Pinterest – Etiquette and Peeves

Pinterest is not just for pinning pretty pictures.  It is a valuable tool, as well. For example, I am able to keep all the recipes I want to try in one place. Want to try a new cupcake recipe? Open my Cuppycakes board, find a pin that I am interested in, and click to go to the website that will give me that recipe.  Piece of cake! (yes, pun intended.)  This is the genius of Pinterest.  Everything in its place and easy to find.  It makes those of us who are unorganized, organized. Seriously, sometimes I just open my boards and admire all my beautiful pins.  Very gratifying.

If you are new to Pinterest, you may be interested in a quick course on what to do and what not to do.  If you are not new to Pinterest,  you might still find these informative.  Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.  Many of these are from personal experience, some I learned from others along the way.

1.  Play nice. Yeppers, it’s that simple.  You will find some pinners who like to post harsh comments or use Pinterest as their personal soapbox.  I simply choose to ignore them. I’m here to have fun, not get all preachy.  If you see a mistake in a pin description, simply tell the pinner in a nice way.  Telling them they are an idiot will not do anyone any good.  Yes, I have seen this.  Some people are just mean, I guess. In the end, though, they look like the idiots.

2. Always pin from the original website when possible.  And pin the permalink, not just the main blog page.  Many bloggers like to share their fellow bloggers genius ideas on their websites.  And that is wonderful!  I hope I get shared one day! But when you find a pin you like and have to open link after link to get to it, it becomes a task. If pinning from the source is not possible, please credit it in your description to save us all time and frustration.  Also, pin the permalink, not just the main website page.  Same principle.  It’s not fun to have to search the source site, especially if they have a lot of pages. When you re-pin an image, if it is already linked to the source, then you are good.  No need to go out and pin it from the site.  But not everyone follows this rule, so you won’t know if it’s original until you try it.

3. Do not pin a Google or other search engine image.  Again, frustration.  Doing this will not bring me to the website.  Take the time to open the website and pin from there, please and thank you.

4. Use the description box properly.  Your photo is lovely, but please tell me what it is.  A simple phrase, nothing fancy.  A good description is useful when searching on Pinterest.

5.  Hashtags. Don’t be afraid to use them.  This goes along with using Pinterest to search for inspiration.  Write a brief description and add hashtags to help us find it.  What is a hashtag, you ask? It’s a word preceded by a pound sign to further describe something. Like this – #chocolate.  You do not need to hashtag a word if it is already in the description, but you can if you want.

6. Do not copy the instructions or recipe to the description.  This makes for not only a very long pin, but also doesn’t give anyone incentive to visit the website that originally posted it .  Bloggers and web authors spend a lot of time, money, and energy to provide you with great ideas.  They deserve to have the traffic sent to their site.  Besides, who wants to try to follow instructions written in a tiny box?

7. Do market yourself, but don’t overdo it.  Pinterest is a great marketing tool, however that is not what is was designed to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to use it to share your ideas or product, but don’t overpopulate the site by pinning your stuff over and over. Honestly, I have yet to see this become a problem, but I think it should be said.  It is very exciting having someone pin from your site!  And I give myself a high five, so to speak, when something I have pinned gets lots of repins.  Makes me feel like I have good taste. 🙂

8. Pinterest is NOT kid-friendly.   Is it really necessary to get your point across by using the f-bomb?  Browse the humor section (and sometimes other random categories) and you will be bombarded with foul language and lewd jokes.  And yes, if I don’t like it I don’t have to read the Humor section.  I get it.  Some of them make me laugh, too.  But, parents should be warned. Besides the language, be aware that there are a few nude images. I have never found one to be distasteful (okay there was one so awful I shudder to think about it), but parents should know that they exist and pop-up in the oddest places.  I have even found one while browsing recipes.  I think it was simply pinned it to the wrong board.  Pinterest is an amazing tool and I wish my daughter could share it with me.   But I am concerned about what she will find.  For now, she will have to browse along with me.

9. Beware of the grammar police.  I am guilty of this, I can’t lie.  When I see a word misused or misspelled, I get a twitch and I yell at my computer screen.  Do I point it out? No. I am not perfect, so I don’t think I should be correcting others. Other pinners will, though.  So at least try to be correct because the grammar police are not always nice about it.

10. Do you have to follow someone if they follow you?  From what I understand, it is considered rude not to follow someone who follows you on Twitter.   I do not think the same rule applies on Pinterest.  However, the jury is still out on this one.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  If it’s a friend, I will follow back. If someone I don’t know is following me, it is probably because they have like my pins and have similar interests.  To me that is a compliment! I always take the time to browse their boards and follow any that I like.

