Geez, Louise...there's Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumbler, Yelp, Four Square, Linked In, Ning, Tumbler and so many more. Now, there's Pinterest. It's the newest thing your friends are inviting you to join and it's one of the fastest growing websites. Ever. And...you may be thinking what I was thinking a few months ago - Should I join? Is this yet another way I will waste time online instead of doing laundry? Yes, and yes.
Pinterest is simple. It's basically an online bulletin board that allows you to "pin" things onto categorized boards like cooking, sports, home decor, DIY projects, kids stuff...whatever you like. Often, the pin has a web link associated with it, so you can go to the website to get the recipe or whatever the pin is about. I'm a very visual person, so if I'm searching for something, I'd much rather look at a pin board up on my screen vs a list of web links in my favorites. I can easily find that easy bread recipe or the instructions on making your own raised garden beds just by scanning the pins on one of my pin boards. For me, it's easier to remember what something looks like vs what it was called.
So, how do you get started? Think about things you like and create boards for those things...for me, I created five boards - nourish (cooking), nest (house stuff), flock (chickens), grow (gardening) and inspire (travel, gorgeous settings, etc.) Once you create boards and start looking at pins on Pinterest, you then begin to see people on the site who seem to like similar things to you...and you "follow" them and "repin" their pins onto your boards. You don't have to follow all of that person's boards, which is great. Someone whose vintage fashion pin boards you like might also post to boards on things in which you absolutely have no interest. I started following someone the other day who posted fabulous interiors and then I realized that she has 67 boards. I just looked at all of them and thought, "Woah, Nellie. Slow it down there, lady." That is a lot of pinning time. Pace yourself...a few boards are usually plenty. Here are some of my favorite pins:
When I started using Pinterest, it seemed to me that it was really just for women, but now more and more guys I know are using it for stuff like house projects (everything from types of kitchen sinks to deck building plans) and others are simply pinning cars they'd like to drive, things they collect or golf courses they want to visit. So, for anyone really, it can be utilitarian or simply fun.
Some of the best recipes I've used lately have come from Pinterest. And like so many other Pinterest users, I've pinned images of kitchen after kitchen that I will most likely never have and gardening projects I know I will never get to...but...it's fun and definitely inspiring.
A communications professor describes Pinterest like this, which I thought was pretty dead on: "It reminds me of my girlfriends in high school who'd cut stuff out of magazines and pin it up on a wall," he says. "This is the web-based, digital equivalent of that behavior." Yes, I did that in high school and college. It was the 80s.
Access to Pinterest is currently by invitation only, so if you want to join you either request an invite from the company or ask a friend already on it for one. You may certainly comment below with your email if you want me to send you an invite - it seems to work well that way. Like anything else, at first, you'll be really into it (and feel like you should be doing something more productive...blah, blah, blah...) but then you'll calm right on down.
Here are a few good articles on ways people are using Pinterest and how to get started.
Everything you need to know about the internet's newest darling
What the heck is Pinterest and why you should care
27 gorgeous pin boards you need to follow
Why Pinterest is so addictive