Posted by kirstyes
P is for Pinterest
(Post 16 on my WIP)
Being a social media geek I like to try new social media sites on for size, have a bit of a play and see if they suit me, and Pinterest certainly did. I first heard about it on Twitter and nipped over to request an invite. Currently Pinterest is an invite only network (much as Google+ was to start with but it seems that people are much more active here – though Pinterest does have an entirely different function). In the end the lovely Rebecca Brown (@rebeccaebrown on Twitter) sent me an invite because the waiting for an invite request supposedly takes a long time to come through. But boy is Pinterest also a procrastination tool – I had two or three late nights in a row because I was playing on there.
So what is it?
It is marketed as a virtual pinboard for you to collate images from within Pinterest, from the web (there has to be a suitable image or video on the page to allow this though) or by uploading your own images. When you join Pinterest offers you some sample boards that you can accept or delete, things like ‘Products I Love’ and ‘My Style’ – I think I was a rebel and deleted most if not all and just set up my own.
Now Pinterest is not the only site to do this but I think it is the easiest I have found to use so far. A couple of other ‘curation’ type sites that I have tried that have a slightly different function are:
Bo.lt – curates a complete back up copy of a webpage and if there is no image allows you to use a screenshot. So it is still image based when you are finding things later. It has a lovely technical support team – Jamie Roche (one of the co-founders) personally sorted out a dodgy link for me (thanks Jamie) that kept re-routing to a site selling Viagra!! (On a side note Pinterest ignored my e-mail about their T&Cs). I’m using Bo.lt more for saving blog posts or web pages that I think I will need to refer back to. Now if you link up to Pinterest properly you can click through to the original website but as far as I know if the page is deleted you won’t be able to access that material (I’m not even sure about the image though I think it may save that on their servers). Bo.lt however does save the whole page as ‘read only’ type access. Also invite only currently – thanks to Him up North (from Twitter) for the invite to this one. I’m collating a lot of useful writing advice pages as well as backing up these posts. It’s also helping me clear my e-mail because (even though I’m still e-mailing myself links once I’ve Bo.lted them I can delete them).
Scoop.it – Allows you to create pages on particular topics to post as a webpage. More text based but doesn’t require someone to have an account to view your collations. Other members can make suggestions for you to add to the board too though I think there is the potential to add collaborators to the boards in Pinterest and Bo.lt.
Bookmarklet and app, search and notifications
As with most social media sites Pinterest has a mobile app (I am using the iOS one) and also you can create a bookmarklet in Safari on iOS. I personally, at the moment, find the web version easier to use (wow an actual web version that I like – take heed Twitter that’s directed at you). I use Firefox and I dragged the bookmarklet to my bookmark toolbar and now when I’m browsing the web and see an image I like all I have to do is click add pin and I can select the image or video I want, add a caption and even create a new board from the toolbar. Don’t forget to click Pin it. You can even opt to be taken straight to your Pin to view it in all its glory.
One thing I’m not so keen on in Bo.lt is that as soon as you use the Bo.lt bookmarklet it automatically saves the page whether you complete a save or not. This can be a positive I guess but at the moment I seem to be having to select and delete unwanted Bo.lts (I’d also love for suggested tags, based on ones you’ve already used, to come up in the bookmarklet – that would be fab).
The search in both is by topic – you’ll see which is my favourite Pinterest topic below.
Check your notifications – if you want an e-mail to know when someone has commented on a pin, re-pinned it, liked it or followed you then set it to daily digest – believe me I did not want 160 e-mails of re-pins for one image.
Etiquette as I see it
- Try to allocate your board to a topic – if it hasn’t been it gives other users the opportunity to suggest a classification to you.
- When pinning pictures from the internet try and pin from a ‘proper’ source page – I’ve been caught out with this before but it is about correctly acknowledging your sources and providing a useful track back to other pinners to see the original content. This means things like – if using Google Images don’t pin from the search page – either click on the image and pin from the preview or probably even better click from the preview to the full site and pin from there.
If pinning from a blog, such as Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger try and click on the actual post before you pin – otherwise what it does is make a link to the page number you are on and as the blog owner adds more posts the pin slips down to a different page number (sometimes way down) and then people struggle to locate the original source.
