Should I start using Pinterest?
December 7, 2012 8 Comments
I am seeking the opinions of my readers! Please comment!
Over the course of this year, I’ve browsed other people’s Pinterest boards a number of times, and I’ve seen a small but increasing amount of visitors to my site coming in through links on Pinterest. I read more about Pinterest in my college alumni magazine (an alumnus was involved in designing it) and thought it might be something I’d like to use.
After all, I’m constantly collecting links to assorted things that interest me that I want to share with everybody. I post these links on an old-fashioned links page, where I can write as much text as I like to describe and comment on the things I’m linking to. It works for me–I look up things there whenever I feel like reading them again–and it gets a few readers every time I update it, but in general I think Web users have moved on to other methods of browsing, and Pinterest seems to be quite popular.
So, one day last month, I devoted a lunch hour to setting up a Pinterest account.
I was instantly annoyed.
As best I could tell, the set-up process requires you to “follow” 5 other boards before you can start your own board–and you must choose those boards from a limited set, grouped into categories that mostly don’t interest me; I couldn’t find any way to search for a particular board or (if I found boards from some other direction, in a separate browser window) enter particular boards to follow. I couldn’t find anything I actually liked much, so I was forced to follow 5 boards that seemed worth a brief glance, just to get this step over with. I will now have to un-follow these boards, I assume. (I hope that’s allowed. I didn’t look into it yet.)
Then I found that the above step resulted in my homepage–my page, which I thought would be blank until I filled it with stuff I chose to pin–being cluttered with a huge number of mostly uninteresting items. It felt like I had purchased a new bulletin board and taken it out of the packaging only to find that it was already completely covered with a bunch of junk! (My perception that this means my brand-new bulletin board is already full of holes is, of course, very old-fashioned and incorrect, but it made me sad nonetheless.)
Next I had to start a new board. Apparently I’m not allowed to have just “my board” and pin all my stuff on there. I was required to give it a name. Okay. But then I was forced to choose an image for my board from another board, from among images somehow connected to words used in the title of my board. How does that make any sense???
Finally I got to pin some things. That part was fun, until my fifth pin wouldn’t stick into the pinboard for some reason. Maybe my little piece of virtual cork has one of those weird hard bits in it. Anyway, I was out of lunchtime, so I gave up for that day.
So far, I’ve been unable to convince myself to work on it any more. Instead I updated my links page with the links I’d been saving for Pinterest. Meh.
My questions are:
- Is Pinterest really so cool to use (as a user pinning things on one’s own board) that I should put the time and effort into figuring out how to do it? If so, what advice do you have for doing this, and/or what resources do you recommend?
- As an Earthling’s Handbook reader, would you find an Earthling’s Handbook pinboard to be a valuable accessory to the Handbook?
- Am I totally stupid and clueless, or is it in fact difficult to set up a Pinterest account in a quick and non-ridiculous way? Do I actually have a completely wrong idea about how one is supposed to use Pinterest?