As an undergraduate, Facebook used to dominate my life. Not so now. Pinterest is my new (obsessive) bread'n'butter. I can pin for hours at a time, no problem whatsoever (except that I might have to take the occasional potty break).
So what is Pinterest? Pinterest is a free site where you can organize images visually. If you're familiar with the concept of a Mood Board, it's similar to that, only you can have multiple boards all going on at once that can store information about images for you. When I started Pinning, it was to document and hold onto images of furniture redos that I thought were particularly awesome or doable, in addition to bedroom images since I was in the process of making my own headboard. Then I started keeping tabs on crafty ideas that looked promising. Then I started keeping track of entryways that I liked since I was refinishing a gate-leg table for my entryway...and it just kept going on an on. I now have 15 boards that I pin items to practically every. single. day.
If you're one of those people that drags and drops images into folders that are milling about your desktop, STOP. PLEASE. Pinterest is SO for you, my friend. It's like the difference between a power sander and sanding by hand. Or a knife and a food processor. Or scissors and a paper cutter...you get my drift. Saving images directly to you computer is slow and doesn't store any info for you about where that image came from. It's time-consuming, only accessible from that one computer, and involves zero connectivity with other peoples' ideas and interests. Lame.
The thing that I really like SO much about Pinterest is that by clicking on the image that you pinned to your board (or on an image that someone else pinned to their board), your browser automatically takes you to the webpage from where the item was pinned. This is ridiculously handy for DIY-type things; you pin the image of the final result, and if you click on the image, you'll be taken right to the tutorial on how it was done. Same for images you pinned for yummy recipes. Or items you drooled over in online stores. It's pathetically handy. It's also nice if you're cool enough to get one of your own images pinned, so that people can track the item to the original location/owner.
So in the beginning, Pinterest was a way to organize. It has since come to be a form of entertainment. How is this so? The answer is that you can browse within categories.
People have already pinned hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of images onto boards. These are all floating about waiting for you to discover them and pin them yourself, in addition to you adding more images from other external websites. I have found SO many ideas for crafts, cards, furniture makeovers, room arrangements, color schemes...even great quotes, just from clicking around on Pinterest. If you're a person who is easily visually pleased, I can pretty much guarantee that browsing on Pinterest will becomes a form of pathetically enjoyable pleasure. People tend to pin images that are aesthetically pleasing to begin with, so even if you don't find items for actual physical potential use, they are usually quite pretty to look at, if for nothing else. (However, this is coming from a person who likes to walk around Target or TJ MAXX for hours at a time just to look at colors, packaging, shapes, and textures. On the other hand, I know for a fact that I'm not the only person out there who does this, so...judge with caution).
So how does Pinterest work? You can sign in via your Facebook or Twitter accounts (which also makes it easy to publish your pins to these places too, if you'd like. Ahh, social networking technology...). In the beginning, you get to go through the steps to add a "Pin It" button up onto your browser bar.
At first, I was all, "Ugh...really? I have to add this stupid button?" But now, I am SO happy it's there, because...well...it's there. When I'm on a website and I come across an image that I think, "Oh MAN, that centerpiece is amazing!" all I have to do is click my "Pin It" button, and poof! I can pin the item to any board of my choosing, or even create a new board right from the new window. Then I can add a little blurb about the image, like why I chose it or where it came from ("Holy crap, these flowers in that shaped vase = swoon"), and just like that, the image is saved to my board, and I can return to look at it any time I want. It's that easy. You can even "follow" other peoples' boards if you know someone or find that they pin items that you really like.
My only complaint about the big-P right now is that sometimes it gets waaayyyy ssssllllooooooowww. Especially at night...when I get into bed...and snuggle into my comforter with my laptop in tow to Pin for a while to "wind down." (What? You read a book. I pin. We both stare at stuff for a while and enjoy it. Same difference.) Apparantly, this is what everyone and their mom likes to do too, because nighttime is when I notice this the most. I'm guessing it's starting to gain massive popularity, and therefore, heavy traffic = slow going. Considering there is a little blurb on the left sidebar about improving Pinterest via hiring, I'm guessing the Pin Peeps are aware of the issue and are looking to expand.
I would so totally work for these guys if I could be remotely useful...which I wouldn't be. I'd just stare at pretty pictures all day.
Anywho, that sums up my love for Pinterest. I'm totally, definitely, over-the-top, 100% obsessed.
What about all of you guys? Anyone else out there as wrapped up in Pinning as I am? Found another site you're sucked into for hours at a time? Think Pinterest is an "L.7. Weeeeenieeeee?" (Sandlot reference...sorry). Praise and rant below!
*Note: All images are mine, but are of the Pinterest website. All original owners of the smaller thumbnails within the pinboard image can be found by accessing my Pinboards.
**Double Note: Pinterest did not pay or perk me to rave about their website (although, maybe they should...I could totally be their official spokes person). I just honestly like their site, and wanted to share!