Excellent new free 154-page report from marketing behemoth Experian: The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report (PDF, sadly no Kindle ereader edition).

Unsurprisingly, Pinterest is now the No.3 social media platform. It’s accessible, addictive, fun, and doesn’t demand huge brain power. For simple reading it’s like flipping though an all-in-one-place image-heavy magazine, that’s both filterable and never-ending. With the added value of unobtrusive easy-to-follow links, links that can lead to genuine enthusiast-written instructionals on how to make, use, and do stuff. The social interaction at that level is subtle, limited, and yet rewarding and immediate. The on-ramp that leads toward more active Board curation on Pinterest is also very easy to get onto, by collecting “Likes” as bookmarks for articles or books to read. Pinterest can serve the same “what if…” daydreaming activity offered by good fashion / lifestyle / places / hobbies print magazine. That aspect is no doubt helped by the invitation-only nature of the site; the 60%+ female user-base; and the emphasis on “following” people rather than discovery by keyword search (which is hampered by the poor quality of the text descriptions and lack of geo-tags); and the way that it’s portable via mobile phone apps. Finally, there’s the actual “mood board” function, which does actually work like a traditional zeitgeist board once you start meditating on a focused topic board and seeing subtle connections. Unlike the dank echo-chamber of Twitter, it’s a beautiful and elegant service.