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A Picture Says a Thousand Words, Pinterest Does it Better

Pinterest is changing the way people share content online. It was voted one of TIME Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2011 and is one of the fastest growing social networks right now.

It’s getting hot in the world of social networking. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, My Space, Netlog…they have all changed the way we communicate, and made the world such a small place. I earlier had been anti-social media. It turned traditional communication on its head and gave a new meaning to the words “Friend” and “Like”. Nonetheless, I cannot argue that it has its merits.

Considering the major social networks, Facebook and Twitter, Facebook eventually caught on me. I found lost “true” friends, got information I know I would not have gotten elsewhere, and I connect with people I wouldn’t get to if not through an IM or a wall post. Twitter is still lost on me. About a year and only two tweets later I still can’t figure it out, it seems to me more like a public SMS board.

So I was stuck, and okay, with Facebook until I stumbled upon Pinterest.  Caboodles, a beauty company I “Like”, advertised its Pinterest page on Facebook. I clicked on the link and fell in love.

Pinterest is an online virtual bulletin board that lets you share images, videos, photos and beautiful things you create, discover, or find on the web. The way it works is that you create pin boards, based on any interest or theme, and on them pin images of anything you find interesting or want to share, in that category. For instance, you may create a board titled My Style and pin on it images of clothes, fashion, shoes, perfumes, and trends you love. If a picture can say a thousand words, Pinterest does it better with a picture and a text box where you can say something about what you pinned with a maximum of 400 words.

I’ve previously mentioned “pin” and “pin board” so, before I go on, let me explain some terms used on Pinterest:

  • Pin: A pin is an image or video added to Pinterest. You can link to an image from a Web site, using the Pinmarklet (an application you install which makes it easier to link images), or upload an image from your computer. If you upload something you didn’t create, it’s wise to give credit by acknowledging the source.
  • Board or Pin board: This is where your pins are stored and organised. You can have more than one board for different interests. You boards may have subjects such as Books Worth Reading, Favourite Recipes, or Great Ideas.
  • Repin: Once something is pinned, it can then be repinned by other Pinterest users. It works like “Share” on Facebook and “Retweet” on Twitter. If you see something you like on Pinterest, repin it to share it on your pinboard.

There’s so much to discover, and stir your creativity, on Pinterest: great ideas for the home, funny pictures, lovely recipes, profound quotes, and inspiring photography. There will also be more to drive you into wishful thinking: beautiful clothes, gadgets, objects, designs — you’d wish you had all the money in the world to buy your dreams.

Perhaps what makes Pinterest so fascinating is its virtual design. There’s no redirection to another website to view an image — it’s right there before you. There’s no fear that your pins may get lost under new pins — as you’re working with images, it’s easy to organise them like an album. The only thing is you may get addicted scrolling down the home page, waiting for more pins to load, because there are such beautiful images and great ideas to discover.

On how I’ve used Pinterest: I created this board for Books Worth Reading. It’s an inconclusive list; I still have more books to add to it. I love the way you can organise the books, in a precise position, and find a few words to describe each of them — knowing that they wouldn’t be lost in the archives anytime soon. The pictorial nature makes the list more interesting and engaging, and easy to share with friends and family.

Also, I found and repinned this pin when looking for ideas for interior design. I went to the board it originally came from and found more wonderful photos of breath taking designs under the title Let’s Make This House a Home. Finally I navigated to discover this lovely website, apartment therapy, which inspired the owner of the board. So it’s a good idea to dig deeper when you find a pin you like — there might be more great ideas where it came from. If you find a pinner you like, someone who pins photos you are interested in, you can follow them so you don’t miss a thing. You can follow just one board or all of the user’s boards. This article gives a helpful description on How To Use Pinterest.

Pinterest is great for businesses, especially product-based services. You can create a board featuring your products and send the link to your customers: pin the image/product, give a brief description in the text box, you may insert a link to your website or your contact information, and place a price tag on it. There goes your online catalog! To add a price tag, just add the item’s price in the description. A banner will be automatically placed over the image with the price listed. Here’s a remarkable article showing 10 Pinterest Tips For Small Business Pinners  and, also, 9 Tips To Boost Your Business With Pinterest.

As with other social media platforms, you can integrate your Pinterest account with Facebook and Twitter. Whenever you upload a new pin, it is shared on the other networks and this drives traffic to your Pinterest profile.

So, how can you get started? To get an account you should go to www.pinterest.com and request an invite. Pinterest is still open to invited users only but it wouldn’t take much time to get one. It took just one day for me to get mine.

 

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Lulu Oyigah trained as a geologist. She is passionate about nature, writing, arts and crafts, and interior design. She writes, and edits, for connectnigeria.com.

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