- One of the things I still need to get to grips with is the commenting feature – when you ‘re-pin’ something it automatically brings up what the person you are pinning it from wrote. You can leave this as is, add to it or delete and write something else. You have to write something and for some reason lots of people sometimes just put a full stop in. I’m not entirely sure how well it tracks who started which edit of the commentary.
- Not all images are created equal. Pinterest recently added an option to edit the cover picture for each of your boards – up until this point it just made your last pin to that board the cover (some pins are useful but not so pretty – this way you get to put your best wares on show).
- Every now and again I like to nip along to the Facebook invite section and Pinterest kindly lets me see which of my friends have signed up so I can follow them.
- I personally chose to disable automatic twitter sharing as when I have one of my Pinning frenzies I can imagine my twitter follows getting extremely peeved at the clogging up of their timeline. I have the link to Facebook because I think/hope the new timeline feature seems to lump the activity – my friend did comment on my Kirsty has pinned x and 106 (or similar no) pins status!!!!!
There was a lot of hoo ha about the terms and conditions (which have since been revised) in terms of breach of copyright and ownership of images etc. This does seem to have been sorted out but do read the T&Cs for yourself so that you are happy with what you are signing up to. My only wish would be with all these sorts of sites/software downloads that there would be a really really plain english summary at the beginning saying – Basically guys this is what you are agreeing to – think South Park Humancentipad episode – see here for a review.
Ways in which I use Pinterest:
As a Writer
To document my inspiration for this WIP – images I’ve found that help me picture the characters. Links to books and films that may have had an influence, links to research also.
To document inspirations for future works.
To pin images of interesting people and potential future characters.
To collect images of Found Poetry as these are often beautiful and inspiring.
(As I said above I’m using Bo.lt more to link to the hints and tips type of post that often aren’t image based anyway).
As a Novice Crafter
The first big excitement of Pinterest for me was all of the arts and crafts (DIY & Crafts is my top topic) projects that people were sharing. You may have seen the button tree and crayon picture I made inspired by others on Pinterest. I like trying to be arty but I do find it difficult to imagine visually, I imagine better in words (hence the writing). Pinterest helps give me that visual cue. I do have some concerns about this but as I am creating the crafts for my own personal enjoyment and not for sale I hope this is OK. There are lots of inspirational pins on my Crafts board waiting for me to have a play.
As an OT/Lecturer
Now this is the area that I haven’t yet used it much for because I was having too much fun being arty and engaging in occupations myself.
Here is a useful pin on how it could be used within education.
I have an OT Geekdom board with funny OT related pins and one for reflection based links etc. I’ve also started one on Positive Older Age. I do however follow a number of OTs who are collating useful links so I know I can nip along to their boards for a browse.
I plan to introduce Pinterest to some students attending an ‘Artistic/Diagrammatic CPD/Reflection session’ and get them to consider potential uses for it. I think the Comments feature could be useful for reflective dialogue with resources for example.
I plan to consider how Pinterest or Bo.lt or Scoop.it might be used as a potential social bookmarking tool.
I am sure there would be the potential to use it creatively with clients too.
As a Vegetarian and Pudding Lover
Collecting links to Veggie recipes and images of Puddings to drool over – so much chocolaty based goodness.
As a Geek/Fangirl
I have a Harry Potter Geekdom board and have started ones for The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones etc. I also have one that bemoans the loss of TV Series before they should have gone.
As a Collector/Reminiscer/Haver of Poor Memory
I am pinning lists of Muscials I’ve seen, books I’ve read, childhood memories and videos of Dances I’ve loved on programmes like Got to Dance. I plan to post pics of crystals I own so that when I go shopping for more I can check if I have one of that type already.
As an Appreciator
My RDG board (Random Delectable Gentleman) is sure to cheer me up on a low day. But I also like looking at pictures of amazing skies, trees, snow, water, bookshelves. One board that I’ve called Arty is just filled with beautiful images such as:
As someone in need of Motivation
I love my Words to Live by board and return to it for a motivational boost. Also just looking at funny or cute images boosts the mood and increases motivation.
(*Whispers* I really would love to start a wedding inspirations board too but as a singleton I fear that may come across a bit scary to a potential suitor).
See, this post turned out rather longer than anticipated – the Pinterest Procrastinating Time Suck occurs again (It’s one of the nicer forms of Time Suck though).
You can see links to my Pinterest/Bo.lt and Scoop.It accounts above if you’d like to follow my many curations.
So have you jumped on the Pinterest wagon yet – how do you use yours?