I rarely take a polarizing stance on a site idea, because who am I to judge? However, I felt like making an exception. Over the last week, I've had several of my co-workers tell me about Gentlemint. In a nutshell, a few guys got together and didn't like the fact that Pinterest seemed to be women dominated...so they made their own site where men could pin things. It too is in private-betamode and is invite only. It's shares the same "not going to be brought down by the wo-man" mentality that fueled our own Board of Man. However, I feel it's more of a "me too" effort and not really anything innovative.
Gentlemint isn't anything new. It's Pinterest, except "for men." Functionality-wise it shares the same features for the most part. It's makes about as much sense as saying "Facebook has too many college students. Let's make our own Facebook." Social content is what you make of it. You can follow who you choose to follow and filter content accordingly (though filtering is easier to do on some sites than others). I don't see any other big differentiating aspect to Gentlemint other than the gender targeted angle (although females have been allowed access into the site).
The Gentlemint guys don't feel the act of pinning is less masculine, just the content. That's only a temporary thing. The early adopters of the site in this case just didn't happen to be tech/marketing folks but women interested into that Etsy-ish content.
Pinterest can be whatever you want to make it. If you're tired of DIY crafts and fashion, then don't follow those boards. You can provide whatever content you want on Pinterest, organize and share your interests, and eventually like-minded people will come follow you. Like what @juliacantor told me before we helped create Board of Man, "if you don't like the content on Pinterest, change it. Do something about it." I feel like we did.
Lack of Critical Mass
The one thing Pinterest has, especially now, is critical mass. There are over 7 million people using the site right now. The odds of being able to find people who share the same content interests as you are increasing with the user count. The momentum swinging Pinterest's direction is overwhelming. There are a lot of copycat sites, most of which I don't see reaping long-term dividends. Gentlemint included.
Men and Women Are Allowed to Share Similar Interests
The one thing I've really enjoyed about Board of Man is that I've been able to watch people connect through it. Sure the Board of Man is very heavily concentrated in male-related humor, beer, bacon and Sean Connery. However, I've seen people connect on common interests through the board. Since our board has a TON of contributors (collaboration is an awesome feature for boards BTW), there is a lot of variety in what people pin.
Board of Man isn't a move to dominate Pinterest. It's mainly a place for guys to "hang out" on Pinterest. It helps get males off the bench on the site and realize that there is a place for them on the site. That said, it's okay for men and women to share similar interests on Pinterest. For example, some guys really enjoy cooking or baking, so the recipes they see are things they genuinely may be interested in. Other guys are more fashion oriented and may share those interests with other female users. Some females may have a real penchant for bacon and can celebrate that with other dudes.
There's a place for everyone on Pinterest. If your niche doesn't exist inside of it, carve one out. Attack the white space. People will follow, I promise.
Who knows, Gentlemint could take off. If it does, my hats off to those guys. It definitely shows a shift towards the art of manly pinning and I feel we share the same sentiment that guys can pin. However, remember that Pinterest was originally created by dudes.
What do you think? Is Gentlemint innovative or just another Pinterest copycat site?
Note: @calebgardner shared a similar rant on his blog today as well. Check it out at The Exceptional Man