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Exploring Pinterest

I had been hearing a lot about Pinterest so I decided to give it a spin. I’ve been on it for two and a half weeks and my original conception of what it was and what I would use it for is completely different from I thought it would be.

In the picture above you can see my profile on Pinterest. At the top is just a little bit of info about me and then below that are my boards.

Think of boards as individual cork boards where each one has a theme. So for example in “Food I Want to Eat” I post beautiful pictures of yummy looking food. Another example would be my “Holidays” board. In it I post anything that has a picturesque warm holiday feeling to it.

The only limitations to Pinterest are your imagination. I have a “Geek Stuff” board. I have a “Stuff I Want” Board and then I have things like “Cute Animals.” So the skys the limit and it’s really up to you to define what you want to showcase on Pinterest.

I had originally thought “Oh man Pinterest would be great to showcase my own photography and since it’s lik 80% woman it’s a great way to get new clients.” That hasn’t panned out at all. I quickly learned that Pinterest is a maze of pins. By the nature of what it is there is often little attribution when someone sees a pin on your board and decides they like it so much that they want to re-pin it to one of their boards. In many cases you loose where the pin came from originally and even when you try to track it back you can’t. So as a portfolio source it’s a waste since any of my own work will quickly be lost.

But that’s OK. It just means that Pinterest isn’t a client getter for me. Instead it’s a fun visual way to showcase things that I’m interested in. The two biggest things I love using it for are looking up photo inspirations/poses and for DIY projects. The DIY stuff is simply amazing. There were at least three Christmas ornament ideas that I had to print out and my girlfriend and I are going to make this weekend.

So although I’m not using Pinterest for what I thought I was going to, I still love it and think it’s a great service that everyone should try out.

Two days after I signed up for Pinterest I discovered the Webshow “The Playfulside of Pinterest.” It runs on G+ every two weeks and is hosted by Kalebra Kelby. The show is entertaining, but on top of that they have really helpful tips on how to use Pinterest. Some of the things I’ve learned from there are:

  • Secret Boards are private boards that only you can see and can be used like bookmarks. If you see some cool things you want to pin instead of pinning them right away you can pin it to your secret board and then re-pin it at a later date.
  • Secret Boards are shareable so if you have kids and make a big board of all the stuff they want for the Holidays you could share that board with other family members so that they would know what to get.
  • Don’t fully follow people (unless they are AWESOME) instead pick and choose which of their boards you like and only follow those boards. Otherwise your Pinterest feed might get filled up with shoes or things you don’t like.
  • Don’t treat Pinterest as social media marketing instead have fun with it.

In addition to tips they also showcase some fabulous stuff on the show as well as give away some really cool prizes (Even I’ve won a really big prize!). For instance, last night photographer Jason Joseph (who at first comes off as intimating, but then turns out to be a really nice guy) shared a fantastic board he made that featured all the cool stuff to checkout in New York City for Christmas. My girlfriend and I did NYC last year for Christmas and I really wish I could go back in time and show myself his cool board.

So if you are wanting to know more about Pinterest I’d keep an eye for their next episode in January. It’s definitely worth a watch.