Pinterest: had never used or even heard of this social media prior to our introduction session last week. Reviewing the State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012 (Nielsen, p. 9-10) and seeing how much growth it experienced in a relatively short period of time, I decided to check it out. According to the report, it appeals to mostly white women between the combined ages of 25 and 49 – for which I belong.

The concept initially almost seems appealing. Posting ‘pins’ to share, organizing photos into categories and then sharing them with others. Logical. But on closer look, many of these pins seem to be advertisements or marketing spins to appeal to a certain demographic. I love photography and travel, so I searched both extensively.

While the photography provided some cute ideas and a miniscule of quality learning opportunities to improve my skills, many were aimed at future moms and new moms with an overabundance of professional photographer images/ads. The travel provided an equal number of lovely images, but also included blatant fake locations, including a castle rock house in Dublin and artificially created trees lining a non-existent street in Madrid. I’ve been to both; these do NOT exist, yet are propagated out en masse implying they are legitimate. Not loving this!!!

I did review education, but it was mostly for teachers of younger children or home schooling educators. No library category, but I could clearly customize and create one of my own. However, with photography restrictions for over 70% of my high school students, it isn’t a viable option for our school library. Add to that, an overabundance of non-useful pins means that without direct link control – I quite possibly could be driving away library patrons.

Now for the fine print…you can only post/share images that are copyright protected by you, or you and not Pinterest could be held accountable and punished. But the idea is to push it out there, and share so — really?! At the same time, once you post anything, it becomes the property and belongs to the creators of Pinterest. Not a lawyer, but confused – they are not liable, but they’ll take your intellectual property as theirs. How does this work for a library that would need to post and share intellectual property (book covers) to inspire readership? Property they clearly do NOT have the copyright.

As a child, I was forced to shop with a mother who would spend on average between 3 and 5 hours at a time in one store. Valuable hours I could never get back…Pinterest feels like the adult version of what I was forced to live as a child. Has the largest increase of “time spent”, probably because many like me kept getting lost or overwhelmed (Nielsen, p. 9-10).

According to this same Nielsen Report (p. 9-10), Pinterest does seem to be losing its shine, with its “growth leveling out” so maybe the bandwagon is finally full.


5 thoughts on “Pinterest

  1. cybrariansam

    I belong to the primary demographic of users that pinterest appeals to. I have dabbled with it but for some reason it did not really hold my interest personally. Sometimes I specifically search it for images of specific craft ideas in mind, but beyond that I’m not sure why I have so little interest in it, maybe it is mostly lack of time. Based on the number of people actively using pinterest, I definitely recognize the potential benefit for information institutions use of pinterest. I have briefly observed the ways that libraries are using pinterest but I am curious to explore their use in further depth. I will make a point to further that exploration this semester. Interesting to note that the growth is leveling out recently.

  2. Lauren Peters

    I only use pinterest when I have a great deal of time to play with. I am a foodie, so I normally gravitate toward recipe posts. I don’t save (pin) my posts. But I witness those who do. I see pinterest posts being used like a scrapbook wish projects. For example, a Facebook friend has designed her back yard using ideas from pinterest. She pins pictures of gates and who manufactures them, ideas for landscaping, outdoor kitchen details, you name it. I could also see pinterest being used to plan a wedding. Ideas for flowers, dresses, food, decorations, themes, all can be found on pinterest, and saved on your page to show vendors what you would like. I planned a wedding from 3000 miles away. Having pinterest would have saved a lot of time and miscommunication.

  3. Deborah Cooper

    I have seen libraries use Pinterest for readers’ advisory quite effectively. They’ll set up boards and pin the latest reads, divided by category such as children’s, adult, etc., or simply just by interests such as various crafts. I see the potential for reaching patrons through this avenue. Personally, however, I find it interesting to browse but only in the same wayI might browse Google images. I haven’t found anything of value that makes me want to return. Something is missing — maybe it’s because few of my friends use it so it’s missing the social connection. For me, the jury is out but I think it has potential.

  4. Christy Confetti Higgins

    Hi Lori – thanks for making the connection between one of the readings and then your interest and exploration into Pinterest.

    It might be a good idea to explore further how other school libraries might be using Pinterest to get some other ideas or maybe it’s not an appropriate social tool for your library at this time.

    Thanks for sharing!



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