December 5, 2011

What’s the Point of Pinterest?

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 9:31 pm by Tamara

For a while now I’ve heard people gushing about how addictive the website “Pinterest” is.  The first time I went to it I completely didn’t get it.  Then one day my cousin commented that Pinterest is like “organizing the internet,” and my little ears perked up.  I love organizing things. I have a color-coordinated closet.  I organized my DVDs by genre, time period, title, and color, until I got married and (with trembling lower lip) finally agreed to just organize them alphabetically and by genre so Adam could find them too.

Pinterest is basically an online inspiration board.  I’ve seen authors, artists, interior designers, etc, have pin boards above their desks where they save things that inspire them: photos, scraps of fabric, favorite quotes…whatever.  That’s what Pinterest is: an online pin board.

The reason I didn’t get Pinterest at first was because I was looking at the home page, which isn’t organized.  Once you have your own profile page, however, you create “Boards” which are a collections of your “pins.”  Here are some of my boards:

Some of my Pinterest boards. Clearly I need to add more pins!

For example, I created a board called “Things I Love to be Surrounded By,” which is basically a collection of things I would love to have in my dream home one day.  When I see a picture on a website of, say, a kitchen that I love, I click “Pin it” and Pinterest makes a “pin” out of that picture and adds it to my collection.  So now I have a collection of pictures to give me ideas for decorating my house in the future.  Here’s a screenshot of some of my pins on that board:

One of my Pinterest "Boards" and some "Pins"

The cool thing, though, is that it also adds a link to that website along with the picture.  In the past, I’ve bookmarked websites that I wanted to remember, but that means I have a billion bookmarks, and a link just isn’t as inspiring as an actual picture.  Now I can go to my “Crafts” board and see pictures of all the crafts I’ve thought would be fun to do, click on the one I want, and instantly go to the website that has directions for it.

You can create as many boards as you can think of: craft ideas, books to read, thought provoking articles, pretty clothes, recipes, Christmas/party decorations, time/money saving tips…whatever!  You can view other friends’ boards, too; I’ve gotten some great ideas for crafts to make, recipes to try, decorating tips, etc from friends’ pins.  You can also search for pins: I searched for “Photo Wall” to get ideas for how to hang pictures in our new apartment, and this is some of the results:

Pinterest Photo Wall Search

I wouldn’t say I’m “addicted” yet, but I think it’s going to be a fun tool to organize and keep track of things that inspire me and websites that I just plain want to find again!  One warning: the images aren’t filtered, so you do run some risk of running across risque images, particularly if you do public searches.  If you’re mostly using it to organize your own websites/pictures and see what your friends like, though, the risk is pretty minimal.  If you’d like an invitation to join Pinterest, just let me know!