What is Pinterest? Every day, more and more people are joining Pinterest. Why? Because it’s TOTAL EYE CANDY! Furthermore, it’s fun, educational, eye-opening, mind-widening, totally absorbing, and better than any game you can get on your mobile device.
How does Pinterest work? To explain it would take too long here, besides there are dozens of books written about it already. To keep it really simple, I’ll boil it down to these elements:
1. Say you’re searching for a recipe for Macarons. So, you sign in to your Pinterest account, and type in “Macarons” in the search field. You will then be shown all Pinterest entries related to Macarons. You can specify also if you want to look at Pins, Boards or People with some connection to the word “Macarons”. Pinterest subjects are stored under different Categories, so for example, if you are looking for general Craft ideas and inspiration, you might go to “DIY&Crafts”. The Categories section does not however offer a Search function.
2. Clicking on a Pin you like takes you to the source site, where the original pinner had pinned the image from. For example, if you clicked on an image of “Laduree Macarons Paris”, you may be taken to the official Laduree site, or to someone’s blog where the photo was pinned from, or to a Flickr page, advertisement page etc. Behind each image that is pinned is a back story, to put it simply.
3. If you like what you see, you can either Like it, leave a Comment, or Re-Pin it to your own board. A Board is simply your virtual pinboard, where you can pin any images you like and start a collection. (Those of you who know my obsession with collecting can by now discern a pattern emerging here!). So, pin everything related to Macarons to your “Macarons” board. My own Macarons Board is called “Macarons. Food Porn!”, as I know of no other food that is so obscenely photogenic and delectable at the same time. http://pinterest.com/alyzenm/macarons-food-porn/
4. If you, like me, have eclectic interests and obsessions, you will rapidly find yourself creating multiple Boards and pinning the relevant images to them. Your Boards and Pins, along with everyone else’s, goes into a main Wall of Pins, like live streaming. Anyone who happens to be swimming along that stream, can see your pin and Re-pin it to their own board. It’s a bit like fishing, only without the fish.
5. If you find a Pinner who has loads of interesting pins, you can simply Follow them, and thus bring their pins into your Wall. So, every time they pin up something, you see it on your Wall.
6. You can set up collaborative Boards and invite others to pin there. For example, I was invited to join the Board “Scarves and Fashion” (now changed to “A Scarf Changes Everything”) as I’m the Scarf Queen of Western Australia hehe. So, I now pin interesting images of scarves or fashion that I like, to that Board, to share with other members of that Board. I have a collaborative Board with my hubby Geoff, who is the electronic musician ElectroCelt. I also have a collaborative Board with our friend Lia Shapiro, who is electronic musician ALiEn TriBE.
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Pinterest was officially launched on 9th August 2012, after a Beta program where you could only join if you had been invited. After 9th August 2012, anyone could join Pinterest. It is the fastest growing internet site in the world, and its membership grows exponentially. At present, although it is only technically over a year old, it is forecast to overtake Facebook in the very near future.
Pinterest is rapidly becoming the “Visual” Google. These days, when keying in a Google search, Pinterest entries are cropping up more and more. Everything that is pinned to Pinterest carries a #pinterest tag, which shows up in any search. It’s become so that when I need a recipe for something, I simply look it up on Pinterest, rather than on Google. Sometimes I do what’s known as “Pin now, read later”, where I’m effectively filing the link away for future reference.
When I say Pinterest is educational, I mean I can see it being used by people to actually learn new information. It may be a bit too much fun to be used as a tool in school (it’s so easy to get carried away surfing Pinterest!), but certainly for anyone wanting to learn more about any subject, it’s a great place to start. For example, I now know what an “Olinguito” is, I’ve learnt how my Samsung Galaxy S4’s myriad camera functions work, I’ve got a growing collection of Aboriginal Art on my Board that I would never have been able to afford to buy in real life. I pin tips and hints about Blogging, to help me improve my blog views. I pin Graphic Designs that inspire me. If I’m feeling down I know where I can find uplifting and inspirational Quotes. I saw my first “Hala” flower on Pinterest just the other day, and I know there’s no such thing as a Blue Watermelon or a Multi-coloured Owl. I’ve seen images of places I most definitely would like to visit, that I’d have never known about if I hadn’t stumbled upon them on Pinterest. And every day I learn something new from Pinterest.
To date, I have 47 Boards, and have pinned nearly 16500 Pins. That’s nothing, compared to Jane Wang, the mother of Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann. Jane Wang has over a hundred Boards, and nearly 8.5 MILLION followers.
Take a look here at my Pinterest page, and follow me if you like what you see: