Jeremy Lin is to basketball as Pinterest is to Internet sites.
Pinterest is the hottest site on the Internet, breaking the record in January for a website getting 10 million visitors a month in the shortest time. Whether you’re interested in exploring for fun or learning, you should check out Pinterest and see what the fuss is all about.
What Is Pinterest
Pinterest is a social media site that allows you to “pin” images to boards that you share with the world. You can also explore others’ boards to discover images, website, infographics, travel destinations, recipes, etc.
To join Pinterest, you can request an invitation from Pinterest or from a current member and sign in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts. When you join Pinterest, you start with a few boards such as Favorite Places & Spaces, My Style and Home. You can add boards in categories such as Photography, Technology, Travel & Places and many others. Think of these boards as your virtual scrapbooks.
How to Pin
After you’ve added a board, you’ll want to add images to that board. The easiest way to add an image is to use the Pin It bookmark. Go to Pinterest Goodies and drag the Pin It bookmark to your bookmarks toolbar in your browser.
When you visit a website that you want to share with others, click the Pin It bookmark on your toolbar and all of the images from the website will appear. Move your cursor over the image you want to pin and a Pin This icon will appear on the image. Click on the icon and you will be given a choice of which of your boards you wish to pin the image to.
You can also include a description of the image. Pinterest gives you a whopping 500 characters to use in your description (a novel by Twitter standards). Most descriptions on Pinterest are short and sweet – one sentence, maybe two. Don’t let the 500 character limit go to your head.
All boards are public, meaning that if you choose to share family photos the world will be able to see them. As of now there is no way to protect your boards from prying eyes so make sure you share only images you want to be public.
Note: You can block the pinning of images from your business or personal website. Pinterest just released a code this week that you can add to your site to prevent others from pinning your images.
Exploring Others’ Pins
When you go to Pinterest, you can explore by going to the home page and clicking on a category you want to explore. Need a giggle? Check out Humor. Want ideas for a new ‘do? Check out Hair & Beauty. Want inspiration to get in shape? Check out Fitness. Want a fun trip down memory lane? Check out History. Want to make a bucket list? Check out travel.
When you discover someone with interesting boards, you can follow her. Click on a name under a pin and you will be taken to her page where you will see her boards, how many pins and Likes she has, and her recent pins. You can follow all of her pins or just certain boards.
When you find a pin you like, you can re-pin it to your board. Click on the image, click the Repin button, choose your board and either keep the description or add your own. You can also Like and comment on others’ pins.
Why You’ll Go Crazy
Now that you know how to use Pinterest, you may still be wondering why everyone is going crazy for Pinterest and why you will too. Pinterest requires a leap of faith at first, you need to explore to see why the site is so enticing. Here are some reasons why the site will grab you and why it will be tough to let go:
1. Fun – Pinterest is addictive. You will find yourself captivated by the site, losing track of time. There’s always another board, pin or category to pique your interest.
2. Beautiful – You may be surprised at how many photographic masterpieces there are in the world, and Pinterest seems to be a repository for stunning photos. The site itself is clean, simple and ad-free, a suitable frame that steals none of the limelight from its pins.
3. Easy – Pinterest is intuitive. Navigating around the site is easy enough not to distract you from your quest to find nirvana, er, I mean pins.
4. Informative – If you want to learn about a topic, a picture says a thousand words. Scroll through the images in a category or search for a keyword. If you’re considering visiting the Ring of Kerry in Ireland this Summer, search “Kerry Ireland“. You’ll be booking your trip as soon as you can peel yourself away from Pinterest.
5. Time Waster – In case you’ve been wondering what to do with all of your excess free time, you have now discovered the answer.
If you find yourself having withdrawal symptoms when you’re away from your computer, don’t worry, you can access Pinterest from your smartphone. Pinterest has a free app in the iTunes App Store. There is no official Pinterest app for Android yet, but you can always access Pinterest from your mobile browser.
Do you use Pinterest? Have you been wondering what the fuss is about? Let us know what you think of Pinterest in the Comments section below! If you would like an invitation to Pinterest, please mention that in your comment and I will send you one. If you would like to leave the link to your Pinterest account in the Comments section, by all means, please do so!