Friday, March 9, 2012

The Pull of Pinterest

 I started hearing about Pinterest a few weeks ago and honestly, I didn't pay much attention. I ignored the invites, chalking them up to just another craze that would disintegrate into thin cyber air any day now. But then I read a couple of blog posts from trusted friends about the pull of Pinterest, and I decided to check it out.

And a new addiction took hold.

In case you haven't heard about this latest social networking craze, here's the official description of Pinterest, as found on the site:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
There are two reasons I believe Pinterest is quickly becoming a huge sensation.

1. It's visually appealing. With such a visual society, Pinterest certainly appeals to the eye. Fellow author Carla Stewart says it best: Pinterest is candy for the senses. So true!

2. People love to share who they are. This is pretty evident, right? With Facebook, Twitter, and a gazillion other social media sites, people don't only want to connect with others, they want to talk about themselves and share who they are. It's that whole validation thing. Sometimes I think we're just a bunch of self-absorbed people hiding behind the label of "social networking." But believe me, I'm not judging! I'm right there, too - on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...and now Pinterest.

There are lots of good reasons to join Pinterest. You can browse images and find links and references to yummy recipes,  fitness routines, products you want to try, businesses, home decorating ideas, hairstyles, vacation sites and deals, and lots more.

But, the truth is, Pinterest is just plain fun. The ability to organize our lives in such a unique and visual way is pure genious. You can create boards about gardening, pets, beauty, television shows you watch, sports, crafts, holidays...basically anything you're interested in. And the fact that everything is categorized, makes it easy to pull up a specific board at any given moment to find what you're looking for.

So far, I have created 9 boards and have pinned 132 images, which is really nothing compared to other members. My personal categories so far include "Destination Dreamland"- photos of places I'd love to go, but probably never will, except for in my dreams, "Inspiration Station"- inspiring and motivating quotes, "Calories Shmalories" - photos of foods I'd love to splurge on (mostly desserts!), "Keeping the Faith"- inspiring quotes and photos representing my faith, "You Can Say That Again" - quotes worth repeating, "Beautiful Things" - no explanation needed, "Chuckles, LOL's, and Groaners" - things that make me laugh or smile, "Recommended Reading" - books I've enjoyed and want to share, and "Blasts from the Past" - items that bring back memories for me (lots of great stuff from the 80s). You can see all my boards and follow me HERE

I have been enjoying (and spending way too much time) playing around on the site, figuring out how it all works. Many of my pins have been re-pinned by others. My latest pin, posted just this morning, already has about 60 re-pins. Oh - and by clicking on an image, you are able to leave a comment, which connects somehow through Facebook. I won't pretend I know how any of that works, but it is pretty cool.

I'm even beginning to see how it might help me as an author. Not only can I pin my book covers, and hope others repin them for their followers to see, I can also create boards about my books. Some authors have boards with images of things/topics found in their stories. For instance, my friend Cathy West has created a board with images from the Vietnam War era, which is when Yesterday's Tomorrow, her historical romance, takes place. Some authors have boards where they pin ideas for their works in progress. They have boards for settings, clothing, or characters.

Pinterest is a great way for readers to get to know the authors they love. It's also an easy way for anyone to connect with others who share the same interests. As of right now, you can join Pinterest by invitation only. Either have someone invite you or request an invitation via a link on the site.

One word of caution: Be careful of where you click. As any other site, Pinterest offers an opportunity for spammers. Links aren't always what they appear to be. While most are legitimate, and Pinterest does everything they can to prevent abuse, it's bound to happen.

What about you? Have you joined the Pinterest Craze? What unique boards have you created?


Joanne Sher said...

It's pulling, but I'm RUNNING away. Fighting the fight to stay away - though it sounds like SO much fun. I'm sure I'll get over there eventually. But not yet :)

cbalmony said...

Just joined myself and really like it. I have boards for two WIPs which have inspired my work. Just yesterday I was looking for an image for one of my characters and found one, but the girl was doing martial arts. Hmmmm. Martial arts? Alexa can do that. Voila! Another layer to the character.

Lynda Lee Schab said...

Very cool, Connie! You're's definitely an author's idea paradise. :-)'re a stronger woman than I am. But I can't help wondering how long you'll be able to resist the pull... hee hee

PatriciaW said...

One more thing to keep up with while I'm trying to pull back from being online.

I have to take time to figure out how I want to use it.

Loree Huebner said...

Got a few invites but haven't joined up. Honestly, I don't have the time - One more social network and I would never get any writing done. I hear it's pretty fun and addicting.

Lynda Lee Schab said...

I totally hear you, Loree and Patricia. It's already kept me from about an hour of writing I should have been doing this morning. Ugh. Gotta muster up the discipline today.

Susan said...

Hi Lynda....My daughter adores Pinterest. I haven't really gotten into yet but guess what? A LOT of people have pinned things from my blog! I was pretty shocked over that. Take care. Susan

Lynda Lee Schab said...

That's cool, Susan. :-) Hopefully you'll get a chance to check it out soon. It really is a lot of fun.