Got time? Get INSPIRED!
Pinterest.com has rocketed into the top 10 social media websites in just a few months.
Some people use Pinterest like a refrigerator door—a mishmash of reminders as well as images that bring a smile. Others carefully curate their Pinterest collections. Still others use the juxtaposition of images for inspiration the way people in creative fields use vision or mood boards. Need a desert for the potluck, a rainy day craft for the kids, a gift for a friend? There’s a Pinterest board for that.
The organizing possibilities alone are satisfying, but Pinterest also has a social dimension because the site’s founders believe people can learn a lot about each other by seeing what they collect. A profile on Pinterest consists of a list of bulletin boards with nine images from each collection. You can decide to follow other people and others can follow you. As people comment on and repin items they like, they form mini-communities based on shared enthusiasms, tastes and passions.
The site requires an invitation to “join.” A link on the home page let’s you request one directly from the company. The site doesn’t have ads, but there are a lot of commercial links from people who hope you will buy their products. For these reasons, some people may prefer other social bookmarking sites:
Delicious.com. Allows users to collect Internet content including articles and videos into “stacks” that can be private or public.
Digg.com. A good choice for busy parents who are trying to keep up with news. In addition to posting your own links, users can vote thumbs up or down on stories posted by others.
Pinspire.com. Very similar to Pinterest but there’s no need for an invitation. Content is focused on clothes, crafts and home decorating.
StumbleUpon.com. Allows you to submit, tag and vote for sites. As you do, the site develops a sense of what interests you and helps you “stumble upon” other sites that have caught the attention of other people who share your enthusiasms.
Tumblr.com. Ideal for people who would prefer to keep a running online log of things that interest them, this microblog site is easy to use and has a huge audience.
Wists.com. This social shopping site appeals to people who like to window shop. The name is short for “wish lists,” and users create amazing collections of shoes, gadgets, light fixtures, jewelry and other objects they covet.
To make good use of any of these sites, get into the habit of tagging what you save. The more tags you create, the more likely you are to find what you need when you need it. Whichever site you choose, you’ll need to exercise some self-discipline. Collecting can be an addictive pursuit—especially if the next treasure is only a click away. Give yourself a time limit for this pastime. And then step away from the screen.
Carolyn Jabs, M.A., raised three computer savvy kids including one with special needs.
Pinterest.com is the coolest new thing sweeping the web. It is a virtual pin board of things people—mainly women—love. Users create their own pin boards to plan their weddings, share decorating ideas, offer amazing DIY projects and show off recipes that make Martha Stewart look like a bag lady.
The only catch is, you have to be invited. Of course, this makes Pinterest all the more desirable.
I was invited recently and sucked into this vortex of goodness. You see, unlike Facebook and Twitter, there are no “noisy” rants or updates about how someone feels or who cut them off at the mall.
Instead, Pinterest is quietly beautiful and trendy. For the first several hours, I browsed other people’s pin boards and lost myself in the visuals. I saw funky outfits and shoes, crafts for the kids, pictures of exotic places and roughly 42 recipes I just have to make immediately.
In fact, by the time I tore myself away from it, I was so thoroughly inspired I believed I could do anything. I even convinced myself I could sew!
But there are a few down-sides to this site:
- Some of the pins are entirely too crafty for a person who has children, a job or a life.
- Compared to the other mothers on here (eyes on you lady who makes heart-shaped crayons) I am failing miserably.
- It is now clear that I am poor, lazy and unadventurous.
Yet I don’t care. I am officially an addict. And some day, when I hit the lottery, buy a glue gun and learn how to sew, I plan to be just as Pinteresting as the rest of the people!