Saturday, March 17, 2012

Interested in Pinterest: The Basics

I've read a stack of articles on Pinterest and I'm reasonably sure that no one has a good handle on what is going to develop from it or where it is going to find itself at the end of this year. If Google+ has taught us anything, it is that what appears to be the latest and greatest may not be - it could be an illusion or take a much longer time to develop. 

I think Mashable's 12/26/11 article is a good starting place if you are just getting your toe wet in the Pinterest pinning pool (Pinterest: A Beginner's Guide to the Hot New Social Network), but as a Pinner, I have my own take on things. Yes, you should know right now - I am on Pinterest and it's very likely I'm addicted. So what is all the fuss about - it depends on if you are a user or a marketer. Being both - I'll try to share both sides of the coin. 

I found out about Pinterest through the facebook posts of some of my girlfriends. I saw a couple of intriguing photos, and I had to learn more about this pinning craze. The last thing I needed was another social media to keep up with. I love people and interacting - but sometimes, enough is enough. Pass the cat and a good book my way instead (and maybe some coffee as well). I decided to find out more - the marketer in me had to know. Purely research... well, up until about 30 minutes after I got my account. Then the pinner in me was born, marketer be damned. 

For those of you still wondering what the heck is this blonde talking about -let me explain. Pinterest allows you to create boards where you can 'pin' photos that you either upload or link from other sites. Most people group like photos together - for instance I have a food board where I pin receipies and a craft/diy board where I pin projects I only wish I had time to complete. Think of them as design or inspiration boards or even a collection of things you like.

My Craft/DIY board on Pinterest
You can follow people and see their pins, look at their boards, and even 'like' and 'repin' a photo/pin if you want. My Crafty board has 113 followers and I have pinned 48 pins on this board.  This is really where the social aspect comes into play. There isn't a lot of 'wordy' interaction between me and my friends, but there's a fair amount of liking and repinning going on with the occassional comment. My craft board (pictured above) has some ideas from friends, former students and even some random people I have never met collected together.  When I finally get around to making that iPad sleeve - I know exactly where the directions are - on my Crafty Board and I can spot it right away from the photo.

This is exactly what draws me to Pinterest.  I also think it is one of its points of differentiation in the over-saturdated social media market. I get to organize my pinning in a way that I can easily reference them. It takes forever for me to find an article I linked to on FB, but a craft project that I pinned on Pinterest I can easily find, click on and be taken to the site with instructions on how to accomplish the project. Pinterests has my dream home design photos, receipes I want to try, and the 100 home diy projects I have for me and my husband. Needless to say, he is thrilled with my new obsession.  Oh and the next time I need to fold a fitted sheet, I can go to my House Board, click on the fitted sheet pin and be walked through the process.

My House Board - note the fitted sheet folding photo - click on it and it will take you
to a website that will show you how
Let's return back to the social aspect and why I enjoy Pinterest differently with some of the same friends I follow on Facebook.  I learn entirely different things about them on Pinterest - I learn about what they dream of, what they want to do, what interests them, their hobbies, their inspiration.  It's amazing how a collection of photos on someone's inspiration board will tell you more about them than a dozen of posts on Facebook.  It allows you to see someone in a different way, and perhaps even more clearly than if they were using words.  Every picture tells a story - and every photo is worth a 1,000 words.  Just think how many tweets you have to make to sum up what Pinterest does in one board about who you are.

More to come... up next... Where the Girls are...Pinterest