Pinterest Vs. Gimmiebar

I’ve been on an inspiration curation kick lately. At the end of September, 2011, I signed up for Gimmiebar, a more niche-focused curation site akin to the web 2.0 social bookmarking site The idea behind the service is when you stumble upon something awesome, be it an image, text, or most videos, you can save it to your gimmiebar using their handy browser extension or bookmarklet. You can find your friends and follow them like any social network and see what they add to their collections in the Discovery section. I must not be following the right people as now and then I will see what others are finding only to come up uninspired. There’s no sitewide search but there is a Notable section that you can peruse.

The gimmiebar extension for Chrome or bookmarklet for other browsers (both do the same thing) is slick. Activating your gimmiebar gives you two drop zones for dragging images into: your Public Firehose and Private Stash. Once you add your image you can add it to one or more collections or create a new collection on the fly. You’re given the option to give a description and tagging is done inline by adding a # before a word.

Gimmiebar does a really good job of being quick and painless. I also like how they save a copy of the image or website incase the original source should go offline. You can even hook up your Dropbox account and have your saved images saved to the cloud as another backup.

Overall Gimmiebar has good tools for personal curation but lacks in the social aspect. I’m sure this will get better over time as more and more people start using it.

Pinterest, on the other hand, has a huge focus on socially sharing interesting things found on the web. You create boards which you pin different things to. Your friends can see what you have pinned and even repin it to their boards. Repinning is just like reposting on Tumblr or re-tweeting on Twitter.

My favorite feature of Pinterest is their search feature, which works well. Just enter a term and you get back a large swath of different images to pore over. Since the community is so active, you will want to keep checking your favorite searches for new inspiration. Commenting is also there but I don’t see much conversation occurring on pins.

Pinterests audience is heavily female oriented. There is a lot of fashion, do-it-yourself crafts, wedding, recipes and decorating pins going through my stream. But that’s ok because there is also a lot of robots.

With all the buzz surrounding Pinterest and their traffic numbers going up and up every month, it’s no wonder the site can slow down to a crawl from time to time. Ingesting and searching through all of those images is a tough job for any systems engineer at Pinterest’s scale. Hopefully that $27 million in funding will ease some of their growing pains.

So while both invite-only services are based around the same concept, curating inspiration, I’ve found myself using both for different purposes. Gimmiebar is more for my design/photography/art inspiration while Pinterest is for collecting fashion and home ideas. Kristina is also on Pinterest and we share a board which is fun to pin stuff to when I find interesting stuff for her. It’s also neat to learn about your friends based on what things they collect.

Be sure to give both sites a try. I have plenty of invites for both. You can find me on Gimmiebar and on Pinterest.

Inspiring TED Talks

One of the best things about a 45 minute commute each way by train is you can watch some TED videos for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite talks from the series.
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
Temple makes the case that there is a little autism in all of us. Its what makes great minds and needs to be celebrated.

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight
What happens when a brain scientist experiences the very thing she has been studying? Jill talks about her experience during a massive stroke which she knows all about.

David Blaine: How I held my breath for 17 min
David goes into detail about the great lengths he took pushing his body to the limit of oxygen deprivation.

Lewis Pugh swims the North Pole
This guy is tough. To help spread awareness to global warming, Lewis swam in the icey waters of the North Pole in nothing but a speedo.

Kevin Kelly tells technology’s epic story
Kevin explains how technology evolves like a cell or a meme.

Hans Rosling: Asia’s rise — how and when
Hans has a thick Sweedish accent that you would expect from a great mind. Here he predicts the exact day when India and China will outstrip the US as the economic powerhouse of the world. I marked the date in my Google Calendar.

Willard Wigan: Hold your breath for micro-sculpture
Willard makes incredibly detailed sculptures out of single grains of sand. His patience for his work, which can be inhaled without thinking , is really mind blowing.

Inspiration From Vintage Childrens Books

I forgot how children’s books can really stir up the imagination. The other night I was looking for a book that I had when I was a kid but couldn’t remember anything about the title, author, or publication date. What really stuck out at me was the illustration style. Along the way I discovered these illustrations from vintage children’s books.

space monsters
Is There Life in Outer Space? Franklyn M. Branley ~ Don Madden ~ Thomas Y. Crowell, 1984

Angus and Cat
Angus and the Cat Marjorie Flack ~ Doubleday, 1931

Tico and the golden wing
Tico and the Golden Wings Leo Lionni ~ Knopf, 1964

Yellow and Pink book cover
Yellow & Pink William Steig ~ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984

The Three Robbers
The Three Robbers Tomi Ungerer ~ Atheneum, 1962

Rotten Island
Rotten Island William Steig ~ Godine, 1984

Tommys trip to the moon
Tommy’s Trip to the Moon Illustrated by Elisabeth Halfdaner ~ English text by John Cotton ~ c.1950s (book is not dated)

More sources for vintage children’s books inspiration:

And the book that I was looking for was Drummer Hoff from 1968 illustrated by Ed Emberley. I love this book so much that I bought a signed copy on eBay after figuring out what I was looking for.

Drummer Hoff Cover

Two Flickr Photographers To Watch

Thanks to the Flickr Interestingness widget on my Netvibes page, I stumbled across two Flickr members with gorgeous work.

First up is Sakura who does a lot of floral macro work. What really makes her photos stand out is the bright, vibrant colors that are usually blurred into the background. She sells prints of her photos at Imagekind.

Lady Bug on Flower

Red flower on blue background

Spring Sprung


Time To Go Home

Ajisai Blue

Next I stumbled upon JayJuice who drew me in with her pictures of minimalistic urban landscapes. I love how she can find beauty in an everyday scene. Prints from JayJuice are available at Red Bubble.

Yellow Squares, Black Light

Silver Light, Blue Wall


Grungey Wall

Industrial Wall with Wires

Yellow Railing, Gray Wall

If you are looking for photographic inspiration, take a look at the rest of the galleries these two offer on Flickr.

Interactive Drawing Game With Real Physics

This seems like something Nintendo should have come up with but Petri Purho of Klooni Games from Finland came up with an interesting game. You solve puzzles by drawing shapes on a screen. The goal is to get the ball to touch the star but the twist is the shapes you draw are affected by physics like gravity and collisions. Draw a fully enclosed shape and it will drop and bump into other shapes on the screen. The video below gives you a better idea of how it works.

Klooni Games is an experimental game play project where every month Petri comes up with some kind of experimental game. This is a great project to build fresh life in to the gaming world which has a habit of copycatting succesful titles instead of innovating.

Hopefully we will see more exciting things Petri comes up with in March, which just happens to be tomorrow.

Inspiration: Scrapzilla By Andy Council

Stumbled upon Andy Council’s portfolio today where I saw this…

Scrapzilla by Andy Council

The title is Scrapzilla, appropriately enough. He has other similar pieces like Rail Rooster and Junk Robot.

Andy has lots of other intricate illustrations in his complete portfolio. It blows my mind how someone can think up something like this.

(via DesignFlavr)