Obsessed. Completely in love and obsessed with a new social network. I need to shout it from the blog.
I don’t know if you ever did this, but at various times in my life, I have created inspiration boards. You get a big sheet of bristol board, and then you go through old magazines and clip photos and words of things that inspire you: maybe your dream wedding dress, an inspirational quote, or that living room you felt like you could so live in.
Well, Pinterest is the on-line equivalent of that. Like all social networks, you need to sign up for an account (thanks to @allisonmmarkin, by the way, who introduced me to it in July, although I’ve just gotten an account in the last week), and start following people. You can plug in your other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to see who amongst your friends already has an account. But you will more likely end up with a down-down-the-rabbit-hole experience (in the best kind of way, except for the hours that will suddenly evaporate), where one click will lead you to another, and you’ll soon be following your favorites.
Pinterest has a little widget you install in your browser’s tool bar, so when you are out surfing, and come across something that takes your breath away, you can immediately “pin” it to one of your boards. You can have as many boards as you want, grouped thematically. When you see another pin that someone else has posted that you love, you have the option of “liking” it or “repinning” it to one of your own boards. You can also make comments, send messages, and share with your social networks.
Okay. Suffice to say, it’s pretty awesome. But business applications…??
For me, I’m using it primarily as an inspiration for my second blog, Cooking by Laptop. I use Pinterest in the same way I use Delicious for this blog: when I see an article or blog post I like, and think I might want to reference in the future, I save it my delicious account. Well, when I see an interesting recipe I think I’d like to try, I pin it to my “Recipes and Food Porn” board on Pinterest.
I could see this being an amazing tool for artists working within a visual medium: if you were a painter, for example, and your thing was flowers, you could find hundreds of examples of beautiful flowers here that you could save for later inspiration. Interior designers would be all over this, maybe even theatre and set designers. One-of-a-kind, crafty types that sell their stuff on ETSY are well represented here, and should be. LIfe coaches? I say yes.
Check it out and sign up for an account. I’d love to hear future updates about how you use it.