecorating a home or baking a cake,” he said.
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.