i <3 Pinterest

Posted on: 19 February, 12

I love Pinterest. It works for me, for the way my brain works.  I am a very visual person.  All those images…. bliss. 

The social sharing side of Pinterest has exposed to me so many more ideas and images than I would have ever found on my own.  It is like I have a whole bunch of friends doing Google searches for me.  They weed through the trash and deliver only the real gems of the internet.  That is the biggest advantage for me.  

The search feature is not the best.  Members are partially to blame.  If the description of the pin is only "so cute," the search engine has nothing to latch onto.  If people (including me) would do a better job of describing their pins, the search would work better.  A better description would be "lace socks #knitting". I am trying to add better descriptions, but sometimes I am in too much of a hurry. 

Why not just bookmark or download all of these tutorials and images to my computer?  Well, that would be a whole lot stuff on my computer.  More importantly, I have moved "into the cloud." I don't use just one computer.  I use my Xoom tablet and my Droid phone much more than my desktop computer.  When I have a break at school, I log into whatever computer is available.  I like being able to access my stuff from anywhere. 

It may sound pretentious, but I usually don't need the the tutorial.  Seeing the image is enough.  When I first pin something, I usually click through to the original link.  Once I have read it, seeing the image is enough to jog my memory.  There are a few things that I will upload to Evernote, for safe keeping. 

Most of what I pin is inspiration.  I am not planning on duplicating what I pin, but something about it catches my fancy.  That idea will spark my own ideas.  I have never been good at copying something exactly.  I always have to go off in my own direction. 

Links break.  Something I pinned last week might suddenly appear with that sad, little broken box that tells me the link no longer works.  It is sad, but there are many more pins in the sea.  There is always something new and wonderful. I will never, ever in twenty-seven lifetimes make all of the things I have pinned so I don't waste mourning the loss of a few pins. 

Pinterest can also be collaborative.  I am working on a decorating project.  A friend who lives far, far away has very similar taste.  I set up a pin board and added her as a contributor.  She adds pins of things that she thinks might work for my project.  When I met with the furniture people, instead of trying to describe the look I want, I showed them my pin board.  They had never seen Pinterest, but they will definitely be using it with their clients in the future.  My son is making some pottery pieces for the project.  At school, he can pull up my pin board to see colors and styles.  His art teacher had the students set up their own Pinterest accounts to store images for inspiration.  The students and teachers can easily share things.

Like anything else, there are problems.  People do not always link images back to the original source.  That is a copyright issue.  Some people are posting the entire tutorial/idea right on Pinterest which means there is no incentive to click through to the original link.  For people who make money for clicks on their blog, this is a problem.  My guess is most people are just not thinking, no malice involved.  Educating pinners will help, but there will always be "stolen" content issues.  The internet is still in the Wild, Wild West days. 

Pinterest is addictive.  New pins pop up constantly, each one prettier than the last.  If someone repins one of my pins, I try to check out their boards because we might share similar tastes.  Then I might end up following one of their boards, which means more pins popping up.  It never stops… thank goodness. 


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