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Are you pinning? Have you seen Michelle Obama’s board filled with pics from “around the White House’? Perhaps you’ve pinned one of Madame Noire’s stories? (You can do that, you know.)

In a short time, Pinterest has grown into one of the most prominent social networks on the Internet. A place for enthusiasts and companies to post images of things they fancy, the site has grown to more than 20 million users and has been valued at more than $1 billion. It was founded in 2009, but has seen exponential growth over the past 10 months or so.

For individuals, Pinterest is a place to showcase your expertise or your passion. “Particularly for people in creative fields, Pinterest can be an enhancement to a portfolio,” a Pinterest spokesperson told us via email. We were in touch with Pinterest to learn some of the professional uses for the site. A Pinterest publicist passed our questions around to gather responses.

At first, Pinterest was populated overwhelmingly by women. And even now, judging by the brands and the content that populates the site, it’s obvious that women are still the driving force. However, the site says it’s seeing an increase in the number of men who are participating.

“For example, Pinterest is popular among designers and architects (still somewhat male-dominated fields) because it’s such a visual platform and pinning can be really useful for quickly representing an idea or concept with images,” Pinterest tells us. “Boards devoted to food, gadgets/products, home projects, design/typography, posters/art/photography, humor (ie: Internet memes, online comics, etc.), and activities or toys for kids are all examples of topics we’ve seen men pin frequently.”

The site has become a huge traffic driver, sending people around the Internet to and fro. And where there’s traffic, there’s a greater possibility of being noticed by an influential someone who’s active on the site, or prospective customers. Some of the top brands on Pinterest include Kate Spade, Whole Foods, and Real Simple magazine.

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