I resisted signing up for Pinterest for a long time. I thought it was another time-suck like Facebook and Twitter.
Ok. If left unbridled, it’s the biggest time of suck of all. The pretty pictures draw you in. Then you start pinning and re-pinning, clicking from pins to websites. All of sudden, “Oh, my word it’s 5:30 and I forgot to make dinner and my kids… Where are my kids? At 3:30 I had two kids. ”
However, with a little time-management and self-control Pinterest is a positive addition to your online life. And your kids won’t wander off into the woods.
Why Pinterest is so Compelling
Pinterest works because it’s visual. With just a quick scroll you see in photos the best of the web curated and categorized by people with similar interests.
Why Pinterest is Useful
I believe Pinterest is the most useful of all the social media tools. As I pleasantly discovered over the last five months, if used with restraint, Pinterest actually serves a purpose. It isn’t just filled with empty chatter like Twitter and Facebook.
1. On Pinterest you can save websites and articles to your virtual “bulletin boards” to revisit later. It’s much simpler to page through photos than search through bookmarks in your browser.
2. Searching the main page of Pinterest or the pins of people you follow for something specific is quick. Usually you find what you’re looking for. Content, for the most part, is accurately categorized and high quality. The general public is actually quite discerning. They don’t pin stuff they think is lousy.
3. Pinterest is an unlimited resource of inspiration. You need an idea for something — anything — you will find it on Pinterest; Weight loss, fashion, crafts, spiritual encouragement. The pins go on and on.
How to Make the Most of Pinterest for Yourself and Others
1. Don’t Just Re-pin, Add New Pins – Re-pinning is the main activity on Pinterest, but we’ll run out of pins if somebody doesn’t add new content. Why shouldn’t it be you? When you come across something fantastic on the web pin it for the rest of us. We’ll thank you for it. (Install a Pin It button on your browser tool bar here.)
2. Pin the Permalink When Adding a New Pin – My home page URL is mommiedaze.com.
My home page is an archive of recent posts. As I add new posts, older ones are pushed off. When a user clicks a pin linked to my home page it won’t take them to the article if the post has fallen off the home page. It’s frustrating and disappointing when you click-through on a pin and the content isn’t there. To pin the permalink click on the headline of the article you want to pin. That will take you to the page the post is actually on. The address bar should look something like this:
In some cases the permalink may contain numbers or dates. It won’t match the headline, but it will differ from the home page URL.
3. Specific Boards – When I started, I really didn’t know how to categorize my pins. I made a few general boards, and started pinning. Now I think specific boards are better. Instead of making a board called Holidays split it into three; Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I’m working on adding new boards and moving pins around. I want to clean up my food board “I’d Eat That” by breaking it into more specific classes like Desserts and Main Dishes. That will make it easier to find pins when I go back, and organize my boards better for others who look at them.
4. Accurate Descriptions – I started out writing words like “Yum!” and “Love!” under my pins. Then it occurred to me those abbreviated descriptions did not tell me or anyone else anything about the pin.
I also realized just the other day when I re-pin an item, I need to be more careful about amending the description. For example I re-pinned this:
5. Attribute Correctly – As I mentioned above, Pinterest is full of inspiration. It’s great fodder for blog posts. If you cite something on your blog that you find on Pinterest, be sure to give credit to the original author, not the pinner. People work hard on projects and articles. They deserve the applause, and legally they own the creative content.
6. Manage your time. Like I said, Pinterest is fun, and the pins go on and on. It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re pinning away. Give yourself a time limit. Reward completed housework with 10 minutes on Pinterest. Set a timer if you have to. Be careful not to get sucked in for hours, or you’ll never have time to make the scarf project you re-pinned, and your husband won’t have clean underwear for work.
Pinterest is a fantastic tool if used well and wisely!
I’m just going to keep talking about Pinterest until I run out of things to say, or you tell me to stop. (Please don’t. I love it so.) Next week look for an article on using Pinterest for personal organization.
Want to connect on Pinterest? Find me here.