Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slacker Sunday - Pinterest

Happy Sunday!

The sun is shining, and January is oddly warm this year. So, what am I doing today? I'm curled up under a fluffy goosedown comforter playing with my latest favorite thing, Pinterest.

Two weeks ago, I'd never even heard of Pinterest. I saw an occasional Tweet or Facebook post, but I didn't pay much attention. One day last week, and I'm not sure which, I decided to register. I was immediately put on a waiting list.

I knew I should have given them a reference and three forms of ID.

A waiting list?  Really? To see whether I even wanted to mess with it at all?  Ok, now they had my attention.

What were they doing during this waiting period? Checking my credit? Contacting the FBI? Looking in my closets?  EEP!  Instinctively, I sat up straight in my chair all day. At one point, I considered covering the camera in my Macbook with a piece of foil.

You just can't be too careful about these things.

It took only a few hours for Pinterest to welcome me into the pinning fold, and I was already excited.

I'm IN, I'm IN!
I needed a few minutes to figure out what all the hubbub was, Bub. My page was barren and sad. So I scrolled through the pages of other Pinterest users to see if I could getting a running go at it.

Soon, my Pinterest page went from empty…

to this!

I have no idea why I am so excited. I just am!
Look!  I have boards!  And things pinned to those boards!  People are following me, liking my pins and even repinning some of them!

See?  Fun!
If Pinterest still seems confusing, this is the short of it. Create an account. Set up boards. Think of boards as bulletin boards in a special room of inspiration that is uniquely yours. You can name the boards anything you like, although you will have a few basic ones when your account is activated. Change the names of the boards, if you like. I have boards for food and wine, favorite books, favorite movies, renovation inspiration, favorite products, favorite music, and one catchall for tidbits that catch my eye.

Once your boards are set up, start pinning. I have discovered three different ways to pin.

If you see something on a website or blog that you love, copy the web address, go to Pinterest, click the "add" button and paste the address into the bar on the little window that pops up. Being a smart little feller, Pinterest will show you the image on that web page.  Select it. If there are several images, it will show them all. Select the one you want, choose which board you want to pin it to from the little drop-down menu and save it.

An easier way to pin is to install the Pin button on your web browser's toolbar. If you happen to see something wonderful online, all you have to do is click the pin button. Stars align and angels sing and the Pinterest window magically pops up. Choose and save the image as if you are logged into Pinterest.

The last way I have discovered to pin items to your boards is also one of the best elements of Pinterest. It wouldn't be any fun if you pinned all those lovelies and didn't have anyone to share them with, right?  That's like buying the coolest shoes ever, and then keeping them in your closet! If you click on the Pinterest logo at the top of the screen, you will be taken to the main feed. Look through the countless things other Pinners have pinned. If you see something you like, hover over the image, click "repin" and then you can add it to one of your own boards!  How fun is that? You can also "like" (with a <3 , of course) and leave a comment.

At the end of the day, Pinterest is a massive time suck for the terminally bored and easily distracted. If you thought you could lose years of your life at Facebook and Twitter, you ain't seen nothin, honey.

But that isn't the sum of Pinterest. It's also a wealth of inspiration. It's eye candy. If you're considering redecorating your bedroom, chances are pretty good that fellow Pinners have pinned beautiful images of expertly decorated rooms that can inspire you. It's also a great way to discover new, interesting things. Music, poetry, art, lifstyle, travel, food, old typewriters (wait -- is that just me?) -- you name it. If there is an interest, somebody is pinning really awesome stuff about it. You can find loads of pins on the main feed, or you can search for them. If you follow pinners, their pins will show up in your feed more often.

Something I have noticed that's relatively uncommon in this day and age is that everyone at Pinterest seems so darned polite!  Think about it. If you posted something that interests you on Facebook, you're as likely to get some sour-face making a snide comment as you are to get a positive reaction. For some reason, people on Pinterest seem to really mind their manners. I've seen no claws. No fangs. No snark. I don't know the potential for stalker activity on Pinterest, and that's a concern. A few friends and I were mulling over the possibilities and wondering whether there is a "block" feature. As yet, I've not found one.

In all, Pinterest is just a little fun. There are pretty things to look at, funny comments, thought-provoking works of art and so many other things. It doesn't cost a thing, so there's no loss if it's not your cup of tea.

Pinterest is a great way to slack on Sunday!



  1. As much as it is a "social" networking tool, writer me and worker me (Educational Technologist) can see other avenues of use. Grab a collection of high school history teachers and turn them loose on it. Suggest a series of boards like "classroom management", "Colonial America", "Latin America", "Middle Ages", and "Professional Development" and viola, you've built a Professional Learning Network where teachers are supporting each other's efforts, education and curriculum planning.

    Likewise, how about authors, with genre, agents, release announcements, potential markets....

    (See, you add this last set and you can count that time on the couch as "research.") Not sure the IRS would let us write off the comforter, but it's worth a shot! :)

  2. Your brain is working way faster than mine! LOL! I hadn't moved beyond pretty lamp shades. I love the idea of writer networking!