I admit it. I am a self-professed social media junky. Thanks to the iPad/IPhone, from the comfort of my bed to the comfort of my bed, save for work, I am wrapped up in social media. Each has a purpose:
- The Patch is my family get together. I am informed about what’s going on, laugh a lot, share opinions, sometimes bicker, and occasionally swear I need a drink—or simply swear. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with my community.
- Facebook is my playground. I play games, share jokes, debate politics, impart info, and reconnect with long lost friends and family. I’ve caught up with lost cousins and my childhood BFF, and we’ve had a couple of reunions as a result. Through gaming, I’ve made many wonderful new friends as well.
- Twitter is my news source. When something is happening in the world, I often look there first to find out before it hits the tube.
- Instagram is the mini National Geographic of the iPhone. It’s a way to enhance photos I’ve taken, push them to Facebook or Twitter, and see the images of photographers from around the world. A few weeks back, my photos were “liked” by a number of young Russians who posted great photos.
In April, when I heard of yet ANOTHER social media site, I thought, Lord, no, don’t let me get sucked in! 12,000 pictures later, it’s like a vacuum seal is covering the entrance, and I’ve done a deep dive into Pinterest. Hi, my name is Gayle, and I’m a Pinterest addict!
Just what is Pinterest? It is a social media site that allows you to capture pictures, recipes, videos, and articles in one easy place and to share those with others who “pin.” Because it is social media based, you must have a Facebook or Twitter account to join. You must request an invite in order to participate (mine took less than a day to receive).
Once you are given an account, you fill out a profile asking your interests. From these responses, you are automatically connected with people from Twitter or Facebook you are already connected with who have those same likes. You then have a reservoir of images from which to pin. Alternatively, you can opt to be a private pinner. In order to attach pins, you must install the “Pin it” button, and then you are good to go. When your account is up and running, you can create boards, giving them a name you choose. That’s it!
Now you can start pinning. See something you like, and pin it to your boards. Decide it really belongs in a different category? Create a new board, and repin it there. You can repin from your followers, from others on Pinterest, and from online media sources. You can have an individual board, where you are the only pinner, or you can pin collaboratively, where multiple pinners contribute to the site. I started in mid-April and now have over 100 boards. A word of caution. Pinterest sends emails when your pins are repinned. I would encourage you to use filters or labels to capture them separately within your email.
But what’s the real value in pinning? Besides having that image to enjoy, Pinterest makes reviewing the original source so easy. Click on a thumbnail of an image you have pinned, and it will take you to a larger image. Click a second time, and, in most instances, it will take you to the source. This is especially great when it comes to recipes. You’ve got an image of what the food item would look like—if cooked properly—and the recipe itself. This is sort of like bookmarks with a view.
Among the boards I have compiled, there are a number dedicated to science, art, history, cars, fashion, philanthropy, life events, holidays, diversity, nature, food, politics, humor, and on and on. My favorite board is Beachy Keen and covers ocean images. One board is dedicated to bears and has many of the images we’ve gotten on the Patch. A group of 70 of us are collaboratively pinning the Olympics and, as of this writing, there are over 600 images and videos.
I have a bawdy sense of humor. Pinterest is the only place in social media where I indulge that on my Laughing at My Potty Mouth board. I’ve put up a caveat, tried to name it in such a way that it is obvious, and discourage those who would be offended from even looking at it. But the board makes ME laugh and is a great stress relief.
If you’re interested in pinning, let me know in the comments, and I can help you if needed. In the meanwhile, with the caveat about the one board, here are the fruits of my labor to date. Why not see if there’s something there you recognize or interests you.