Pinterest is an online pinboard but growing more rapidly as a social networking platform, particularly through collaborative group boards. Pinterest, formed in early 2009, is evolving much like other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but in a different way.
What makes Pinterest so different?
People we already know, by virtue of the site's Facebook or Twitter sign-in process, will become linked when you join Pinterest. But, common interests on Pinterest are bringing people together we haven't even met or imagined.
The foundation of Pinterest is a dynamic linking technology often referred as the "interest graph" - a network of sharing and finding links that grow new connections through linked interests. For trends how users are taking advantage of Pinterest's technology, read on.
Lili Randazzo, a photographer friend, decided to link her passions and products using Pinterest, and hopefully generate an online group with similar interests. She says, "I am inspired by and love to inspire others." Using photography and digital scrapboarding as her preferred themes, Lili created a board called Paths.
Forming an online group may require evaluating whether the social networking site is right for your endeavor. But experienced Pinterest users are apt to demonstrate helpful techniques to unite shared interests.
For example, use of explicit titles and captions with your boards and pinned images will strengthen the theme. Also, descriptive language will create compelling interest and give the Pinterest search engine more "interests" to work with.
So Lili Randazzo describes her board, Paths this way, "I am attracted to paths. I have always enjoyed navigating the woods as a child and love discovering nature along the way."
How can Pinterest group boards be more collaborative?
For better collaboration and engagement, people forming an online group can build related images along a common theme, as described in the Paths example. But the board owner has to enable contributors, a function only the board owner can do. The prerequisite is that you follow one or more boards of others you'd like to add as contributors before adding them. Then, edit the particular board and add contributors.
Through tagging, the @username mention in captions or pinning can also encourage those mentioned to share images on the group board.
Now, let's suppose colleagues would like to build a portfolio of nature photography. You may upload images or link images from your website or blog. Pinterest offers both the bookmarklet to add to the toolbar to clip images from other sources and buttons to add on your website. Pinned images from your website or blog will validate your work and build trust among contributors.
How can you get started?
Join Pinterest. Join and start pinning images on Pinterest. Don't be discouraged by the massive number of users and images. Allow yourself to experiment with features. Your presence on Pinterest will attract others.
Search for Common Interests. Begin searching your distinct interests. Keywords can help drive the focus of your search. You may specify to view results by pins, boards, or people. Pinterest will enable similar interests to surface, but don't be discouraged by duplication of pins. It seems a connected way to experiment with.
Build a Group Board. On the toolbar, select Add and then Create a Board. Teams or individuals looking to build an online group can use a group board to showcase a collaborative group's work. An important tip to remember is that your original images will link back to your website.
Images you may have clipped have copyright protection. Pinterest strongly enforces intellectual and creative property rights according to statements on its' website. Each image is automatically linked back to the source and visible below the caption of each pinned image.
Now because you're a Pinterest user, you may also be asked to contribute to a group board. Group contributors are called collaborators. From these other invitations, you can go on to establish more meaningful collaborative relationships.