Tag Archives: Pinterest

A Dizzying Array of Choices

Am I the only one with my head spinning here?  While the world of social media is a wonder, to be sure, it’s also just a tad bit overwhelming.  What to choose, implement and manage not only for yourself, but for your institution?   Who’s to say what will be around next year or what will be the new “it” tool to add to the pile?

Even conservatively picking the “biggies” one could end up with personal accounts  on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +.  Add to that professional  accounts for your library/institution and you’ve got another set of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.  I’m not even including Tumblr, Instagram, and many others and our tally is already at 9 accounts!  Who has time for that?!

I don’t know, but I’m thinking the best way to go here to maintain sanity (and some semblance of free time) is to employ the old, “pick one thing and do it well” approach.  Ok, maybe two or three things…but not nine!  Unless I had unlimited resources and a crack team of Web 2.0-ers…

If I was helping a library launch a Library 2.0 presence from scratch, I think I’d go with Facebook and Pinterest.  I think they’re both accessible, intuitive, and complement each other nicely.  Other pairings like say, Facebook and Twitter or Facebook and Google+ have a lot more overlap and the pressure to come up with original content for both at least some of the time might prove tricky.

For my personal use, I currently have only a Facebook page (and a couple of blogs), though I signed up for Pinterest today and plan to do a LinkedIn account when I get closer to graduation.  Baby steps…

Art Museums on Pinterest

This week’s recordings about Pinterest inspired me to take a closer look at some of the features and what the site has to offer. Because I am hoping to do an internship at an art museum in the fall (which does not have a Pinterest account) I decided to look at what other art museums are doing on Pinterest.

Top 5 Reasons for Art Museums to be on Pinterest:

1) Exhibits–The most obvious factor is that Pinterest is all about visuals so what better way to showcase an institution’s collection? By setting up different boards, it’s easy to highlight different exhibitions as well as archive past exhibitions and even give a preview of what’s coming up.

2) Self promotion–Some museums also have a board that shows off the actual building itself since so many of these places are architecturally interesting. If you’ve ever visited the Getty in southern CA or the Met in NYC in person, you’ll know what I mean.

3) Raise revenue—Many museums have great gift shops with an eclectic range of goods on offer. By pinning images of these items to a board you can encourage visits to the online store. If you track which items get the most comments, likes or re-pins it can also be a good indicator of what’s popular.

4) Connect to similar institutions—many of the smaller museums have a niche collection or specialty they cover. By creating a board of recommendations about other similar venues, the museum is fostering a sense of community within its own realm and also assisting visitors in their exploration and research.

5) Endless possibilities—some museums have collaborative boards and encourage the public to pin images with questions, comments, or just because they like something. This is a great way to foster a relationship with patrons. Other museums have boards that spin-off from the main exhibits such as related resources for children, or arts and crafts ideas.

Obviously there are tons of examples and you can get lost for hours exploring Pinterest sites. Here’s just a few that I thought were interesting:

a) Large institution: LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art. http://pinterest.com/lacma/

This site has over 30 boards and over 10,000 followers. I took a closer look at just one of the boards “Mothers” which itself has 18 pins and almost 3000 followers! I find these numbers amazing! I noticed that a couple of the images had comments. Someone had asked where the picture was taken and someone from the museum had replied. All of the images were open to comment. I think this aspect is interesting because you would think there would be much more spam/off-topic comments but there are actually very few comments currently. I also had the option to repin images, follow the board and “like” it. It’s really useful to be able to follow favorite boards so you don’t have to keep checking back for new content.

b) Smaller institution: Pequot Museum – Mashantucket, CT – “The Largest Native American Museum in the World”. http://pinterest.com/pequotmuseum/

655 followers 9 pins. I chose to look at this museum because it’s smaller than the big name institutions and I’m also interested in the subject matter. Although this site does not appear to be currently active I still found it useful. One thing that struck me is the strong focus on the museum itself – it’s buildings, exhibits, events and even the gardens. There are no boards that solely feature a collection other than works used in exhibits. This is a bit different from the way other museums are using Pinterest. It’s a great way to promote the institution and helps give virtual viewers a sense of the place and the kinds of activities going on.

c) Just for fun: The Louvre, Paris. http://pinterest.com/museedulouvre/

An interesting example of where the board featuring the actual museum itself has the most number of pins and repins.

As just these few examples show, Pinterest can be a wonderful tool for showcasing collections, drawing in new visitors and for creating outreach to whole new audiences.

Pinterary

Through the first few weeks of the semester, the social media tool that has most piqued my attention has been Pinterest. Not only because of my nearly complete ignorance as to what it is or how it’s used, but because of its rocketing popularity among social media users. To be honest, I had never really visited any sort of Pinterest page but for a mere second or two prior to the class. My introduction to it came about via Facebook, as friends “pinned” items to their page. Looking back now with the course having shed light on the subject, I realize that two thoughts were evident back then: the majority of my friends who posted were female, and the pins focused on a single activity. In my infinite wisdom I passed this as another form of social media that neither interested me personally, nor had implications for future professional practice. Nothing could be further from the truth, articles on libraries and Pinterest abound, but more importantly, the exquisite Pinterest pages of libraries that may be found is truly incredible. The article “Pinterest as a Tool: Applications in Academic Libraries and Higher Education,” describes the Archer Library’s (University of Regina, Canada) creation of and subsequent use of Pinterest to highlight new acquisitions, library news, photos of staff, with two boards in particular catching my eye: “libraries we love,” and “what are you reading.” Each board had wonderful images and allow interactions between libraries and patrons.

