Courtesy of USA Today:
Chances are you’ve heard of Pinterest, the latest Web addiction for millions.
If you haven’t heard of it, find the nearest twenty- or thirtysomething woman. She’ll likely know what’s up and can tell you all about it.
Pinterest is a visual bulletin board for the Web. It thrives on beautifully simple images of ideas for the home.
These images are grouped together on a user’s page, creating an inspiration board of ideas.
What is Pinterest?
The website is a “virtual pinboard,” which lets users organize images, recipes and other things they find on the Web. When it called Pinterest one of the “50 Best Websites of 2011” in August, Time magazine wrote: “The basic idea behind Pinterest — which lets you create and share collections of stuff you like in any category you choose — has been tried before by startups that didn’t make much of a mark. This time it might take off.”
Pinterest has been around for almost two years, but has seen a meteoric rise in interest over the last couple of months. In December, Pinterest became one of the Web’s Top 10 social networks, according to tracking firm Hitwise.
To get you on the right track, here are things to know about Pinterest.
Understanding the terms:
— Pin:A pin is an image added to Pinterest. You can link to an image from a Web site or upload an image from your computer. Pins can include captions, like “A great way to reuse a coffee creamer bottle.”
— Pin: A pin is an image added to Pinterest. You can link to an image from a Web site or upload an image from your computer. Pins can include captions, like “A great way to reuse a coffee creamer bottle.”
—Repin: Once something is pinned, it can then be repinned by other Pinterest users. This is how content spreads virally. If you see something you like on Pinterest.com, repin it to share it with your friends.
—Board: This is where your pins live. You can have separate boards for subjects such as a wedding, rooms in your house or favorite recipes.
How to get an account
Pinterest technically is still open to invited users only. But, you can request an invite at www.pinterest.com and one should be sent to you very quickly. It took just a couple of days for mine.
How to follow
Just like on other social networks, you build a list of people to follow on Pinterest. This will impact what appears on your homepage.
Users can follow all of a user’s boards or just a single board. Linking Pinterest to Facebook lets a user see quickly which of his or her Facebook friends are on the social network.
But keep an eye out for stylemakers here, too, though. Some of the best people to follow on Pinterest are people you won’t know at all.
By adding a bookmark to your Web browser, you can also pin images from other sites, such as a table at Pottery Barn. When you’re on the retailer’s website, you can click the bookmark to create a pin of that image. This will automatically link that photo to the website, so someone can find out more if they want.
Adding the price
When you pin something, try adding the item’s price in the description. Doing this will automatically place a banner over the image with the price listed.
Use the search bar
This is the best way to find specific ideas. Searching something like “mason jars” pulls up nearly limitless craft ideas if you’ve got a basement shelf full.
You can also search event themes, such as “first birthday party” for a whole array of ideas.
Go one step deeper
If you’ve stumbled upon a pin that you like, head one page deeper and look at the board it originally comes from. Chances are there will be even more ideas there that you also like. This is also a good way to find new people to follow.
You can also allow friends on Pinterest to contribute to one of your boards. This is a great way to plan something like a class reunion or shower with a team of other people.
To add a contributor to one of your boards, click to the board’s edit page. There, change the pin setting to “Me + Contributors.” Then, you can add a friend’s name. You must be following at least one of that user’s boards to add them as a contributor and they can decline the request.
Don’t forget videos
Some of the best how-to tutorials on the Web are YouTube videos. If a video link is pinned, Pinterest embeds that video inside the pin. It’s a good way of spreading a tip when it has to be seen to be understood.
Instead of explaining
Perhaps the best use of Pinterest is to paint a clearer picture of what you want than you could ever with words.
What wedding planner hasn’t heard something confusing from a bride like: “I’m picturing a kind of classic modernism”?
If you have a board for wedding ideas, just send your planner that link. It will instantly tell exactly what you’d like.
Each page of pins on Pinterest is designed to be seemingly never-ending. As a user scrolls down, more images are loaded so that they can just keep going and going.
And the act of finding such great ideas can be addicting. There are always more good things to see on Pinterest.