My Date with Ben Silbermann — Following Up and Drying My Tears – Atlanta Senior Portrait Photographer talks with Pinterest
Okay, so when I said in my last post “call me”, I didn’t really expect that Pinterest would actually call me. But it did. Or, rather, it’s founder, Ben Silbermann did. Now, to be fair, I did reach out to Pinterest first by sending an email saying “hey it’s little old me with a blog post that kind of went out of control and I’d love to give you a chance to respond.” Well, respond they did with an email from Ben Silbermann himself within just a few hours. He said “Can I call you?” and I said, “well, I’m kinda busy but I guess so.” ;)
So he called and we chatted. For over an hour.
Alright, maybe that’s not a “date-date” but it WAS a phone date to discuss Pinterest and the concerns I raised in my last blog post. And it went well. He didn’t yell at me. He didn’t accuse me of being a hater. He didn’t tell me I was a “loser” or to “suck it” like some of the comments I have seen (comments which, by the way, I did NOT approve — yes, it’s my blog and I can approve your comments). What he essentially said was that he is a guy with a computer who had a vision to create this site where everyone can share stuff. He is not a lawyer and doesn’t pretend to be an expert in copyright law (I assured him that I do not either). He knows there are issues with Pinterest and the fear of claims of copyright infringement and he wants to figure out a way to make “his little web page” (which he said his Dad calls it — I thought that was cute) work within the confines of the law AND in a way where photographers and every user feels comfortable.
We hashed out some of the pros and cons of using the site in its current format and talked about ideas he has to improve it and make it safer to use but still as fun. All in all, it was a great conversation and he assured me that some changes are on the way in the very near future. He told me some of them but I don’t want to bind him to anything so all I can say is “wait and see. He’s on it.”
I clarified that I was not out to destroy Pinterest and that I wished him great success. I declared my love for his site and told him to let me know if there was ever anything little-old-me could do to help him. He actually said that he would likely be back in touch to take me up on that.
As I hung up, I realized that he probably didn’t really need my advice or suggestions and I’m sure he has heard most of my concerns before. After all, these concerns are all over the internet, Twitter, Facebook, Flikr, etc. And I know that he isn’t likely to call me back for any help. I am willing to bet some of the best photographer-lawyer-mom’s out there in the world would jump at the chance to work with him. He is, after all, sitting on one of the most popular social networking sites out there. BUT, he made an effort to treat me like I mattered and that goes a long way in my book. I do truly believe that the concerns raised in my last blog matter to him. A lot. And I also truly believe that he is going to work his young, brilliant little butt off to address them and remedy the quirks to the best of his and his legal team’s ability.
To clarify something from my last post — I did NOT delete my Pinterest account. I merely deleted my inspiration boards that contained work pinned from around the web. And because many of you are asking, yes, I DO give consent for my work to be re-pinned if you are so inclined. I will be adding a “pin me” watermark to my work from now on. I do still have concerns about pinning other’s work without getting consent first but believe me, I am in the group of photogs who is doing the Pinterest cheer. ”Give me a ‘P’! Give me an ‘I’…” and so forth. I just want to be respectful of both the law and other’s rights when I use it and most of all, I want to be clear what the site itself expects. Don’t tell me you want me to do something and then in the next breath tell me that I shouldn’t do it.
Okay, so Ben (yes, after an hour on the phone during which I enjoyed a glass of wine, I consider us on a first-name basis), I’ll be anxiously waiting to see what your changes are. I won’t be sitting by the phone, but I’m betting my heart rate will pick up a bit if I see a call coming in from a 650 area code! Good luck with everything and thanks for the chat!
PS – oh, and I put your number in my contacts cuz it makes me feel special.