Tag Archives: UK

Pinterest UK

PIF Badge 150

I admit it. I was flattered. Pinterest wants to feature one of my Pinterest boards during its registration process for new UK users.

Right, what is Pinterest? It is a new social media network – based on sharing images – that has grown phenomenally in its three-year existence.

Thanks to Mike Farrow for turning me on to Pinterest – companies were finding Pinterest was driving more sales than Facebook.

Explaining this phenomenon, Steve Longoria quotes stats that 80% of Pinterest users are women, saying, “women love to shop” (ouch, goes feminist-self).

But there is more gender-balance in UK, according to David Moth at Eco-Consultancy. Do see Eco-Consultancy’s analysis of how huge (and small) brands use social media. Most instructive.

Yes, I can see how retail is suited to images. Selfridges is on Pinterest, so is OcadoYeo ValleyClipper Tea, campaigners such as the Woodland Trust, and (I like this one) National Rail Enquiries.

F4E tuna fishing

I set up action brand, Fish4Ever, on Pinterest. Its pictures tell the stories of sustainable fishing and its the fight to support small fishers, so suited to image-led Pinterest.

Then, when browsing Fish4Ever products on Ocado, I noticed a Pinterest button on each of its product pages. Ooooh, that made it easy to upload the product images to a new Board I titled: Fish4Ever on Ocado.

Then, when you click on the Ocado Fish4Ever product image at Pinterest, the link takes you back to the UK online supermarket so you can buy the product. Neat.

I also set up my own Pinterest account. It is a way of mapping out interests online – pleasingly visual. I have just started a Board to gather my recent blogging/journalism.

Book tower
And I also made a Board for Books. (Above a pic of pile: books I am reading, want to read or have read but can’t bear to be parted from).

Pinterest UK launched on 9 May. Why an UK launch when Pinterest is global, right, like Facebook? Pinterest guest blogger, interior designer, Will Taylor, admires this localised approach and thinks it makes sense because Pinterest is “probably one of the most personal platforms…highly influenced by where you live.”

Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann indicates its success may also be be down to this marketing approach: having local events to engage local bloggers. Verrrry interesting! (see my comment below in ‘Comments’).

According to marketing blog, Pinster, Pinterest has been very successful at generating traffic for US bloggers and invites UK bloggers to share reports of  any traffic increases as a result of this current marketing drive.

Getting ten UK bloggers a day to Pin It Forward for 30 days sounds a Herculean task especially if they were as recalcitrant as I was (haven’t I got enough to do?).

But I was intrigued by the marketing campaign so here I am, passing the baton to the next blogger in this 30-day marathon. Whom it turns out, I am already happily connected with…

Laura Scott is a fellow food blogger with a beautiful and practical blog, How to Cook Good Food, and do see Laura’s fascinating and share-able How to Cook Pinterest Boards.

Inspiring, too. I am gonna get pinning.

Organic September: Eve Balfour

A coincidence. I was planning this post on Lady Eve for Organic September when environmental journalist and historian, Erin Gill, passed through Bristol.

“Eve Balfour,” said Erin Gill, emphasising the word, Eve, as we sat in the Better Food Company cafe today.

Eve is what her friends and family called her. The title was expedient, thought Erin. Certainly useful when campaigning for counter-culture sustainable farming. (Eve’s title was inherited from her childless uncle, Arthur, the first Earl of Balfour, responsible for the Balfour declaration).

But I feel frustrated! Why are these perfectly sane, common sense ideas deemed unorthodox in the first place? As Shell prepares to drill in the melting Arctic, I despair about this terrible struggle for long-term care to prevail over short-term profits.

It’s not through want of vision.

Eve Balfour wrote The Living Soil, published in 1943 – a synthesis of emerging thoughts linking sustainable farming to health – and co-founded the Soil Association in 1946 to spread the word.

Organic historian, Philip Conford, author of The Origins of the Organic Movement, and The Development of the Organic Network: linking people and themes (1945 – 1995), wrote in the Soil Association’s Living Earth in 2003 (when I was editor):

“To the general public, the Soil Association’s name may seem narrowly focused: surely soil matters only to farmers and gardeners. The answer is no, it matters to everyone who eats and all who are concerned with health.”

The reasons, he writes, are given in

Eve Balfour’s book, The Living Soil (reprinted 2006).

The book helped kickstart the organic movement – a rising tide of hearts and minds from both the left and right of politics which questioned quick-fix chemicals, animal factories and the monocultures of factory farming. Their prophetic vision foretold a depleted soil with negative knock-on effects.

The organic pioneers called for biological and ecological sciences to underpin farming, not the increasingly-dominant chemistry one (which sadly gained more sway from developing munitions in two world wars).

To me, these organic pioneers were inspiring, standing up for nature against the increasing industrialisation of the west.

Eve Balfour speaks my language.

In the first edition of the Soil Association’s magazine, Mother Earth (1946) Eve Balfour wrote about those who questioned the status quo:

“…They are beginning to understand, for example, that health is something more than than just not being ill, and that the right approach to health consists not merely in the prevention of disease but in the promotion of vitality in both organism and environment, for the one cannot be studied apart from the other.

“These people have begun to see life on this planet as a whole, and Nature’s plan as a complicated system of interdependence rather than one based on competition.”

Soil health equals human health, as this Huffington Post film review of the Symphony of the Soil (we helped organise its London premiere), shows.

However, despite its benefits, organic farming receives little UK government support compared to other countries in Europe. What a terrible shame – organic food should be available and affordable for all, for the sake of soil, water conservation, animal welfare, bees and other wildlife, wild flowers, and our health.

Everything is interdependent.

Post Script A recent review from Stanford University indicated organic food may have less pesticides but is not more nutritious than non-organic food.

The review  (and the ensuing media frenzy) is rebutted by US scientist, Dr Charles Benbrook.

This article on the NHS website also looks at the Standford review’s methodology.

And, a great response from food writer, Michael Pollan.

I like this rant from Riverford Farm about organic food getting knocked just when it’s never been better.