Pinterest Pulls Me In

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,” 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:

Oh, and now I can add Blogging to my social media tool box.  🙂




10 thoughts on “Pinterest Pulls Me In

  1. Nomi

    Like you, I have not rushed to participate in a lot of social media outlets. However, when I was planning my wedding last year, a friend invited me to join Pintrest because she thought that it would help me. I didn’t end up joining because it required a Facebook or Twitter account neither of which I had at the time (I only ended up with a Facebook account this past semester for a course), but I remember noticing that I needed that invitation or I wouldn’t have been able to join. Given that many of the social media tools that started as invitation only forums have become open membership, I think that the invitation requirement is likely to end up being dropped at some point. Gmail was originally designed to require an invitation to join and while I don’t remember when it changed, it has been at least 5-6 years since it became possible to sign up without an invitation. Facebook was also designed for a much smaller user-group. Does anyone know to what extent other social media outlets have changed audiences that way?

  2. Carleen

    Out of all the social media tools I use, Pinterest is simply the funnest. I mean, Facebook is great for keeping in touch, Twitter is great for real time updates, but when I get on Pinterest, I just feel giddy! I so look forward to getting on there and find new crafty things to do, ideas for decorating, recipes for food, etc. I definitely pulls me in too. 🙂

    1. kathysbookmark Post author

      I know exactly what you mean about feeling giddy! I can get lost in Pinterest for way too long — one thing leads you to another and another — it’s inspiration at its best.

  3. Barnaby Hughes

    Thanks for sharing your Pinterest page. What caught my eye was your collection of Library Card Catalogs. I especially like the idea of using the card catalog as a wine storage unit. Card catalogs have sentimental value to some. One of my former library supervisors purchased an old card catalog that her husband had leaned on when he first proposed to her.

    1. kathysbookmark Post author

      I love that story about your Library Supervisor! How special that they were able to get the card catalog that he had leaned on when he proposed to her — so cool! As I’m learning more about people who find and refinish card catalogs they are hard to come by and very $$ so they were lucky to get that card catalog. Thanks for the great story!

  4. J. Andrews

    I wish there was a way to have private pin boards. Maybe there are some projects where you don’t want to share your thought process and scrapbook with the world. Maybe you want some parts of your wedding, for example, to be a surprise.

    1. kathysbookmark Post author

      Actually, there is a way to have private boards now. Just this year they created “secret” boards that you don’t have to make public. So you can decide which boards you want public and which boards you want private. I think your idea for the wedding board is a perfect example for a private board.

  5. Christy Confetti Higgins

    Hi Kathy – great post! I enjoy your writing style and this post was fun to read and I enjoyed looking at your Boards. I’m now following your bookshelf board – really really fun.

    I’ve only begun to use Pinterest more myself but have enjoyed seeing how libraries are using Pinterest to engage readers and the community.

    It does look like there are Secret Boards which may be a way to keep a board private.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. kathysbookmark Post author

      Hi Christy,
      Thanks for your positive comments. Glad you are following my bookshelf board. I find it fascinating to see all the creative ways people store their beloved books. I actually just found an old battered ladder from Goodwill and will turn it into a cool bookshelf like I saw on Pinterest. Good stuff!

  6. kallie

    Your post and your link to your boards make me really want to give Pinterest a closer look. When I’ve checked it out before I find it so visually overwhelming – too much information that seems too random. But your boards are so nicely organized, they were a pleasure to look at. Perhaps that’s what I need to do – find someone who has organized boards that are cool, then follow them.
    What’s so interesting to me about Pinterest is how they managed to have such staggering growth even with the invite only member policy (which I’ve heard they have now done away with). I wonder if that was a way for the developers to keep the numbers under control why they got the site going. If so, it didn’t work. Unbelievable growth for a social tool.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and your boards. I love the craft room one.


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