When you find something you like on the web, you have a lot of options for deciding how you want to share it. You can tweet the link on Twitter, like it on Facebook, post it on LinkedIn, blog about it on Tumblr, stumble it on StumbleUpon or submit it to Reddit.
Using Pinterest is another option that you have for sharing your stuff. This new social network allows you to share your favorite things in a very unique way, by “pinning” it on your very own online pinboard.
Pinterest is a social networking website that simply acts as virtual bulletin board. When you find something online—an image, a blog post, an inspirational quote or a photo—you can pin it to your pinboard for everyone to see.
Unlike physical pinboards you hang in your office or at home, your Pinterest pinboard can be used to share content with other Pinterest users who are following you. Sharing with others is a great way to discover and recycle new content by repinning it to your own pinboard.
How Pinboards Work:
Pinterest makes it pretty easy for you to pin stuff to your own board. The general idea is that you should be able to click on a bookmarklet in your browser when you want to pin up something new. You are then asked to categorize and describe the image to finish pinning it.
One of the coolest things about Pinterest is that you don't have to have just one pinboard. You can create several pinboards and organize them by category.
Name your pinboard whatever you like. Post animal photos to your animal board, great quotes to your quote board or fun holiday ideas for a certain holiday that's coming up.
Pinterest is a lot like Tumblr, given that it is a microblogging platform meant for multimedia images.
When it comes to interacting with other Pinterest users, here are some of the things you can do:
Follow: Click the “Follow” button on any user’s profile to start following their pinboards. Or you can also click on a user’s profile and choose to follow specific pinboards instead, rather than all of a user’s pinboards. When you first sign-up either through Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest will automatically find users on Pinterest in your network and will automatically follow their accounts for you.
Like: When you click to view a board, you should see a small heart symbol when you roll your mouse over a piece of content that has been pinned to the board. Click this to “like” it. A list of all your likes will show up on your Pinterest profile.
Repin: If you discovered something you really like on someone else’s board, you can stick it on your own board too by pressing the “repin” button on any post.
Comment: If liking and repining isn’t enough, you can actually comment on any post on somebody’s pinboard.
Categorize: At the top of every board page, you should see a category dropdown menu, which helps you categorize your board in the Pinterest pinboard library. This makes it easier for other users to find your pinboards when they search boards by category of interest and can help give you a boost in growing your Pinterest network.
How to Use Pinboards on Pinterest:
You can use Pinterest anyway you like, but some people have come up with some real creative ways to track and organize the things they love.
Plan a wedding, event or holiday: Use a pinboard to keep track of cool products or decorative ideas for a special event that’s coming up.
Create a photo album: Post your own photos of your friends, family, pets or just you on one of your boards.
Make a recipe board: Find recipes online and post them to one of your boards so you never have to wonder what you should make for dinner.
Compile a Christmas or birthday wishlist: Got a list of things you want? Let your friends and family know by setting aside a board for all the cool gift ideas they can browse through.
The Pinterest iPhone App
Browsing and sharing images on Pinterest has been optimized for iPhone users who decide to download the free app. If you have a different mobile device, such as an Android smartphone, you can also use their mobile web version at m.pinterest.com.
The Pinterest iPhone app is very similar to the Tumblr app, in which users can view, like, repin and explore content posted on Pinterest directly from a mobile device. The iPhone app also allows you to snap a photo directly through the app for easy posting.
How to Sign Up
At the time of writing this review, the site is not entirely open to the public and you need to request an invite to join Pinterest. All you have to do is visit Pinterest.com and press “Request an Invite,” where you will be taken to a form where you can enter your name and email address.
You should receive an invitation to join within a day or two. Once you click the link in the email, you will be asked to connect either your Twitter or Facebook account. Pinterest will then lead you through the process of connecting with people, following people of interest to you and creating your first pinboard.
If you already love social media and microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr, you're probably going to really love Pinterest too.