Pinterest is a great social media site based around a simple and effective premise - a digital pin board. You can have pretty much any number of boards you like, including private boards and group boards should you want them, to gather a collection of images and website links together into themes.
The best (and most frequent) uses include inspiration for craft/DIY/decorating projects, memes, and the inevitable barrage of adorable pictures of cats with the odd dog or panda or whatever shoved in for good luck.
It's fun - you see something, you like it, you take a copy and pin it to one of your own boards. It works on a followers basis where you rarely know the people who you're in contact with, but the main contact is 'pinning' pictures of your shared interests.
If you want to you can link it to Twitter or Facebook, but I tend to like to keep things separate, and use a web handle rather my real name. There's also options for a business account, of which I have one for my self-employed work, and with some whacking into shape of some basic code (and a little screaming at the computer) I've been able to put Pinterest widgets where I want them.
The sense of community on Pinterest is generally excellent - pleasant people sharing mutual interests - but unfortunately the Internet is never free of trolls and/or spammers, and they do creep up in the odd corner or two here. I'm a fan of freedom of speech, but some things are not acceptable for reasons of privacy and decency, and once or twice for the sake of the families of deceased persons I have reported some pretty gruesome images. I advise if you find yourself in the same situation that you report and unfollow.
The other thing is that Pinterest is pretty addictive (due to its general awesomeness) and you can look up from the screen to find that several hours has passed - oops!
So, generally a fun and useful with a good community, but have your wits about you.
I was introduced to Pinterest whilst planning my wedding, a friend recommended I take a look when I was struggling to visualise a few of the smaller details. All I can say is WOW!! The concept is a dream for someone like me who tends to have a bit of a messy mind but knows exactly what I'm looking for and craves a way to organise things.
Perhaps I am a slight control freak in the sense that I know exactly what I'm looking for but sometimes I struggle to get my vision across to people. Now I can do that with the use of all the pictures on Pinterest. You can guarantee if you have thought about it then someone else has too and there will be a pic on this site. So here is how it works, you register your details and set up 'boards' think of these as virtual pin boards. You might have a pin board for wedding plans, another for home decor, another for party ideas in fact any subject or concept that you want! You could just have one big pin board if you wanted but it's much easier to find things if you organise them into categories. I will use my home decor board as an example. I set up this board when we moved house as we had plans to renovate every single room. Lots of inspiration was needed, we started with the master bedroom. I knew that I wanted a contemporary feel with stripes-I jumped onto Pinterest and typed 'contemporary bedroom' into the search bar up pops 100's of pics. Now I'm a visual person, I see something and I love it or hate it, if you love it you 'pin' it. In this instance I would pin the picture to my 'home decor' board. For more information about the picture you simply click on it and it will link to the web location of the picture. Sometimes this is a store or it's a blog, I don't take too much from the link as quite often the picture is inspiration enough. Very quickly my 'home' board filled up, the pins are stored for future reference. The boards became a great tool to share ideas with my husband and our builder. Our builder was really impressed as we could show him exactly what we wanted which was a great help for him.
You are also able to follow other users and see the things that they 'pin' I find this really useful for situations where you can follow 'experts' such as designers or stores. I like to think that I have a creative streak so being able to view all these ideas at the click of a button can entertain me for hours.
Pinterest is a great website I have found that allows you to keep things your interested all in one place online. It's a kind of post it note board but visual.
*** How it works ***
Basically you sign up using a username and password, you can then link it to your twitter and facebook accounts. Then start searching for things you are interested in, in the top left hand corner you can put whatever you like in the search like I put 'hand made gifts' and loads of ideas come up, my favourit is 'cakes' wow! loads of ideas to keep you going for hours.
Then what you do is if you like something you click 'pin it' and then choose a folder you'd like to keep it in so i've got 'must try one day!', 'cakes', 'gift ideas', 'places i've been', 'card making' - what ever you are interested in really, you get more and more ideas from the different people you pin from.
So you are often looking at other peoples boards and thinking, 'oh that's good, I'll pin it on my board to remind me' There are boards with uplifting stuff such as 'great quotes'
You can pin ideas for the new bathroom you'd like, just put in the search bathroom designs or taps, sinks and loads will come up. Then it's almost like making a mood board of the bathroom you'd like. Obviously you can do that for all rooms, garden etc. I have a garden one with all the things I'd like to do in the garden.
It's brilliant for generating ideas and I love that it's visual - it looks pretty too!
I love the way it builds up a picture of you and you learn about yourself by seeing yourself as a whole with all the things you like. I also like that it's not like facebook, there's no emotional attachment or comments.
If you like a few things off one persons board or you have friends on pinterest too you can follow them and they can follow you.
*** useful info ***
What I didn't realise at first was that it was pinning links onto the boards, so if you hover over it you can see the hand icon and click on it, this will then take you to the original website with either the recipe, the idea or the place it was originally taken from. So really it's storing the links a bit like a bookmark page does.
*** cost ***
best bit it's free!!!
