Posted in 21st Century life, digital learning, digital life, sharing media, social media

Getting to Know Pinterest: A Parent’s Guide

Pinterest digitizes image collecting, the non-digital activity that lots of us have been doing for years. In a sense Pinterest offers a 21st Century way to bookmark and collect images instead of accumulating pieces of paper. I’m loving it!

Visit Pinterest.

Many people spend time looking through magazines and catalogs, identifying images such as the best-looking clothes, interesting plants, comfortable shoes, or pictures with ideas for an upcoming home construction project. An individual cuts out (or tears out) the image and puts it into a folder. I used to have folders (and more folders) filled with images on all sorts of topics, waiting for me to consult. And I used them from time-to-time, especially at the beginning of a project.

Pinterest, a social media sharing site, changes everything in this process because it allows users to collect and store digitized images, along with their links, from all over the web, and it offers a way organize the pictures into digital folders, what Pinterest calls boards. When a person searches for and finds a useful image, it’s pinned along with its web link into a board’s collection. An individual can also discover, collect, and pin web images from outside of Pinterest.

A Few of My Boards
A Few of My Boards

Users sign up and set up their own topical boards, decide whether to make them public or secret, and then begin to collect images. A person might have a board for recipes, for furniture ideas, tools, vacations, and so forth. Public boards, unless there is a need for privacy, are better, because it’s fun to share. If you need to do research, this is a great place to begin.

Pinterest sharing opportunities are awesome. Anyone can see, choose, and pin from the public boards of others. In essence, a person’s image collecting is supplemented by the collections of others and vice-versa. Pinterest also analyzes the pinned images and suggests others that might be useful to add to a person’s boards. The suggestion algorithm works really well, though some people worry about privacy. (Some the resources at the end of this post that address privacy issues.) Also, an individual can follow a board that contains lots of useful pins.

Check out my digital parenting resources.
Check out my digital parenting resources.

Let’s say I am looking for pictures to help me organize my herb garden, I can search for and find the pictures that I like and also look at similar collections of other people, pinning anything interesting to that I find my boards. My image access, which used to be limited to the magazines and catalogs that arrived at my house (or perhaps at the doctor or dentist), is significantly expanded. I also learn that lots of other people are interested in the same topic and their discoveries are my discoveries, and I can follow like-minded herb gardeners.

So the next time you are in an information-finding phase, considering a purchase or a vacation or the perfect present, set up a board on the topic and see how easy it is to collect visual information links that link to websites.

Oh, and all those folders with images that I had cut or torn out of magazines? Recently I looked through them and threw almost everything away.

Check out my Pinterest boards.

Read More About Pinterest

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