I received my invitation to join Pinterest this morning and have spent far too much time already exploring this tool. It’s a social bookmarking site based around images. Think of it as the digital, online equivalent of a giant cork board to which you’ve pinned pictures, articles and recipes you’ve cut out from magazines. Add to that the ability to follow other users and see what neat things they have pinned on their boards.
You can like, follow and share (repin) much like you do on Facebook or Twitter. In fact, Pinterest has to be linked to one of those two sites. (Warning, if you have not yet changed your Facebook profile over to Timeline, Pinterest will force you to do so!)
It’s still early stages for me, but I can see multiple possibilities, both personally and for library publicity. For instance, I can build book lists by linking to WorldCat. In my description, I can link to reviews, including my own. I can keep visual clippings of ideas for quilt projects or blog posts. Libraries could pin their program descriptions, databases, etc.
Pinterest has been growing rapidly and users seem to absolutely love it. However, to join you still have to be invited. That’s not hard. I requested an invite from the site’s home page and within three days I had four invitations. (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) I’m not sure that the user base is large enough to justify a library spending the staff time to develop a presence on Pinterest unless there are clear indications that you have patrons already involved.
Personally, I think it’s important for me to explore this Web tool. But I’m also a bit uncertain about how much time to put into it. I’m a fairly recent convert to digital bookmarking in general and still haven’t gotten all of my bookmarks from my browser on to my Diigo account. In fact, I don’t think I’m using any of my Web tools to their fullest potential. My Linked In connection list is woefully short and I have a large list of improvements and things to add to these blogs. What’s better – to focus on just a few tools and perfect them or to experiment widely, trying loads of new things? The answer is probably neither, but to do my best to improve my use of the tools I think are the most effective and still explore and experiment with new things. After all, who knows what will be the next great platform.
On the remote chance that you might be interested, my Diigo user name is angelacinva, which is also my LibraryThing user name. If you’re curious about my various digital experiments, check out my Digital Portfolio here on WordPress.