Pinterest: My (and soon to be your) New Obsession

Okay, so most of you social media savvy people have probably heard of this Pinterest by now. For those of you who may be a bit behind on the trendy technological front, this blog post is for you. Warning: you will become addicted.

I was told about Pinterest by a roommate of mine while I was in the midst of finishing my final Capstone project for school which hopefully explains why I was behind the curve with this. I made myself wait until I was finished with school before I entered Pinterest’s lovely land of creativity and inspiration. I had heard it was dangerously addicting and didn’t want anymore distractions.  I am so glad I did, because addiction does not even begin to describe the draw I feel to this website.

Pinterest is essentially a collaborative visual site. I would say that it is most similar to tumblr, in the sense that the emphasis really on the visual rather than words. However, there’s really no site like it out there. It differs from tumblr because it is NOT a blog and does not really allow you to write long entries. It also differs from most social networks in that it is not about revealing personal factual information about yourself (other than your name if you choose to do so) . You don’t have to tell people your age, who your family is, where you went to school, or any tidbits like that.

Instead, pinterest allows you to set up your own personal creative “boards”. You can give them any name you want. You can then place “pins” on your boards. A pin is basically a large picture or image and is linked to wherever on the internet you found the image.  So, you can set up your pin by entering the link where you saw an image cool or fascinating to you, and pinterest pulls the image and places it on your board. You can click on your image to go back to your link to get any information you might need from there (written text, such as directions for making a cool craft, where to find the furniture you absolutely have to have, where to buy that cute outfit the model is wearing, etc.).

For example, I have a board for Delicious Dishes or recipes that I want to try out (or just dishes that I thought looked visually appealing). It has really yummy and mouth-watering pictures of food. I can click on most of the pictures and they are linked to the site with the recipe for that dish! This is how I’m making this post relevant to foodies!

My Delicious Dishes board on Pinterest

Others use pinterest for great home decor ideas, crafts, fitness inspiration or workout ideas, travel ideas, and most popularly– to plan a wedding! Pinterest has picked up speed among engaged people in the midst of planning a wedding (mostly females). Just based on my own friends that use this, a lot of pinterest seems to be largely female (maybe because of the wedding thing?), but there are a fair number of males too.

It is still considered a social networking site, because you are revealing your personal “interests” to people. You can also still follow your friends and see what inspires them. You are also allowed to “repin” another person’s pin- in that way it’s like one big sharing site of cool things! You can also “like” a person’s pin, and when labeling a pin, you can “tag” the person’s name. I recently found some brownies my one baking expert of a roommate would love and tagged her.

I think I’ve largely missed the point with this whole blog post though haha. The number one thing about Pinterest which I am not doing a great job of conveying is its implicit awesomeness. Pinterest, to put it simply, is just SO cool. It might be because of its emphasis on the visual- the saying of a picture is worth a thousand words really does ring true on this site which gets more than 1 billion page views each month! It’s going to be really interesting to see how marketers and publicists try and use this site to engage customers or other target audiences (some, like Lands End are already doing so).

The site is still operating on an “invite-only” basis. You can request to be added or to receive an invite, but it takes about two weeks before you get it (at least that’s how long mine took). For those of you who still aren’t convinced or don’t really get anything I was talking about, please try it out. You won’t be disappointed- it taps into everyone’s creative soul, even a desperately un-artistic person like myself. I don’t even really enjoy crafts and this has me wanting to paint something, improve my apartment, or fix something up! I also cannot say enough about the inspirational and amazing visuals you will find on a daily basis. The best part: There is no end in site to the awesomeness you will find, as more and more people join the site and add what inspires them.