I hope this has been informative and will help us all have a great Pinterest experience.  One more thing I want to point out. Spam sucks.  I have seen a lot of pins saying “Pin this and Pinterest will give you free Starbucks, or free KFC, or free gift cards.”  Sorry to break the news to you, but that is not going to happen if you pin it.  Really people who create spam are just so irritating!  I think we are all smart enough not to fall for that, but I still keep seeing it, so maybe we are not.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the list.  Please!!!



Pinterest – The Basics

Ah, Pinterest.  I am sure you have all been hearing about this amazing pinning site in the last few months.  I am here to give you the lowdown (as I see it, anyways.)  I joined/was invited to Pinterest six months ago, so I have had time to learn my way around the site and really see the benefits of it.  I have seen a major jump in users in the last month.  Wowzers!  Invitations were flying! I love that I can connect with friends by sharing all the things we find interesting. I have learned a lot about people just by looking at their pins. It’s like a glimpse inside their minds.

What is Pinterest? Wikipedia defines it as a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website.  I don’t think that begins to cover it.  While it photo-based, it is much more than just photo-sharing.  It is sharing inspiration be it fashion, food, crafts, or funnies.  Each photo, or pin,  represents a link to a website page where I can find these inspirations. Each pin is stored on a themed board.  It is a “corkboard” full of ideas that are all about me.  My recipes, my sewing patterns, my home decorating ideas – all in one convenient spot, organized onto my boards.

This is a screenshot of all of my boards. If I click on a board, it will show me all of the pins that reside within.

I chose my Pink! board as an example. You really can make a board for anything! You can see each pin on that board.

Finally, here is a pin on the Pink! board. The blue circle shows the website origin of the image. The green circle is the re-pin button. Use this to add the image to your board.

Why Pinterest?  If you are anything like me, you have a zillion bookmarks on your computer for everything from recipes, home decorating ideas, crafting/sewing tutorials, and more. How many times have you forgotten what you bookmarked or had to open them all just to find what you were looking for?  I was constantly forgetting which recipe I wanted and would spend way too much time opening bookmark after bookmark trying to figure it out. Or worse, I would forget to bookmark a recipe I liked and have to search forever online to find it again.  Pinterest offers you a neat, organized way of keeping all of these bookmarks, and missed bookmarks, in one spot.  And it includes a photo, so you always know exactly what the pin is and you are reminded of all the great pins you may have forgotten about.

Another benefit is self-promotion.  Have a website that you’d like to get noticed?  Pin it!  This is great way to show off your website and bring in traffic.  Especially good for newbies, like me. 🙂  Don’t be shy.  It is a terrific marketing tool and we all do it.

Need more convincing?  How about this. My kitty dumped a glass of water onto my laptop.  Needless to say, the laptop did not survive. No worries, the cat is fine.   Now I am left with a ton of lost bookmarks!  So many recipes and free sewing pattern links, just gone.  I was very happy that I had taken the time to pin my favorite ones.  They were still there all safe and snug on my boards.

How do I join?  To join Pinterest, you need an e-mail invitation.  You can request one from the site or Facebook fan page, but if you know someone who is using it already, it will be quicker to have them send you the invitation.  Once you get the e-mail, follow the directions to get your account set-up.  You will get a set of pre-determined boards when you sign on.  Feel free to change them, delete them, and/or add your own.  They are there just to help you get inspired.  You will also need to add the “Pin it” button to your internet toolbar.   You will use this often, so don’t skip it.  More details on how to use it below.  So you have your account, your button , and your boards.  Now what?

How and what do I pin?  There are three ways to pin.  You can use the “Pin it” button to pin something you found on the internet or you can re-pin an image you found on Pinterest.  If you have some favorite bookmarks, go ahead and start with those.  When you find, say, a recipe, that you want to save, click on the “Pin it” button and you will get a page that shows you the images available for pinning.  Pick the one you like and a “Pin this” button will hover over the picture.  Click that and a small pop-up window will give you the option to choose which of your boards you want this to go on and a section for a description.  Don’t skip the description!  A simple phrase is sufficient.  More on that later. Click “Save” and done!  The third option is to upload a photo from your computer.  This will not have a link attached.  I have yet to see the benefit of this, but it may hit me one day.

If you look closely, I have circled the "Pin it" button in red.

Sorry.  The images are smaller than I wanted, but hopefully you can see what I am talking about.  I hope this has been helpful.  I will be talking more about Pinterest over the next week or so.   There is so much I want to tell you all!!  Up next, etiquette rules and pet peeves.  Have some rules or peeves you think I might need to know?  Post them below.