Hello-Hello, it’s almost a weekend, we hope everyone has grand adventures planned, even if it is merely sitting with one’s feet up reading a good book. (That can be pretty grand IOHO!)
Today we thought we would look at a phenomenon that has become increasingly popular, the website called Pinterest.
We’re frequently asked “What is this Pinterest thing? What’s the point of it?”
First, a quick primer for those unfamiliar with the website. It is basically an online bulletin board where you can collect and organize images, and therefore ideas.
It’s something akin to a virtual scrapbook.
User make “boards” where they “pin” images. For example, here is a screen capture taken this morning showing the top row of items in Pinterest’s “Popular” category.
It’s difficult to see from the image (normally you would click on the photo and each individual image would open up to its full size), but the photo/pin in the upper left is a tip about writing messages on diapers for a baby shower so that the new mother will read them when changing the baby, next to that is a pin about Biotin, in the center we see what appears to be simply a style or fashion photo, to its right is a look at storage ideas for a small pantry, finishing up with a beauty shot of a magnolia.
The variety of content is endless. The household tips are amazing, here is a group board (more than one contributor) by Tidy Mom.
Included in the pins are the way to see where any dairy product is made by its code, how to clean a microfiber couch and another showing how to use “multiple coupons and combined competitors coupons on a single purchase at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joann”.
Here’s how the Washington Post’s Jura Koncius described the site in a February story:
Don’t tell anyone, but the Washington Post is paying me to hunt for photos of beautiful bedrooms and mid-century modern chairs and post them on an online bulletin board. I’m using my design eye for branding, marketing and promotion.
Laugh, if you will, but in case you haven’t seen from the myriad reports, the site is totally fun and addictive. I pin photos on my 40 boards during my workday between reporting, writing, blogging, blabbing, Facebooking, Instagramming and tweeting.
Some people use it for fashion OOTD (Outfit of the Day) posts, sharing previously made Polyvore images.
The site is *loaded* with recipes and cooking pages; for example, the Food Network has a page. (Yours truly does not have a favorite recipes board, knowing if we pin one recipe we will pin thousands and be completely out of control.)
There are boards devoted entirely to books; below we see one by the Huntington Beach Public Library showcasing some of its new fiction offerings.
Popular fashion brands are on the site, like Lilly Pulitzer.
The brand doesn’t only post pictures of its own products, far from it, they have boards with topics like “Dream Dorm Rooms“…
“Celebrating Summer in Lilly“… with customers showing themselves and others wearing their Lilly…..
Along with other themes, from a closer look at specific Lilly prints to cocktails, even one showing the interiors of Lilly fitting rooms, all of them fun and colorful.
There is a plethora of fitness boards.
As you might expect, the volume of boards focused on visual mediums is substantial: photography, art, style, crafting and design are all very popular.
More and more companies are jumping on board (pun intended), many using it to as another social media tool, some running contests on Pinterest, others simply using it to show off products. Yours truly is even on Pinterest.
We have board with titles like “Pink & Green,” offering nothing more than cool pink and green things from around the globe.
There’s a “Products we Love” board, just showing cool things I have stumbled upon (not Princess products, we don’t post very many of them, marketing pooh-bahs yell at me about that), like seersucker napkins, a luggage scooter and a Brooks Brothers shirt.
Of course, there are animal boards, yes indeedy. Including ours, “4 Legged Friends“. (Ahem.)
Back to the WaPo story:
Actually my Cat board is one of my most followed boards, thanks to all you cat people out there.
It’s great to see what others whose opinion I respect also LIKE. ( If you LIKE something you hit the LIKE button and you can also REPIN something on one of your boards.) It’s always nice to be LIKED. I especially LIKE it when my editor repins my pins (hint, hint, Liz Seymour).
But there are also downsides to the site. Spammers have landed, and clicking on certain images take you to a spam page. There is the huge issue of copyright violation; like Tumblr, Pinterest now abdicates any responsibility if legal action is taken by a copyright owner, both services now put the onus on the blogger or pinner as the responsible parties.
Additionally, there are the posts that go nowhere. You click on that luscious photo of the perfect casserole thinking you’ll be taken to the site with the recipe so you can make said casserole…only to discover there is no link. Or you see the *perfect* belt and click on the pin only to find it links to a Tumblr page that links to another Tumblr page…and it’s nothing but a long daisy chain of meaningless photos going nowhere. It can be enormously frustrating. That’s one reason I don’t re-pin certain images, if there’s no “original source” (and that is something other than whomever posted it someplace else like Tumblr or Google Images), in 99% of the cases I’m not repinning it.
A big step for the company was announced this week, they released Pinterest apps that can be used on the iPhone, iPad and Droid devices.
All in all it is a stellar site, offering some great tips, visual inspiration, great product finds and ideas, along with organizational possibilities otherwise difficult to replicate. Plus, loads of pals are on Pinterest and I get to see what they’re finding and liking and sharing. Do I spend much time on it? No, perhaps 5-10 minutes a day (max), I’m really not a heavy user, I don’t have the time. What about you….are you on Pinterest?
Pinterest may still require an “invite” from an existing member, if desirous of one just leave a comment and I’ll send one. (There’s no benefit to me or any other member if you receive an invite from us, it’s not like the online shopping clubs where existing members may benefit when someone signs up, it’s merely a way to control membership I think.)
Until next time, happy Pinning… or not!