Pinterest has been tapped to be the big break out star in 2012. (Eh, hope the same can be said of me.)
So what is it?
Here is a recap of a convo I had with my 85 year old grandmother, who goes online and uses email, so she thinks she is pretty techy. Especially since she is proud of the fact that her friend’s son created Foursquare. (True story.)
Nana: “Does it have to do with sewing”?
Me: “No, it is a website where you can collect pictures from the internet.”
Nana: “I thought you said it had to do with pins.”
Me: “It does, but you pin images.”
Nana: “How can you get a pin into a computer. It is plastic and glass.”
Obviously that chat did not go well…
While the word “Pin” is used in “Pinterest” it, of course, is not literal. It is a virtual concept where you find images you like on the web, and you virtually pin them to a likewise virtual bulletin board. Kinda like you would do in your bedroom as a teenager when you would tape picture of the latest teen star on your bedroom wall that you ripped from a magazine. Or even now, when you tack a picture of what you want for Christmas to a cork board as a subtle hint. But since ‘Tapeterest’ and ‘Tackterest’ were probably poo-poo’d somewhere in the Board room, I’m sure they settled on the sexier Pinterest name.
You can browse pinboards created by other people to get inspiration for a home-improvement project, a craft project, a new nail polish color, or a new recipe. You can organize them into as many bulletin boards as you want, which you can also custom name. It is great to keep all your recipe pins together, or all your fashion finds together. Which looks something like this:
So that is the general gist, but here is why I (and others) think it is the coolest thing since sliced bread (Note to self, find a picture of sliced bread and pin it.)
- You can connect with people that you may not normally have connected with on typical sites like Facebook or Twitter, opening up a great new social media network. You can see pins from people you don’t know, and they may have repined from someone else. Making it two people you don’t know and now can know. Maybe Twitter or Facebook really hasn’t been your thing and this may be what finally floats your boat. (Which you can pin fabulous pictures of Boats on to said named Pinboard if you wish.)
- No worries if you love all things social media. You can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can follow the same people here as you do there.
- You can get notification of who is pinning your pins, which is another way to connect with people you may not have found otherwise.
- You can actively participate or not. Just scan through pictures to see what people are sharing, actively ‘like’ the pictures (similar in concept to a post on Facebook), or repin them to your own boards for future reference. You can even comment on other peoples pins.
- If you love ideas, but often forget where you saw it on the web, or hate having to print out everything you see to remind you of that fun way to wear a scarf, then this may be just the thing for you. For example, I love getting gift ideas and ideas for outfits. So when I see something, I pin it to remind me of what to buy when I am stumped for a birthday present or what to wear to a red-carpet party. (Okay, the last one was a stretch, but one can hope.)
- You don’t have to have an account to browse all the pins. You do need one if you want to pin or otherwise interact with other Pin-ers, but it is free to do so. You just need to request an invitation or have someone send you one. Then you can install a “Pin It” button to your toolbar, making it easy to Pin away! (And you may just get carried away..it is rather addicting.)
- Lastly, you can share your pins on Facebook and Twitter. If you just pinned a cool tech find, you can share it with your Twitter peeps or Facebook friends. Just be careful. If you end up being a Pin-addict, you could make them Pin-sick of your posts and tweets.