The conversation around Pinterest has been really fascinating/revealing in terms of the tech and mainstream media’s reactions to a popular social media tool with a user base which doesn’t fit people’s ideas of the “early adopter” profile and interest set. (Tumblr had this too, though it wasn’t as blatant - tech sites mostly ignored it or rolled their eyes at the fact we weren’t all following Scoble on Posterous instead). Pinterest’s demographic base in the US skews heavily female: this is a fact, but does it have to be The Story?
One thing that’s worth noting, though, is that Pinterest makes its use cases VERY clear on signing up, clearer than almost any other social tool I’ve used. Compare it to Twitter during its big early user spike, for instance - you signed up, got shown a hatful of semi-random “suggested users” you could follow if you wanted, and that’s it: you were on your own. Pinterest gives you suggested board topics, automatically follows you to power users (though you can opt out) and openly says “this is how its done”. Quora did something similar to establish its culture (it had that offputting “here is how you should write on Quora, leave the Lulz at the door please” ‘welcome message’) so I think it’s a feature of current-gen social sites, something they’ve learned from the Twitter experience.
I joined up sometime last year: I am one of the apparently typical men who has joined and never pinned, but this is partly because I barely share pics on ANY of my social sites, not because I am keeping my pics of cars’n’meat to myself. Anyway it did seem to me that the users I was automatically followed to posted a lot about fashion and food, but fashion and food are subjects which - duh - very much lend themselves to visual collage, which is the Pinterest MO. I unfollowed most of them, replaced them with other users I knew from elsewhere (mostly women, but w/evs) and my homepage is now all infographics and cute owls.