Okay, even if there were a 12-step program for this addiction, I wouldn’t join. Ever. I love it that much.
What the hell, some of you are probably asking, is Pinterest? Well, it’s so simple, it’s brilliant. Take the nice thing about a social network (sharing stuff with people) and marry it to the idea of a bulletin board where you just share images, broken down into categories (home, photography, books, whatever you can imagine, since you can create your own boards and tailor them)… and you have Pinterest. What they’ve done is make is super easy to collect in one spot all of the images on a subject that you might want to collect… all with the click of a button.
The thing that makes it lovely is that you can follow people who have the same tastes as you, or who are interesting. Or you can just view the general category (design, for example) and see what everyone’s pinning there. See something you like? Well, you can just hit the “like” button, of course, but if you want to remember that image and keep it for yourself, you can simply click “re-pin” it, choose which of your own personal boards you want it on (which category), and it’s done.
But to me, what was loveliest of all was how freaking easy it was to see an image on the internet and just literally click on the “Pin It” button you drag and drop onto your toolbar when you install the button, and bang, it’s pinned. You choose the category, you can write a description of any length (or, not–you can’t leave the description blank, but if you don’t want to say anything, just put a period or dash or any single thing you want and click “publish” and Pinterest doesn’t care.)
Let’s say that you have a project (school, art, home remodel) and you need to keep a bunch of images where you can see them at a glance. You could, of course, download each one and save it to your hard drive in a folder, and view them one by one through various programs, or even as an album (iPad and iPhoto, etc., will do this)… but if you want to save the information from the original source of the photo (for example, a recipe that went with a great photo of a meal, or the how-to instructions for the finished craft project in the photo), then that is a different step than saving the photo itself: you have to copy and paste that information somewhere, OR you have to save the URL–something many photo album storage programs don’t do automatically.
But with Pinterest, whenever you “pin” a photo onto your board, all of that other information stays with the photo, and you can see it when you click on the photo–it’ll take you back to the point of origin for anything you post. Or anything anyone else posts. No more wondering where they got that idea and how to implement it–it’s all there, connected.
For a person like me who thinks so very visually, it’s like being handed the keys to the kingdom. I don’t have to click through a bunch of URLs that I’ve saved to find that one image that I think I sort of remember might possibly be the one I need at the moment in a project… I can now just go to the board/category that image would naturally fall into when I pinned it, and at a glance, see the image, or scroll down, if it’s been a while.
I’m currently using this for fun things: dream-home type of rooms, decor I love, designs I love. Even quotes that strike my fancy. But I already know that I’ll start inspirational boards when I jump back into the rewrite next week, and it’ll be a Godsend when I start a new project. Character inspiration? All in one board. Setting? Ditto. It will save me countless hours of aggravation trying to find/download/save/ the images *and* the pertinent information belonging to the image.
It’s saved me hours and hours of aggravation, already. I’ll be doing a decently-sized remodel of our kitchen, and I couldn’t find some of the ideas I wanted done via websites and blogs and manufacturer sites. On Pinterest, I started scanning the home section and came across a woman whose taste and my own are eerily similar (I kept finding myself re-pinning her choices, and then realizing they were all from the same woman) (Mary Whoeveryouare, I am not stalking you, swearsies)… and anyway, I found exactly the photo I needed on her board, went to the site and sure enough, that was the product I had suspected was out there but couldn’t find. I was able to show that to my husband, who then “got” what I’d been trying to tell him… all from the comfort of my home office. No driving all over town, trying to find what I wanted, or (God help us all), trying to draw it up so that my husband, the contractor, understood it.
Have you joined Pinterest? (It’s faster if someone sends you an invitation. I have a few left. I honestly don’t know how many I have, but if you want to join, mention that in the comments and I’ll send out invites until I run out.)
What sort of categories would interest you? Recipes? Home decorating? Crafts? Travel? Antiques? Quilts? Pets?
See ya there!