*** over all ***
There's not much more to say really as that's what it is a great pin board site that's easy to use and interactive. I haven't got it connected to my twitter or facebook so can't comment on that. You can forward pins to your friends if you think they'd like it.
I found Pinterest thanks to an invite which was sent to my email. In the email the following was written. I'm excited to invite you to join Pinterest, a social catalog. I can't wait to have you join our little community. It then told me to use either Twitter or Facebook to sign up. After reading that I saw a little section of the email dedicated to informing new members of the pinning etiquette. The email said membership was by invite only and I was curious as to why this was. The fact that it was described as a Virtual Pinboard made it even more intriguing to me because I had never seen or heard of one before. My first impressions clicking onto this website were that it was extremely unique. It struck me that this was a website with all different types of people, with all different types of interests and it was fascinating to see all of these interests come together in a gallery of photos on a page. With so many pins (Pictures or videos) and so little space. It really gives the appearance of a page that is bursting with content. The Pinterest website has recently quit its invitation only policy and now is open to everyone. Pinterest has been talked about in the news and popular websites. Development of this creative website began in 2009 and the site was launched in march 2010.
Each category on Pinterest has a page dedicated to it. All of the Pinterest members contribute to it by adding Pins to their chosen category. Each section is always very colorful and I always find a couple of things that catch my eye. You will see a mixture of categories Art, Films, Music, Books, Cooking, Celebrities, Architecture, Hair and Beauty, Posters, Quotes, Gardening, DIY and Crafts, Design, Weddings, Fashion and Educational to name a few. All of the categories are listed in alphabetical order and can be accessed by hovering your mouse over the categories button.
What are Pins?
Pins are pictures or videos that are of interest to the pinner. You can choose to pin via a photo or video found on a website or upload your own. Once you have uploaded your pins they will be viewed by category or you can choose to view them all at once.
How Do I Pin Things?
To pin things you must first install the Pin It button. This can be found in the "about" section. The about button located at the top of the screen. Hover your cursor over it and you will see a list of options. One of those options is The Pin It button. Click into it and you will find a step by step guide. I will explain briefly how to do it here because I struggled with this at the beginning. Firstly you need to display your Bookmarks bar. When your Bookmarks Toolbar is on display just click on the Pin It button and drag it into your Bookmarks Toolbar. Once completed you will have a nice red Pin It button on your toolbar and when you see something you wish to pin all you have to do is click it. If you are on a page with more than one picture or video they all will be displayed. Simply choose the one you want to pin! All there is left to do after that is to choose which category you want to put your pin in or create your own. Then you can write a caption with your pin and decide whether to send it to Twitter or not. All that is needed done now is to push the Pin It button and you will see a message confirming that your Pin has successfully been sent to your profile and be given the option to click on a link and view it straight away. There are three options if you already have what you want to pin. Add a new pin, upload a new pin or add a new board.
Can I Add a Pin It Button to my Website?
Yes you can! You can place a Pin It button on your website. All you have to do is provide the requested URLs for the chosen website. Once you have done this you will be supplied with a link. Add this link to the area of your website you would most like it to be. You can have as many Pin It buttons as you like on your website. Pinterest recommend its users to place the Pin It button near to their other social sharing tools in order for it to be most effective. The Pin It button looks just like the ones used for adding content to Facebook and Twitter. The main reason to add a Pin It button on your website is to invite its readers to pin your work onto Pinterest. This of course is designed with getting your work more exposure in mind.
Can I Change the Buttons Appearance?
Yes there is an option to do this at the bottom of the "about" section for The Pin It button and it is named Art Work. There is another Pin It button that is much more attractive and professional looking in appearance.
How Can I get More Followers?
There is a button on the same page as The Pin It button and this button is one that you can copy onto your website. The function of this one is to get people to follow your pins. All you need to do is embed the HTML code provided depending on which button you choose
This is the guidelines for using the Pinterest website. They mention it in my invitation and in their "about" section. It is basically a run down of the do's and don't's. In the section dedicated to explaining this it says Pinterest is special because of the people who use it. The rules are as follows
* Be Respectful -- They ask the Pinterest community to remember to be respectful when commenting on peoples Pins and in conversations. I have seen a few people arguing in the comments section under Pins and so I can see why they created this rule. Pinterest has people pinning things of all kinds. Some things that they do like and some that they do not. This obviously can cause some friction because everyone differs on opinions.
* Be Authentic - Pinterest ask its community to be themselves because that is the whole idea of the website. It gives you the opportunity to express who you are and how you feel based on the things that you choose to pin.
* Credit Your Source - Pinterest ask you to give credit to the place you get your pin from. The reason for this is so that people who want to find its original source can. They ask members to leave a comment under a pin if they notice it is not sourced correctly.
* Report Objectionable Content - Pinterest ask its members to report any nudity, hateful content or content that encourages others to harm themselves. If you happen upon content of the previously mentioned types they tell you to click the report content link. This link can be found at the right side of the pin. All you have to do is click the button.