Both this article and Anne Clark’s “Pinterest for Libraries” also highlight the potential for education, which I think is one of the coolest upsides to using this tool. Librarians can collaborate with professors and teachers and pin resources that will assist students in research projects. For youth librarians, there is an abundance of ideas for storytime and arts and crafts. The following quote from Anne’s article really caught my eye: “since Pinterest is a visual medium, it is easy to find things just by looking, instead of trying to remember if you filed an idea under Bulletin Boards or Display Ideas.” It is indeed a visual medium that allows for collaboration and promotion unlike any other social media tool. What better way to promote than images and video, which will leave a greater impression on the mind than any form of text based information. It’s a tool that can be used to good advantage by libraries, although it’s probably more useful for public and academic libraries. Like any social tool however, the success is based on the level of support as evidenced by the lack thereof in the LA County Public Library Pinterest’s page, as opposed to quite the opposite in the Fullerton Public Library’s page.

My, How Pinteresting…

When it comes to social media, I’m not the greatest advocate. Now, that’s not to say that I have anything against it. Quite the opposite, actually. I constantly check my Facebook account, and use it for both personal and professional needs.  On one hand, I use it as a means to keep in touch with gal pals scattered across the world, from San Francisco to Mozambique. Professionally, it allows me to keep in touch with teachers I have worked for in the past, and functions as a medium to secure future substitute jobs.  But up until recently, Facebook was really my only social media constant.  I never felt inclined to open a Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc., because all my social networking needs were met by this one site.  Why have multiple accounts on a variety of websites when the one does just fine and keeps me plenty busy?

However, I’ve recently become addicted to that young upstart.  It has taken the idea of bookmarks to a whole new, social level.  Not only do I have a visual database of interesting links, sorted into whatever categories make sense to me, but I can also view the collections of friends and colleagues.  I can even find pages run by organizations I support and authors I loved.

Yup, you guessed it.

I’m a Pinterest junkie.

As someone who has always been more of a visual learner, being able to organize all my digital metadata into a visual database is perfect.  No longer do I bookmark an interesting recipe, placing a brief line of text in a neat little folder within another little neat little folder within an unassuming icon on my browser, effectively putting it out of sight and out of mind.  Now, I simply scroll through my board “Yum :d,” look for that one picture, and follow the embedded link to that delicious looking crockpot recipe for Lemon Garlic Chicken (tomorrow’s main dish at dinner).  And it hold so much more than recipes.  My largest boards are for crafts, sewing, fandoms, clothing, music, and food.  It’s made me more organized, and constantly exposes me to new ideas and pushes me to think outside of the box creatively.  I also follow some favorite YA author’s boards so I can keep track of their book recommendations.

Obviously, it’s a great tool for my personal life.  However, I think it’s going to prove to be a great asset for libraries.  Libraries can now create a visual database of information for their patrons to browse at will. Fliers for current events can be posted on one board, and images from recent events on another.  Other boards could hold specialized information for different interest groups or to educate patrons about different events an issues, such as Black History Month or Women’s Suffrage.

Yes, all this can also be done on a blog, or through a website.  Pinterest, however, allows these to each have their own unique space, and users can choose whether or not to follow specific boards.  So rather than scroll through a list of facebook posts to look for relevant information, teens interested in YA fiction can follow the board specific to that topic.  Their homepage, then, is filled only with relevant information that piques their specific interests.  Book club members can keep in touch with each other by following and posting to a board specific to their needs.

Now, to be sure, ‘tags’ in blogs or #hashtags on Twitter allow for some filtering.  Users can, potentially, sift through a large quantity of posts and pull out only pertinent information with relevant tags. But this is still more work than the Pinterest board method.  Tags still require users to go from general to specific every time they go to the webpage.  With Pinterest boards, all the relevant information is already sorted, no extra steps necessary.

A quick search on Pinterest already shows that many libraries are taking advantage of this excellent resource. I only hope my local libraries will jump on the bandwagon too!

Pinterest

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.

Pearltrees and Pinterest

I would first like to discuss a tool I was introduced to last semester, pearltrees, that is used to collect and organize websites.  I was drawn to this tool because of the kind of information mapping it allows for.  I have been using pearltrees for a little over a semester now and I am slowly adding pearls based on my different interests and activities.  In my opinion, the tool is super easy to use and manipulate.  I also recently figured out that you can upload your own images for the pearls.  AWEsome!  The social aspect of the tool comes from the ability to view other people’s pearltrees and even use their pearls.  When your pearls are used by someone else, you are alerted via email and you can then view their tree, use their pearls, and are potentially connected with someone who has similar interests.  You can also develop a pearltree as a member of a team.  Here is the link to my pearltree:

http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_812187&N-p=57002202&N-s=1_6151820&N-fa=6151820&N-f=1_6151820

Pearltrees is kind of similar to Pinterest in that both are social tools that assist in the organization of information found online.  You can share pearls via both Facebook and Twitter similar to how you can share pins with Facebook when using Pinterest.  I have minimal experience with Pinterest and have just started to explore how libraries are using it.  I appreciate the ability to create categories in order to organize pins.  However, a category with hundreds of pins is a bit overwhelming.

Pinterest is definitely set up as more of a social tool and pearltrees more as an organizational tool.  Pinterest is a valid social media tool for information organizations to use to connect with their patrons.  Concerning pearltrees, I wonder if it could be useful amongst the staff of an information organization who can use the tool as a team to organize and access websites that are relevant to the organization.

ToeKnee