‘Virtual social scrapbooking’ site expected to take off in 2012

    For social networks that will blow up in 2012, Temple University business professor Steven Johnson has his money on Pinterest.

    “It’s like the first virtual social scrapbooking,” Johnson said.

    The site is a place to organize and share images found online. The images you “pin” can be posted to personalized, themed “boards,” which other users can follow. Think of it as a cross between Twitter and Tumblr.

    Johnson believes the virtual pin board will take off in 2012, as people reach the limits of what they can do on Facebook and Twitter and want more room to be creative online. In an age of information overload, the site also taps into the need for what Johnson calls “content curators” with shared interests.

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    “It’s not just about finding sources of info, it’s really about finding people you can trust that can sort through that information for you,” Johnson said.

    Users can put a price tag on an item to add it to a shopping list or gift wish list, or compile wedding or home decorating ideas easily online.

    Pinterest users grew from 1.2 million in August to 4.5 million in November, and the site is still in “invite only” mode.

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