I really love Pinterest. Right now, I’m in a dreaming phase in my life. I feel a bit like a lot of things are on hold as we travel. Eventually, we’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming, but not yet. During our deviation from our normal, Pinterest is a great way for me to save all the stuff I want to get to when we have a full-sized kitchen and a full-sized creativity room (or a full-sized any room for that matter).
[I know there’s a lot to be said about me kind of taking this total mental/emotional break while we travel, but I’m going to blissfully ignore that for right now.]
So, Pinterest. I love it but I’m sometimes frustrated by it.
I’ve been on several recent bouts of pinning things I’ve long ago saved in bookmark folders on my computer. Sometimes I’ll pin a whole bun of stuff at one go, but I try not to do that too often because I don’t want to deluge anyone’s page too completely. (I’ve really been working on this recently, I promise. I apologize for any past deluges. Much lighter rains from here on out.)
There are some things about Pinterest etiquette that I’m not sure about, though. One such thing is attribution/citation. Perhaps it’s my decade’s worth of higher education, but I can’t pin something that doesn’t link back to a specific page. All too often, I’ll find a pin a like as I browse the Pinterest categories but I end up either not repinning it or only pinning it to my secret board because I can’t find a good source for the pin.
It really annoys me when a great pin leads back to something like a general tumblr or flickr account (instead of a specific page) and I can’t find the image/instructions for whatever it is. Or when a pin links back to an entire blog instead of a specific post.
In these cases, if I can find the original post or page, I’ll like the pin that led me to it but pin a new pin from the source.
When I pin from Etsy (which is eight years old!), I make it a point to mention the specific shop because I’ve noticed that the site Pinterest mentions is only etsy.com. (Maybe that’s changed? Things are always changing on Pinterest.)
I’ve today started just putting the site name (not the url) in brackets on my pins. It feels redundant and a bit uber-nerdy, but it’s what I’m going to do for now.
(Pinterest has an etiquette section, but it’s not as easy to find as it used to be and they’ve streamlined it. Regarding giving credit, they have the following statement: “Encourage artists to create great work by linking back to their pages, and leaving polite comments when you see pins that aren’t correctly credited.”)
I also don’t like when pins give a simple and seemingly-great bit of advice that is just inaccurate.
I recently came across a pin advocating for cleaning makeup brushes by soaking them in vinegar for twenty minutes. I clicked the link to check out the tip and found that it wasn’t at all what the original blog poster had suggested. (“How Often Do You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?” on Beauty Anywhere.) The vinegar tip was submitted as a comment on the blog post but it’s what got pinned. The blogger then had to repeatedly respond to readers who thought she was advocating the vinegar soaking method. (Annoying.)
I post a lot of pins from original sources because it’s easier for me to make sure I’m putting something okay out there. I do like to browse some of the Pinterest categories, but I’m much less likely to repin things because too often I’ve got to go back several steps to find something I’m comfortable linking to.
(There aren’t many categories I like to browse, but I do enjoy “Quotes,” “DIY & Crafts,” and “Illustrations & Posters.” I’d look at the books and food categories, but I find enough of that stuff either on my own or through the boards I follow specifically. I sometimes like to browse “Humor” but there can be a bit too much negativity for me there if I stick around too long. My favorite category to browse is “Education.”)
Overall, I might (just possibly) be overthinking this whole Pinterest thing. Probably, but it’s just who I am.
(I’ve read around about Pinterest etiquette, both on Pinterest and on other sites, and have seen pretty much the same advice all over. One thing, though, is that a lot of the articles I looked at talked about using Pinterest as a way to brand yourself (and now I’m thinking of cattle brands) and I don’t feel that’s what I’m doing. I feel kind of offended at the idea that we’re all marketing automatons.)
What does everyone else think? Are you this concerned about pinning or is it just me?