By now, someone you know has told you about their newest online obsession, something called Pinterest. In fact, there is a good chance that Kristi or I were the ones to tell you. So you’ve heard a lot about this new website but you can’t figure out what exactly it is. We’re here to help.
forcing inviting friends to join and then subsequently explaining why the site is so wonderful (again and again) to them, I decided to do a quick post on it.
So what exactly is Pinterest?
In technical terms, Pinterest is a digital, image driven bookmarking site. Which means what exactly?! Get ready to clear some shelves, it’s time to recycle all those old issues of Martha Stewart you’ve been saving. Pinterest is a website where you can now save and catalog links to inspirational images, quotes, recipes, craft projects, gadgets, clothing and much much more. This is a site that will allow you to stop keeping a binder filled with torn out magazine pages and pages of ideas printed from the internet. Because you can now keep a digital binder/catalog/file of anything you find interesting.
One of the best perks of Pinterest is that it also moonlights as a social network. So you can find people who inspire you and follow what they post so that you can get ideas from them. These can be people you know or people who’s taste you like. It’s like going to a dinner party, eating an amazing dessert and you happen to be sitting next to the person who made it, who conveniently printed out a recipe card for you and hands it to you right there. Like I said, Pinterest is dreamy…
How do I get started?
Pinterest is currently an invite only service. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will invite you to the party.
Ok, so I have an account, now what?
1). Download the Pin It Bookmarklet (aka the pinmarklet)
First things first, download the pinmarklet. Here is a very informational video on how to do this:
So as you can see, the pinmarklet allows you to pin anything to your account without having to go to the site. So if you are on say, jcrew.com and spot a sweater you like, you can click on the “Pin It” bookmark select the image of the sweater that you like and pin it to your boards. All without leaving jcrew.com
2). Set Up Your Boards
Then, you want to start by creating a boards. You’ll want to organize these according to similar topics so that they are easy to search. Pinterest does not currently limit the number of boards that you can have so the sky’s the limit. In my opinion, I’ve found that because I like to go back and find things that I’ve pinned that it works best for me to have 8-9 categories that I file things under. Things like house, craft projects, recipe ideas, clothing I want, etc. But this is entirely up to you, I’ve seen people who have entire board devoted to the color navy blue or around a specific concept (like halloween). Also, you’ll want to categorize your boards within Pinterest. At the top of each board, there should be a drop down menu prompting you to do this. Doing so, will allow your pins to show up in those different category boards. I’ll explain more about those later.
3). Start Pinning
Once you have boards, it’s time to start adding things to them. When I first joined Pinterest, this meant going through email to find the links that I had emailed myself. You’ll find that in no-time you’ll be pinning things all day long.
4). Start following others
Like I mentioned earlier, Pinterest is also a social network. So it allows you to connect and follow what other people are putting on their boards. Probably the best part of this is that you don’t have to follow all of a users boards, you can pick and choose the boards you like best. It’s up to you.
You can follow us here!
To get you started, here are a few of my favorites (along with favorite boards):
Elements of Style — favorite board — for the home
sfgirlbybay* — favorite boards — living rooms, sleep here & dining style
westelm — favorite board — chevron
Hammocks & High Tea — favorite board — home studio
Lonny Mag — favorite board — Lonny Kitchens
Christine Martinez — favorite board — interiors I dream of…
Erin Loechner — favorite board — black and white
Simple Song — favorite board (love them all) — fonts
Oh Joy! — favorite boards — for the home & graphic design
Bonnie Tsang — favorite board — b’s style
Food & Drinks
That’s so Michelle — favorite board — michelleoshots
Susan Leahy — favorite board — Comfort Food
Real Simple — favorite board — weeknight meals
Whole Foods Market — favorite board — sweet tooth
Once you are following others, you can repin things that they’ve posted. To repin something simply hold your mouse over the upper left hand corner of the image. Two boxes will appear, click on the one that says repin to add it to one your boards. Follow the prompts (change the captions if you’d like) and voila, you’ve saved that project for later.
So how do I get the recipe or instructions for something I’ve pinned?
Pinterest uses the images to store the links. To go to the source of the image for the recipe, instructions, etc. you simply need to click on the image so that you are on the pin’s page, then click on the image again. You should be redirected to the source. Couple of things about this, hopefully someone pins something with instructions/source details but a lot of time images come from google search and/or tumblr so it can be hard to find out more. Here’s where you can tap the social network aspect of Pinterest. Comment on something and ask if anyone knows where it is from. You may just find the answer.
What else do I need to know?
* it’s addictive to watch a pin of yours get repinned. Everyone loves to be a trendsetter, Pinterest is no exception to this rule.
* Use search, it’s a great resource both for searching your own catalog and for finding projects, ideas and inspiration
* Bored and looking for some visual stimulation. Explore by category. If you look at the top of the page, underneath the Pinterest logo, there are the following: Everything, Pinners you Follow, Categories, Popular & Gifts. These are all categories to help you see what people are pinning in specific categories. (this is why it’s important to categorize your own boards)
* Last but not least, if you have a Facebook account and you log into Pinterest using it, Pinterest activity will be published there. I prefer to keep those things separate but it is up to you. Consider yourself warned.
That’s it! Go forth and pin! Let us know if there is anyone we should be following!