Monday, January 9, 2012

Thoughts on Pinterest

Okay, I'll admit it.  I've been sucked into the black hole of awesomeness that is Pinterest.  For those of you aren't familiar, Pinterest is the latest online social networking phenomenon.  It allows you to collect and organize all the cool things/ideas you find online onto "boards" that mimic a bulletin board collage.  The networking part is "following" other people's boards.  Newly "pinned" items show up continuously on a main board.  You can then "repin" it to one of your own boards if you like the idea and want to save it.  You can also add comments.  The nice thing is that the link to the original source is preserved, so you don't end up with a non-working link of a link of a link that someone else posted.  If you can't get enough of the stuff of the people you're following, you can always go out and look at the general board collections of all users.  Plus there is a search function.

After a week or so of use, here are some observations, tips and tricks I have:
  • I didn't get the whole "invitation" thing at first.  Apparently, it's starting out semi-exclusive similar to Facebook.   You can request an invitation, but I'm not sure what happens next.  I was invited by a Facebook friend.  If you link it to your Facebook account you can follow and invite your Facebook friends.
  • There aren't great instructions on how to use the web site (or at least I didn't read them).  It's more learning by doing and exploring.  That's how I did it.  I'm sure I haven't discovered everything yet.
  • Organize your boards for your own personal needs.  Don't just use the pre-set titles.
  • Be choosey about who and what you follow.  Find people with similar interests.  Don't feel like you have to follow all their boards, because it just clogs up your main board.  Since I care very little about the topics, I have eliminated all boards relating to fashion and hairstyles.  I am also on the verge of unfollowing some food boards, too.  I'm interested in some of the main dish recipes, but the amazing desserts/treats are almost overwhelming.  Don't get me wrong!  I enjoy an indulgent, gorgeous looking concoction of sweetness just as much as the next person, but I've decided I've already seen enough recipes to last a lifetime (which will likely be somewhat shortened if I actually make and eat them all).  Frankly, I don't have enough people/places to share the caloric love.  So I might try a new one for fun once in awhile (I already have a huge stack in my recipe collection), but I'm probably mostly just going to stick to my tried-and-true favorites. [end of food rant]
  • Add the "Pin it" button to your web browser tool bar.  It's an easy way to pin stuff you personally find on the web and not just relying on repinning things someone else found.
  • It's fascinating to watch the effects of a pin.  You are notified who repins anything you've pinned.  You can't see the exponential effects beyond that, but it's interesting to think about.  I pinned the 52-week challenge, and it was repinned 6 times within 24 hours (I only know one of the repinners personally).  Plus I saw it pinned at least 5 more times on my main board by other people from totally different sources.  Just out of curiosity, I pinned the blog post of our monkey bathroom remodel.  Although it has only been repinned twice, there were over 100 direct page views of that post within 24 hours.  I usually average 5-10 direct page views of my posts (I'm guessing most people use a reader).  A single blog post can almost instantly go viral.  It's a great way to advertise and generate traffic!
  • Don't feel like you have to scroll through everything to "catch up" every time.  Although it's tempting, I've decided that if it's really that great, it will show up again (e.g. 52-week challenge).
There are definitely hits and misses, but it is an awesome way to collect great ideas.  My main interest areas are home organization (surprise, surprise), tips and tricks around the home, activities for kids, easy meal recipes and a place to collect book titles I hope to read someday.  If you're interested and haven't been invited to join the cult yet, feel free to let me know and I'll let you in. ;o)

Oh, and I'd love to hear your thoughts, too!

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D&J said...

Megan-I LOVE Pinterest! I've been on for about 3 weeks and am hooked. I do my best to only go on once a week or so-that helps with time organization :) Ha, ha. I agree with you that it can get overwhelming with all the boards/pins. I need to go in and declutter already now that I have a better idea of what sorts of things pop up under different categories. Happy pinning!

Sarah Craft said...

Pinterest is awesome! Although I am not a Pinterest user. I sometimes just hop on and snoop, I guess. I'm trying to eliminate distractions right now and I think a Pinterest board of my own will only add to the distractions. Anyway, happy pinning to you. Take care! Oh, and I'm so behind on reading blogs. Google Reader tells me I have 29 blog posts to read from you alone. I better get to reading! You have been busy girl!

Allison Mussig said...

Yes, I agree that you can waste days of your life on pinterest! I use it almost exclusively for my personal pinning using the web browser icon. Great tool as I used to be the person who ripped out magazine pages to save these type of ideas, I love when this mentality went online!