I typically use sketchbooks to keep track of things I like by making notes and doodles about them. Of course I got excited when I learned there was a new social network that allows you to keep track of all of those things online and share them with other people (Think ongoing gift registry). The network, shared to me by @khiemosabi is called Pinterest – a place where you can “pin” images of your favorite things or inspirations onto virtual pinboards that others can share and comment on.
Why would you want to use it? What better way to track and share things that you like, want and need? Folks have used the network to start interior design projects, replace cookbooks, and even plan weddings.
Getting started on Pinterest is easy. It integrates with either your Facebook or Twitter account so there’s no need to remember another password.
When you first join the network, you’re able to view any pinboard on the network based on your interests. The interface of the website is laid out in this sexy, no frills grid pattern with bright gorgeous images cascading down the page. When I see something that catches my eye, I click it, view it, get inspired, comment, and share it.
The commenting and sharing tools are conventionally placed both at the bottom of the post and to the side, so new members don’t have to learn much when they’re getting started. Despite the plethora of share buttons (Facebook Like, Tweet, Embed, and Email), it would be nice to see a Facebook Share button that would allow me caption my share and spread the word to certain lists of friends instead of the general “Like” button that disperses the post to all of my friends.
Anxious to try this for myself, I created a pinboard featuring Watercolor Renderings. The Pin Board creation feature is pretty slick. It can be found in the upper right-hand corner of your screen by clicking the “Add +” link. When clicked, a small white option box swiftly glides up from the bottom of my screen and guides me through a very straightforward setup process.
Pinterest features a very simple and intuitive structure, so here’s what to keep in mind. Boards are like categories (Cool Offices, Vegan Recipes, Favorite Viral YouTube Videos), and Pins are the individual items that get placed on their respective boards.
Important: Always cite the original website URL of the content you’re posting when possible so others can learn more about what you share.
Once I created my Board, I paid a visit to my favorite watercolor artist’s blog to pick up some of the works that inspired me in the past.
Note how most websites don’t yet include a Pinterest share button amongst the standard Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons at the bottom of the post. Thankfully, Pinterest came up with this nifty “Pin It” Button, which is very similar to the Hootsuite Bookmarklet, that you can put into your bookmarks toolbar for easy sharing.
Important: Pinterest is not the place to promote yourself or your business. The Pinterest community frowns upon posting your own content. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, or that your content will be removed from the site. However, in the interest of being social and successfully contributing to your community, it’s wise to follow the rules.
What are the top things you would collect on your Pinterest account?