Pique Your Pinterest

There's a new way for women to connect on the Internet. Pinterest.com, a virtual pinboard, lets you organize and share all the cool, funky, inspirational, or beautiful things you find on the Web. Launched in March, 2010, Pinterest already has more than 11 million users logging in to create their personal pinboards to plan weddings, decorate their homes, organize their favorite craft projects, post their favorite recipes, and just plain pin things (photos, ideas, etc.) that they want to save while browsing the Internet. Women of all ages are getting into pinning. "Pinterest is the hot, new thing! There are so many fun and creative ideas you can do. Everyone is talking about it," said Richia Wedzik of Beaufort.

One of the really fun aspects about the site is that members can browse pinboards created by others, as a way to discover new things and get inspiration from others who share their interests. Remember your childhood bulletin board hanging in your bedroom that was filled with pictures of puppies, kittens, teen idols, peace signs, and such? That's what Pinterest.com is-a Website designed for you to have place to "hang" your bulletin board and look at other's bulletin boards, except it's on the computer and it's very neat and organized.

You can change it up daily by adding or removing items with a simple click. Imagine you're looking at your girlfriend's bulletin board.you see something on it that you love and want it on your bulletin board, too. At Pinterest, all you have to do is click on what you like on someone else's board and repin it to your board. That way you get it too!

If you're ready to sign onto Pinterest.com, the best way is to find someone you know who is already a member and ask them to invite you. However, if you request an invite directly from Pinterest, chances are you'll be wait-listed. There is no fee to join.

Once you're a member, you can start searching for your friends who are also members. You can also start following them and they can follow you. However, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world not based on who they know, but on what interests, styles, and tastes they may have in common. So the premise is really to make new friends, and keep the old, all based on liking the same stuff. Jen Bryant, a Beaufort County schoolteacher has used the site for inspiration in her profession. "As a teacher, Pinterest has opened up a whole new arena of sharing ideas and activities with teachers across the country.  So often I want to find something creative and hands-on for the students to do, and with the introduction to Pinterest, I am able to search for the topic I am teaching and find activities that have been successful for other teachers, and in turn make them successful for my students."

Overall, Pinterest is a great idea. It adds a practical dimension to social media by giving us a place to visually store our Internet finds and an easy way to link back to the original site if we forgot where we found it or need more information. It makes the bookmark almost obsolete. Best of all, it's stimulating, educational, and can steer your stale Internet routines to a whole new, fascinating direction. So, if your Pinterest has been piqued, go ahead and start pinning.


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