Unlike most of the world, I haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon. I’ve tiptoed in and slowly checked out a few social media tools here and there. Some might call me old-fashioned, but I like to think of myself as traditional. However, to prosper and even survive in this world, I can’t keep my head in the sand any longer. To help me out, my friends have cojaled me into joining Facebook even though I hardly ever post. My classmates last semester chose to have our class meetings on GoogleChat so I quickly had to learn that medium. Before it sounds like I had to be forced to try any new social media, I actually sought out a few on my own. I love photography so I’ve looked at Instagram where I could check out photography by people just like me. And, my passion for organization and this big world full of inspiration, pushed me to check out Pinterest, which is what I chose as my Blog topic today.
In spite of my slow start, I’m actually looking forward to learning more about all the different social media. I have this class to thank for peaking my interest about the social media that is out there.
As I mentioned there is one social media tool that I am familiar with and that is Pinterest. According to Pinterest’s About Page:
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
I like to think of Pinterest as a group of bulletin boards in which you “pin” things that inspire you. You can organize your pins by having several different boards for whatever categories you like.
It becomes a social tool because people can “repin” your pins onto their own boards if they like what you have on your board. People can also follow your board(s) and will therefore be updated with every pin that you have chosen. I like that Pinterest encourages people to “be authentic” rather than concern yourself with the number of people that follow you.
Pinterest is an expression of who you are. We think being authentic to who you are is more important than getting lots of followers. Being authentic will make Pinterest a better place long-term.
It’s also very social in that people can “like” your pins and leave comments. When you pin something, you are encouraged to comment “why” you are repining it, for example, why you like it. All of these things together serve to create a community feel.
Pinterest is very easy to use – even for me. I think the most challenging thing is getting started because you have to get an invitation to get an account. You can’t just request one from Pinterest. You need to ask someone who already has a Pinterest account for an invitation. To me that seems silly.
I personally haven’t used a social media tool that is better than Pinterest. However, I just read a Blog post from a fellow student that describes a tool called Pearltree which sounds like it has some similarities. I will have to check it out.
I have already seen Pinterest fitting into library and information environments. Libraries are slowly adding Pinterest accounts to their websites. Pinterest is another way to communicate with patrons. I saw one library use Pinterest boards as a way for librarians to share their library’s collection and offer Readers Advisory (Staff Book Picks & Staff Music Picks Boards). One library shared their library programs by posting boards called Teen Scene Board and Arts & Crafts Boards.
And one board on a public library site that I thought was very socially engaging was called “The Big Read 2013: The Great Gatsby.” Essentially, the library was inviting their patrons to join them in reading this novel in February 2013. This board says “Not only will we encourage the entire community to read and discuss the novel, but all month long there will be special themed programs and events . . . Check out the Big Read website for more information, http://tscpl.org/bigread/.” Through Pinterest the library staff is able to reach out to the community and rally them to read the same book together. Therefore, Pinterest can definitely be an important social media tool in helping bring their library community together and encourage reading.
I’ve enjoyed using Pinterest and it has been a great social media experience for me. I love the inspiration you can draw from looking at other people’s boards. The OCD person in me enjoys organizing my boards which can be of any subject you desire. Pinterest provides a place to organize all your great ideas and inspiration with no worry about lack of space which is very freeing. If you want to check out my Pinterest Boards, here they are: http://pinterest.com/kathykanderson/
Oh, and now I can add Blogging to my social media tool box. 🙂