Favorite Online Tools: Pinterest

There’s a new sheriff in town! If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, consider this your wake-up call, because it’s very popular right now.

Pinterest is basically the love child of Delicious and Stumble Upon. It allows you to save web pages which are organized by your customized boards. You can discover new things by following others on Pinterest – either all of their pins or by board, or by simply exploring all of the recent pins by category. The best thing about interest is that it’s visual – each pin has a photo associated with it. So what you get is basically a photo gallery to scroll through, repinning the ones that you like to your boards. You can also pin any page on the web (but it does need to have an image).

I love the visual layout because I’m a very visual person. It’s easy to scroll through a page or board and pick out what I like. I love creating my own boards so I can organize topics however I want. I have over 30 boards, everything from recipes, crafts and organization to professional development and social media. I’ve found it really useful at work to pin an article that comes across Twitter so I can read and/or reference it later. When I was looking for some fun Valentine’s Day ideas for the kids’ classes I went to Pinterest and looked through the Holidays pins. Because they show you the most recently pinned items first, they tend to be timely, so there were many Valentine’s day items.

You can choose to share your pins on Facebook or Twitter, and can do this on a pin-by-pin basis, so it’s not “all or nothing.” I like this as well, because I tend to go pin-crazy for 10 minutes, then have no activity for a few days. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to annoy my Facebook friends and Twitter followers by filling their streams with all of my pins at once.

They also have a great iPad app that I simply love. It’s easy to jump on and discover new things while watching a show or just curled up on the couch for a few minutes.

Pinterest is still invitation-only, so if you’re not on but would like to be, add a comment below with your email address and I’ll send you an invite. I do want to add that Pinterest does make money on certain pins. That’s not a concern to me, but some people weren’t too pleased when that was discovered recently.

I’m currently using it mostly for personal use, with some professional articles and the such, but I’m exploring how to use this in the world of non-profits and education. If you have any tips, let me know!

Happy Pinning!

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