Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pinterest for nonfiction (and everything else)!

If you’re a visual person and haven’t yet found, you’re in for a treat. The name of the site is a combination of pin and interest and is pronounced as if the latter word has a P in front of it. Which it does. Anyway, the pin comes from pinboards, known as bulletin boards in the USA. After you get an invitation (more on that below) you can create your own boards. When you see an image you like online, you can “pin it” to one of your boards. A link to the original source blog or web site is retained. Where is really gets interesting is that other Pinterest users can repin the image, and it still keeps the link to the original source.

What distinguishes Pinterest from Google Image Search (for example) is the social media aspect of people Liking or Repinning your images. You can see who has done so and go look at their boards. If you see one or more boards you’re interested in, you can Follow them. And they can follow you. You can enter a search term and see what people are pinning on that topic.
Or you can randomly scroll around in the various categories such as Education, Art, History, and so on…it’s fascinating to see what comes up. Which leads me to one caution: Pinterest is addicting!

Your boards can have any theme you choose from Neurons to Grizzly Bears, Recipes to Venn Diagrams or anything you’re collecting information about that has some visual component. It’s a terrific tool for researching, collecting, and networking all at the same time. For a nice tutorial with plenty of screen shots, check out this post on the If You Ask Me blog. You can browse the site without registering, but if you want to start pinning right away, you’ll need an invite. It’s possible to request an invite, but apparently the Pinterest powers-that-be prefer invitations, because requests tend to just sit there not being acted upon (ask me how I know). Once you get an invite email from somebody, click on the link and within minutes you’ll be ready to start pinning! If anyone wants an invite, please email meATLoreenLeedyDOTcom and I’ll send you one. They do require that you have a Facebook or Twitter account to register.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Loreen Leedy
My Pinterest URL

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