* Tell Pinterest how to make their website better - Here they ask you to email them at http://support.pinterest.com/ if you discover that something is not working. They then go on to inform you that although they may not get the time to answer every email they take your input seriously.
What if I Need Help?
If you need help you can go to the "about" section and click on help from there. You will find the answers to all of the most common questions. You may still need help and these perhaps have not answered your question. Look to the left of the page and you will see an option for support. In here you can type your query into the search bar at the top of the page. I just typed pinning for example and it has come up with several results. If you still need support after this you will see a link to fill out a request form and get in touch.
What if I Really Like Someones Pin and Want to Pin it?
The re-pinning option is for you! To do this simply hover over a pin and you will see some options. You can choose to either Repin, Like or Comment. If it is your own pin you will be able to edit it too. Re pinning means basically that you are exposing more people to your pin. This means more Likes, Comments and Repins for you or the person you Re - pinned it from.
What if I Want More People to See my Pins?
If you want more people to see the things you pin. Clicking into the pin and selecting like on Facebook or Twitter is a good start. This is extremely easy to do by just clicking like and being taken to a little pop up window and signing into your chosen Social Network. When you click into your pin look to the right side of the screen. Here you will find options to either share them on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Embed or Report them.
How Many Things Can I pin and How Many Pin Boards Do I Have?
There truly is no limit to how many boards you can create or how many pins you can pin. It is endless!
This section you will find on the left side of the screen when you sign into Pinterest. It displays all of your Repins, Comments and Likes and the people who gave you them. It also tells you how many days ago they did it. If on the same day it tells you how many minutes or hours ago instead. You can click onto the information for each pin and from there you can click into the profiles of the people who in some way interacted with your pin.
Following your Fellow Pinners
You could happen to be in a specific category and see someones pin or several pins from that same person. You might really like those Pins and decide you would enjoy seeing more of them. If you use the follow button you can. Simply click the person's name and wait for their profile to load up. Once you see their profile locate the follow button which is just under their profile picture, likes, activity, pins and boards. You can choose to follow all of their pins but perhaps you just want to follow one or two of their boards. Well all you have to do is click boards. When it loads up you will see each board and an option to follow it right underneath.
How Do I Sign Up?
Signing up is easy! You can either sign up with your email or connect with your Facebook or Twitter profiles. If you sign up via Twitter you are agreeing to allow Pinterest to send tweets for you, Update your profile, see who you follow and follow new people and read tweets from your timeline. If you sign up via Facebook they will have access to your likes and email address. When I signed up I got an email verification and once I clicked it my account was created. You no longer need to be invited.
Layout and Design
This site is well laid out and it looks very nice. It is quite easy to navigate thanks to all of the different sections and categories. If you do have trouble you will find all of the answers you could ever need in their help and support section.
Pinterest for your iPhone
I do not have an iPhone but I am betting this would be a pretty fun way to use this website. Original images posted to Pinterest are often more popular because they have not already been seen and pinned by everybody. If you have an iPhone and wish to get this application it is available in the iPhone app store. This allows you to take Pinterest with you wherever you go and create unique pins. Maybe you are at your favorite restaurant or have just seen a new dress you love. With this app you can Pin it!
What If I Speak Another language?
Pinterest have that covered and if you look at the top of the page you will find you have the ability to change the language.
Using Pinterest as a Planner
Some people use Pinterest to plan decorating their home. They find their favorite furniture, colors of paint, wallpaper etc. Then they upload the pictures to a board designed specifically for planning and use it as their inspiration. Some people do the same to plan their wedding or plan their next big purchases. I created board for future purchases and it will come in handy when the time comes to buy them.
Is There Anything Else I Should be Aware of?
In the settings menu you can choose to change your email address or password. You can choose to hide your Pinterest profile from search engines. You can change your location and the text written in your "about me" section. You can also add a link to your profile on your favorite Social Networking site and choose whether to publish your Pinterest activity to your Facebook timeline or not. You can find friends who are on Facebook via your settings menu. You can invite friends via Facebook or various email providers. Lastly In email settings you can also choose which things you want to be alerted to via email and how quickly and often. If you are looking for a certain type of pin just use the search bar at the top of the page to find it.
How Do I Deactivate My Account?
This is really easy to do just go to settings and then scroll down and you will see a button saying "deactivate my account."
My Pinning Experience
I did not go looking to join this website. It found me via the invitation to my email and I am glad it did. I find the site to be very inspiring for planning things and also very fun to use. I have pin-boards dedicated to the 80s, my favorite actors, favorite songs etc. I currently have 25 boards, 177 pins and 79 likes. It is fascinating to see all of your favorite things, all on one page in front of you and kind of strange at the same time. I used all of my childhood favorites and things like that on my pins and when I am looking at it. It feels like looking at all of the memories in my life so far. My pins feature The Land Before Time which was one of my favorite films as a child. A whole host of quotes that have been useful to me throughout the years and helped me view certain things in a different light and things I plan to purchase in the future. Pinterest is a really unique site and because it gives you boards on which to plan things it can be useful too. I can thoroughly recommend this website.