Pinterest is a free site that lets you curate and share all the beautiful things you find on the Web. Use it to plan a big event, decorate your home, organize favorite recipes, and more. There is a real spirit of community here, with devoted members of every stripe sharing ideas on their public pinboards. Get inspired by browsing around to discover new ideas and enjoy all the Pinterest eye candy.
I’m not much of a shopper. Sure, I like nice things. But generally I’m pretty good at resisting impulse purchases. Case in point, the iPhone. Still waiting! But there is a weakness.
I love magazines! I just can’t resist those glossy pages, full of kitchen fantasies, crafty ideas for little ones, new techie gadgets, and of course, all that food porn. I even fall for the occasional fashion and gossip mags.
Given my magazine addiction, it’s no wonder that Pinterest has fast become my favorite site. Pinterest is a free online community where you can “pin” your interests to digital binders, or “pinboards” that you create.
Here’s an example. We’ve recently cleared out a wooded area in the back corner of our property. I’ve got lots of ideas for what to do with our new found outdoor space.
I stumbled on this clever idea for repurposing wine bottles, and pinned it to a board I named “How Does My Garden Grow”.
Some of my pins are plausible and some are fantasy, but that all adds to the fun.
Now I have a fabulous collection of garden inspired pins to share with my husband when it’s time to get creative.
Pin an Image from Anywhere on the Web
Creating a pin is easy. Drag the “Pin It” button to your browser’s toolbar and you can use it to grab an image from anywhere on the Web, assign it to one of your pinboards, and add a description. Pinterest automatically captures the link back to the original page.
A Pinboard for Every Interest
When you first create your free account, Pinterest provides some standard boards to help you get started. I did away with these and created my own. I’ve got “Spooky Hollow” for all things fall and Halloween, “Munchkinland” for clever kid crafts and products, and “Shutter Bug” for all my photo op ideas, among others.
Another popular use of a Pinterest board is collecting wedding ideas. Create as many boards as you like.
The Pinterest Community
The Pinterest main page is a stream of all members’ most recent pins. Here’s where things get juicy! You can:
- Filter the stream by categories (travel, apparel, food and drink)
- Repin someone else’s pin
- Follow another member whose style you admire
- Join discussions by commenting on a pin
- Enjoy staff favorites and tastemakers
Despite the obvious temptation to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion, members do seem to be respecting pin etiquette and avoiding this.
I also don’t see a lot of commercialization of the site. There are plenty of boards called “Products I Love” and there is a filter for pins tagged as “gifts”, but they’re still just personal pins, not ads.
Growing Too Fast?
You’ll notice that from time to time, Pinterest’s servers can’t keep up with the demand.
Since Pinterest is free to use, and there are no ads anywhere, one has to wonder – how are they making any money to keep the site going? Who’s going to pay for all those new servers they need?
This is a Very Good Question
The site says they are “well-funded by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors”. Since advertising would really spoil the spirit of grass roots community and sharing that Pinterest is clearly cultivating, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go the other direction and introduce subscription fees somewhere down the line. Perhaps the site will be free just long enough to get everyone hooked.
Join the Fun
I love this site so much that while I don’t think it will replace my magazine habit, I have found myself repeating on more than one occasion, “Back away from the Pinterest… back away…”