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Pinterest – My New Obsession

I’d done some reading, some evaluating, some equivocating… but I finally took the plunge and joined in the fun on Pinterest. Here are some things I’ve discovered:

It’s quiet and undemanding. It’s not about real-time conversation. It’s not really about conversation at all, actually. It IS about connections. It’s about inspiration, curation and obsession. Here are the things you’ll need to know to join in. (Note… it’s invite only. You can let me know you want an invite in the comments for quicker access, or you can enter your email address on the Pinterest.com homepage and one will show up in your inbox in a few days.)

Pinterest is a virtual “pin-board” not unlike the old-fashioned cork board you probably had in your bedroom as a teenager or may still have on your office wall (note image of mine). The difference is now you can have as many boards as you have diverse interests. On my account I have one for places I like to go, one for information I think is worth sharing, one for stuff that makes me smile, etc. Virtual wedding planning, home decor ideas, DIY home improvement, jewelry, crafts, fashion look books… all common boards.

But, the uses that intrigue me and make me think the now 4 million plus users of Pinterest are on to something are ones like these, posted by some of my Facebook friends when I asked them about the service:

  • It’s like being a contemporary art director of dreams. – Jennifer Luitwieler
  • “Mood Boards” for client projects. – Trisha Salas
  • Resource images for photography clients. I can add them to the collaborators on the album and both of us can add images, talk about what we like, don’t like etc. – Marty Coleman (a.k.a. The Napkin Dad)

Successful brands using Pinterest aren’t doing tons of pinning their own stuff. They’re doing lots of putting out eye-catching visuals on their websites and making it easy for users to pin them to their own boards. Each “pin” is embedded with the source link from the website, so it’s a referral engine for pins that go viral and get “re-pinned” to other user’s boards. Commenting is possible, and some people do, but the beauty of the service is, well, it’s beauty. It’s visual, visceral and always changing. You don’t have to comment or feel compelled to “keep up” with the flow. Viewing a board lets you quickly scan a wealth of content in one glance, and users can follow only select boards of others if they want to. For instance, I am not a home decor makeover freak or particularly crafty. I tend to not follow those kinds of boards though I may follow the same user’s “Books I Want to Read” board.

Ready to give it a whirl? I’ve pinned some good Pinterest articles to my Info To Share board, and I’d suggest following Collen Pence’s Pinterest info board, too.

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4 Responses to “Pinterest – My New Obsession”

  1. Jennifer January 20, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Great thoughts here, Mandy. I just love discovering new things via Pinterest. Visually appealing, easy to us, and really quite fun.

    • Mandy Vavrinak January 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Jennifer, I agree! Part of what I love is definitely the highly visual nature… it’s really about something catching your eye. Nice to have that part of my brain being the one doing the sort and search!

  2. Anna January 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    For me, Pinterest feels like the notebook I kept as a kid. I would cut pictures out of magazines and glue them into the notebook. It’s just all fun, flashy visuals—Flickr without all the pressure to be original and artistic.

    Is there a right way or wrong way or easier way to make sure the images on a website are easy for users to pin with proper back links?

    • Mandy Vavrinak January 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      The best way to make sure things are “pinnnable” is to use a few larger images rather than a bunch of smaller ones. Even if your site/page has several images, if they are all thumbnail size, pinterest will return a “sorry, we couldn’t find any images on this site” error message. If you have old blog posts without images, for example, like I do… go back and add a great image for the best chance of having those become pinnable.

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