Continuing with my Tech/Social Media series (it kind of started by accident but I thought I’d continue with it for now) today I am going to talk about Pinterest. It appears to be rather pertinent to discuss the merits of Pinterest as it has suddenly boomed in popularity over the past month or so.
For those not yet in the know, Pinterest is basically an online pinboard allowing you to pin or assign images from the internet to one of your own pinboards. Pinterest also allows you to follow other people and view a stream of images as they are added to Pinterest.
I have been a member of Pinterest for a while now (since September/October 2010 I think). I hate to be one of those “I had it first” kind of people, but I did sign up very early on. In fact, it was so early on that Pinterest Founder Ben Silbermann even commented on my first review of Pinterest on this blog.
How to use Pinterest
See an inspring image, an awesome product, an excellent DIY tutorial and a delicious new recipe as you are browsing the internet. You could just add it to your browser bookmarks, or you could click on the ‘Pin It’ button that you have installed on your browser toolbar. A small pop-up window will appear with a drop-down menu to choose which pinboard to assign it too. Add a quick description and save it. Carry on with your web browsing.
When seeking some inspiration simply visit your Pinterest page and browse through your own pinboards.
Alternatively, click on the Pinterest homepage and scroll through the image pinned by the fellow Pinteresters you follow.
Or you can even use the search and category facility to find the pins of all Pinterest users.
Why is Pinterest so rad?
I actually use Pinterest for a much more personal reason – I like to save ideas for a rainy day. That is how it differs to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. I can use it as place to store everything that inspires and fascinates me. It serves as a useful reminder of things I have found interesting on the internet. And it allows me to create specific sections (pinboards) for my different interests. I often scroll through my pinboards when my brain is feeling a little numb.
How might I change the way I use Pinterest?
In recent months several tech sites have lauded Pinterest’s use for driving traffic to websites. In this sense, using Pinterest to selectively promote posts on my blog is a useful tool.
Also, I might start actively seeking out other Pinterester’s to follow. So far I have been rather lax with following, which is why my follower count is much higher. This is a lot different to my Twitter approach where I generally follow back everyone who follows me. But, as Pinterest is so specifically about taste I don’t want my Pinterest stream to be inundated with images that are not relevant to me. Plus there is not a conversation facility like Twitter. This is a good thing. I want them to have different uses. I want Pinterest to be inspirational, asprirational and useful.
To sum up Pinterest:
* Use it store and gather images from across the Internet that interest and inspire you
* Follow other Pinteresters with tastes you admire or relate to