Pining for Pinterest

Pinterest Logo

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, you’re way out of the social media loop. Thriving on visually-stimulating images ranging from ecru laced bridal gowns to poke chocolate cakes with caramel oozing down the sides and a mountain of whipped cream floated precariously on top or an inspirational quote that could bring even the cantankerous Grumpy Cat to grin ever so slightly, millions of people have jumped on the virtual cork board wagon.

Founded by Ben Silbermann, the site was launched in 2010, and it has gained meteoric rise among the social media massif. The idea was to allow people to express themselves, sharing and discovering things online and through friends and families. Today, more than half of Pinterest users are female, and one out of five woman have active accounts, with the strongest activities coming from Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah.

As of August 10, 2012, Pinterest was opened to everyone without a request or requiring an invitation. Additionally, the Pinterest app for Android and iPad was launched a few months earlier on April 14, 2012.

Why use Pinterest?
  • Brides: Many brides-to-be have replaced bulky three-ring binder wedding planners with the simplicity and portability of a Pinterest account.
  • Home Décor: Some people create a Board for each room in the house and then pin decorating ideas for that room.
  • Art: Artists use it to organize inspiring images for their work.
  • Recipes: Cooks keep an online recipe box. College students might create a shopping list of things they need to buy for school.
  • DIY: DIY-ers can bookmark tutorials for those rainy day projects.
    • Pin: The main idea of Pinterest is to “pin” pictures to boards. A pin can be what you put on the board, but it can also mean the act of placing something on the board.
    • Board: These are virtual cork boards or pin boards. You can name them according to the group of pins you want in that category. People use their “boards” to share pictures about their interests. You can also browse other boards created by other people. If you really like the board, you can “follow” it or all the user’s boards.
    • Repin: When you see a pin that you like, you can “repin” it and place it on the board you want.
    • Like: If you see a pin you like but you don’t necessarily want to pin it on one of your boards, you can just “like” it.
    • Follow: “Following” a board or a Pinterest user means that you will see that person’s pins on your Pinterest homepage.
    • Comment: You can also leave a comment on your or other people’s pins.
    The Birmingham Public Library Public Computer Services department offers an Introduction to Social Media course which covers Pinterest. You may peruse through the handoutand other course handouts on the Regional Library Computer Center blog. For more information on the Social Media class and other classes offered, you may contact the department at (205) 226-3799.

    And if you're ALREADY pinning on Pinterest, make sure to follow BPL's great account!

    Farah A. Ferguson
    Public Computer Services Department
    Central Library