The world is all abuzz about Pinterest these days. The newest social media darling burst onto the scene late last year among a flurry of excitement. For those of you who may not know, Pinterest is a platform for sharing images and sorting them onto digital pin boards for inspiration or self-expression. Users can pull images from almost any website for use on their boards… and there is the rub. Pinterest buzz has recently morphed into a heated debate about copyrights and image use. But, more on that later in the blog.
First, the good stuff. Pinterest is fun. Scratch that. Pinterest is REALLY fun. In a world overrun by words in news, blogs, tweets and texts Pinterest is a welcome respite. It’s refreshing to browse a purely visual site full of beautiful images. You will see so many things you like – things you want to try, things you want to buy and things you simply admire. Pinterest is full of positivity. The site has done an amazing job thus far of limiting commercial abuses and endemic internet porn to keep pinning enjoyable. It is easy to control your pin stream so you only see things that genuinely interest you.
Pinterest is an ideal community for creative people and the handmade movement. Many artists in every medium are active on the site. Creating boards is an amazing way to fuel your creative drive. Run a search for a theme you are pondering and you will quickly find visual inspiration that is pre-filtered in a way ordinary search engines cannot duplicate.
For small businesses and professional artists, Pinterest is a great opportunity. It offers a unique way to promote your work by pinning images from your website and having those images shared through social connections. It also offers search engine optimization (SEO) benefits because those pins act as little votes in SEO algorithms that will gradually improve the search rankings of your website over time.
So, now the bad stuff. Obviously, there are some risks as well. The biggest risk for artists is that their work will indeed spread across the internet but with no reference to the artist or link to their original website. Pinners who take images from aggregator sites like Artful Home or Etsy may not take the time to cite the artist in the pin title. Or, even if the first pinner does use a citation, subsequent re-pins may delete that information and spread the image without credit.
All of us as Pinterest users also need to make an effort to pin more responsibly. In the early months of the new website people were far too casual about posting and sharing images without even considering the sources. With the Pinterest debate heating up we all need to make more of an effort to make sure pinned images are linked to the original source’s website and/or credited in the pin title. I was equally guilty but I now try to only post and re-pin images with a clear origin. Whenever possible, I go back and update my old pins with more complete information.
You can follow our pins at www.Pinterest.com/HalsteadBeadInc . Now that you have my two cents worth. What do you think of Pinterest?