(Purple clematis on a blue fence – one of the first images I pinned – from dontcallmebetty.tumblr.com)
How many of you are taking advantage of Pinterest as part of your social media platform? According to Reuters and Comscore (data via Wikipedia) Pinterest had gathered 48.7 million users as of February, 2013. That number jumped up from 11.7 million users in 2012. So I assume some of you are on board with Pinterest.
For those of you who are unaware – Pinterest is a pinboard style social media site where you can collect, organize and share images of things you love.
When I was a teenager, I used to fill scrapbooks with images cut or torn from the pages of popular magazines. Pinterest reminds me of that activity – to the trillionth power, mind you. The site is most popular with women – global stats indicate 83% of users are women. Maybe some of them used to keep the kind of scrapbook I’m describing.
On Pinterest, an image is a pin – you can add pins from anywhere on the web or from your own computer – any pin can be repinned by others and it always links back to the source.
You organize your pins by topic on what the site calls Boards – Boards can be private or public, and you can invite others to share on your Boards
You can follow others and then their pins will show up on your Pinterest home feed.
The site provides a bookmarklet device that allows you easily to pin content from the web and bring it back to Pinterest.
Like all social media sites, Pinterest has its rules of etiquette. Participants are reminded to be kind when they make comments. It is best to express your own unique qualities in the images you choose to pin, rather than pinning to collect followers. Users are told to promote artists to create great works by linking back to their pages and making polite comments if one discovers an image is being used without proper credit. Nudity, porn, hateful pins or pins that encourage people to hurt themselves should be reported. The Pinterest community is evolving, so users are urged to let those in charge of the site know what is working and what isn’t.
I first heard of Pinterest, months ago, when reading a blog post by Kristen Lamb: Writers – Why it’s time to renew your love affair with Pinterest. She wrote that Pinterest was a powerful tool for writer inspiration. If you spent your lunch hour on Pinterest, you’d come away refreshed, your head full of creative ideas. After all, a picture does say a thousand words and images stimulate creative parts of the brain. She advised the linking of blog posts up to a Pinterest Board – why not take advantage of the crowd already gathered on the site to promote your blog. One suggestion that she made appealed to me – create Boards that reveal your stories or characters in images.
I did get excited about Pinterest when I first discovered it. I spent time there and got several family members hooked. I’ve let it slip a bit by the social media wayside the past few months. I have had to prioritize my time. I returned to Pinterest the other day and was once again fascinated by the Boards I had created.
I’m still in love with Izzy’s Garden. If you’re reading my novel, Disappearing in Plain Sight, and you want an idea of how I imagine Izzy’s garden, check out that Board. And if you want to know what Crater Lake is like (at least in my imagination), check out the Board – Views of the lake, and you’ll get a good idea. The Board I created entitled, Pictures of people that make me think stimulates endless ideas for stories and characters. And if my mind needs a bit of beauty, I have a Board called, Incredibly beautiful places and things to wander through.
I know that many of you probably feel the same time pressures I do when you think of yet another social media platform. Pinterest is quite beautiful – that is more than can be said for Twitter or LinkedIn. Why not give it a try – no reason you couldn’t start small. Create one or two Boards and pin up a few images.
Let me know how it works out