All This Talk of Pinterest

By Amy Ouellette, Chapter Member

Pinterest is the latest addicting social networking craze to hit the web, with 2.7 million users.  It’s a virtual bulletin board where a user can bookmark images and ideas, such as decorating tips, beauty tips, recipes, and craft ideas.  To bookmark something, you “pin it” and then your pins can be shared on your boards, which serve as the method to organize all your pins.  Your followers can see these boards and have the option to repin any image, as you do with those of the people you follow.

Users can also repin something directly from the web themselves, if you use Google Chrome you can use a “pin it” plug-in from your browser. A user clicks on “pin it” while on a site and all images come up from that page, an image is selected, and then it’s pinned and selected for the user’s board.  Pinterest is also a platform for brands to share images and drive traffic to the company website, which will hopefully increase sales.

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So how do you sign up? You would think it were as simple as Facebook or Twitter, you would be wrong though. Pinterest is an invitation-only site, getting an invite however is not that difficult. I’ve seen people post on Facebook asking for an invitation and easily get it. With Pinterest becoming the new “it” social networking tool it’s only natural for people to take to their other social outlets for invites. I however didn’t even have to request one; a relative just sent me one.  Yes, it was that easy.

Speaking of Facebook, users can link their Pinterest profiles to Facebook and tell all of their Facebook friends what they’ve been pinning.  The interconnectivity of this social media is interesting.  It’s great to see your friends’ tastes and interests. It is yet another way of getting to know a person on a more personal level, well as personal as it can get without it being face-to-face.

Most people use Pinterest for inspiration for future projects—a decorating project, party ideas, wedding ideas, etc.  Personally, I feel rather inadequate when trying to come up with creative ideas when party-planning or planning any type of decorating project.  WBZ Channel 4, the CBS affiliate in Boston, did a story recently on the obsession with Pinterest.  They profiled a few local Pinterest users and one woman said something to the effect of, “I’m not creative, but I copy things well.”  That’s how I am.  I don’t come up with fabulous decorating or party ideas myself, but I can get easily copy other ideas or get inspiration from a site like Pinterest.

I have a Pinterest account, and have since winter break, but I unfortunately have little time to use it and figure out my way around the site.  One day, when I didn’t feel well, I logged on to see what the fuss is all about.  I liked it and found it interesting, but I don’t know how often I’ll have time to use it.  Every few days I get an email that I have a new follower on Pinterest and I feel like I am letting them down.  I am a sad and boring Pinterest user.  I like the concept, but in this world of growing social networking, it can be hard to keep up. Maybe I’ll depend on it more in the spring when I host a family gathering.   Have you discovered Pinterest yet?  What are your thoughts?

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