One disadvantage we boomers have against younger generations is, we didn’t grow up with the internet, let alone the social media that dominates both communication and conversation today. In other words, some of us are still learning. That’s why we like this piece from Lisa Hanock-Jasie. It’s about a website we knew nothing about, but already find useful. She calls it, “Isn’t This Pinteresting”?
Just when you thought you had finally mastered the internet’s social networking sites, from LinkedIn and Facebook to Twitter and YouTube, along comes the next big online thing—Pinterest. And here’s something you don’t hear from every technically-hidebound baby boomer about the social media networks: it’s awesome!
What I’ve found is, combining the two most compelling things in social media—visual content and sharing—Pinterest is the ideal social tool for collectors, foodies, travel enthusiasts, DIYers, and more. And as baby boomers, we do as much of that as anybody… maybe even more.
You know how when you’re browsing the web and you find something you like and don’t want to forget? Instead of printing out photos and filing them in binders, emailing yourself links to videos, or even bookmarking sites you want to check out in the future, Pinterest gives you a place to “pin” these visuals to a virtual “bulletin board” and then save all your “pins” in one digital folder that you can access online from any computer or device.
Think of it like an interactive, shareable scrapbook that holds all your favorite things. Or, think about pages you’ve always torn out of magazines and posted on your kitchen bulletin board, your bathroom mirror, maybe the refrigerator. With Pinterest you can simply “pin” things to your virtual corkboard.
Users (aka “Pinners”) post images to their virtual boards, organizing pins by topic or theme. Because it’s a public site, members can follow anyone else who pins interesting and appealing images. And here’s something we boomers will like, if we don’t like some aspects of Facebook: you don’t have to be “friends” to follow someone, and you’re not obligated to follow anyone back. You can share your pins with others, capture and share someone else’s pin (called a “repin”), or group your favorite pins together by topic on various boards in your profile.
You also can browse a live feed of items that are being pinned by members when you’re searching for inspiration, or comment on each other’s pins and “like” them. With 32 different topics available, users can browse, pin, organize, share, and repin everything imaginable. The possibilities are endless.
It’s really pretty cool, and useful. You can discover images and videos you wouldn’t normally come across by typing keywords into a search engine. It’s a great way to find new visual content for, say, your own website, and to find Pinners who share your interest.
In Pinterest’s own words, it is a tool that “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” I’ve found it easy to use, starting at the website, www.pinterest.com, requesting an invite, and then the pinning starts.