Pinterest: A beginner’s guide to pinning stuff

Pinterest is the latest social media craze and seems to have the web all aflutter. It is currently the web’s second fastest growing site — of any kind, having gone past the ten-million user mark just a month after launching.

This latest social media platform goes far beyond simply just sharing or liking things of interest. It allows users to collaborate on various projects or topics of interest.

From creating a mood board for your home renovations to keeping tabs on the latest trends and things you just can’t live without — Pinterest allows you to literally pin various items onto your pinboard to mix and match, keep for later or share and get the opinions of others.

You can also use this as a new way of expressing yourself by creating a board and pinning things to it that you feel are a good reflection of who you are. Think of it as a visual representation of yourself, or various aspects of your life.

Some eyebrows may be a little crossed at this stage — perhaps we should go back to the basics and explain how everything works:

What are “Pins”
A pin is any image that is added to your online pinboard which can be linked from the web or uploaded. You can add captions, notes , doodles or big bold type and lots of exclamation marks if the pin of interest is something you’ve had your eye on for a while and you’re trying to persuade a certain someone to spoil you with it. You can then share it with them, in case they needed a helpful hint.

Ok, so where do I “pin things”?
Your pinboard is where you group related pins. Think mind-map, mood-board or collage. You can have separate pinboards for different categories. So for instance you could have one for the new kitchen you’re busy redoing, the bedroom you always wanted, cool tech ideas, articles or gadgets, design, gift ideas, recipes, or even just fun things you like and want to keep tabs on.

Great, so how do my friends and I share or collaborate on our Pinterests?
You can share content by the act of “repinning” — essentially this is when you pin something to your board that has been pinned on someone else’s. This is a way to collaborate with your followers as well as uncover new ideas. Yes it’s an open platform. People will be stealing with their eyes so watch out. I wouldn’t use this as a platform to put together your biggest client’s marketing strategy or as a platform for gathering your thoughts for your next great design idea.

In terms of collaboration the possibilities are endless and it’s been said that Pinterest’s future success lies in its capabilities in this regard. Adding contributors to one of your pinboards will let you work together to plan an event (from a hen’s party to a corporate function) or collect research and information for a long-term project.

At this stage the Pinterest, in its infancy, is being used predominantly for personal projects and doesn’t seem to have much business-focused marketing yet. It’s also interesting that the platform is dominated by women. Surprising? Not really. When did you last see a guy making a scrapbook for his dream wedding, next big bash or child’s graduation? Exactly.

However this is a very viable and easily accessible platform and looking at the business success of Facebook, I’m pretty sure we can expect this aspect of the platform to take off pretty soon.

And wait, there’s more
Browser Bookmarking and adding price information is another cool aspect of this platform as it allows you to add a bookmark to your Web browser so you can pin images from other sites.
For example, if you’re shopping online (say at H&M or Zara #todiefor) you can click the bookmark to create a pin of that image. This will automatically link the photo to the retail website, so someone can find out more info on the specific product if they ‘like’. Its always nice to know how much money you’re letting yourself in for, no matter how shiny and pretty something may be. Adding price information to the pin will show that item’s cost whenever someone hovers their mouse over the picture on your pinboard.

So how do I get started?
Currently Pinterest is only open to invited users. Yeah, it’s elite like that. You can request an invite at though and they’re not too snooty so you can expect an invite to be in your inbox within a day or two.

Gone are the days of scrapbooking and keeping hard copy files of things we like, want or need. Now we can just pin them directly off the site where we most probably found them in the first place and “cloud” them together for when we need them. Or just want to pass time by looking at pretty desirable trinkets.

Forget spinning. Try pinning!

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