Friday, March 2, 2012

Great Tools: Discover Pinterest!

No doubt, by now, you have heard of Pinterest; but if you haven't checked it out yet, you may not realize what a fantastic resource it can be!  Skeptical?  Concerned that it's just another vacuous time-sink? I understand, but give it a chance - after all, 10.4 million registered users can't be wrong! Check out our newbie guidelines below for the basic "whats," "whys," and "hows" of using Pinterest to help get you started.

The "What" and "Why" of joining Pinterest:

I know, I know, you're already on Facebook and Twitter, why join Pinterest?  What is it, anyway? Well, in a nutshell, Pinterest is a fantastic way to organize a variety of different parts of your life and share your inspirations with others in your social circle!  As described on its own site, Pinterest is "a virtual pinboard," but it is really so much more; you can backlink each photo you "pin" to its website of origin where more extensive information on the featured item may be found. What's more, you can include a brief comment on each picture you pin, as well as price where applicable!  The sky is the limit; you can create boards for everything from home decor to your favorite books - whatever your passion, Pinterest provides a way to connect with others who have the same interests!

The "Hows" of navigating Pinterest:

Some users report that they found navigating Pinterest can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming at first, but if you take it slowly and spend some time looking around, I think you'll find it fascinating and fairly intuitive. As with other social media sites, you begin by creating a profile.  Once you have done that, I would recommend that prior to establishing your own boards, you go to the "everything" feed.

The link to the "everything" feed (among others),  can be found at the top center of the page beneath the logo (note:  this cannot be done from your home page, you must click the Pinterest logo at the top center of the screen to access the link lists below).  Once in the "everything" feed you will be able to see what others have done; there are literally thousands upon thousands of boards that can inspire you and get your creative juices flowing!

Once you get a feel for what you want to create - get pinning!  Access your Pinterest home page by simply clicking on your icon in the upper right-hand corner.  Your page will feature your boards as well as a feed on the left which contains all of the recent pins of the people you follow. It is important to note that everyone who follows you will see everything that you pin in their feed.  To pin an item or create a new board, simply click on "Add +" (which may be found to the left of your icon in the upper right) and a pop-up menu will appear to walk you through the process. 

A few other neat features to consider when you're ready to get started:
  • you can "like," "repin," or "comment on" other people's pinned items by hovering over the image with your pointer and a menu will appear at the top of the image offering these three options.
  • there is a "gift" feed (access it at the same location as the "everything" feed link) where items that have been pinned along with a price in the comment section will appear; a great way to feature lesser-known, regional, or local vendors that you love!
As with all social media, practice makes perfect, so give it time, be patient, and have fun inventing your Pinterest persona! I hope these tips have helped and that once you are on and running you will stop by and check out some of the pinned items on Travel-Tot's Pinterest Boards, and don't miss us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

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