There are often multiple ways of doing things but what we’re usually looking for is the most productive and efficient way. I believe Pinterest is the most productive and efficient way to organize images from the web to create virtual mood boards. What I use to store in my internet favorites and in folders on my hard drive, I can now just “pin” to one of my pin boards for easy categorization and at-a-glance inspiration.
According to the Pinterest website:
Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and “follow” collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.
Pinterest has been called the best social media site since Facebook or Twitter. Still in it’s infancy, the founders are constantly making enhancements based on feedback from users. Let me show you how it works so you can judge the site for yourself.
First, since it is still in beta, you have to either be invited by someone who is already a member or you can request access via the site www.Pinterest.com. Being invited by a member gets you access quicker than requesting an invite via the website. However, you don’t have to be a memeber to view the images on the site.
As you can see in the top left corner of the image above, you can narrow the images to view by selecting any of a number of categories such as gifts, food, photography, weddings & events, etc. You can also search for specific images by typing in exactly what you are looking for in the search field. Say, for example, you are going to the Kentucky Derby and would like to see photos of other derby hats for ideas and inspiration. Type “derby hats” in the search field to produce a page full of images from which to choose.
You can start browsing for images that spark your imagination or strike your fancy. Once you’ve been granted access, you can “re-pin” that image to any one of your pin boards.
Images don’t have to only come from the Pinterest site. They can also come from anywhere on the web or from your hard drive. To do this you’ll need to drag the “Pin-It” bookmarklet to your Bookmark tool bar. To do this, select “Add” from the top right corner of the Pinterest home page and then select “add pin”. Another way is to directly upload the image from the URL.
Once you are ready to pin or re-pin, you can use one of the common categories created by Pinterest such as fashion, food, for the home, books worth reading, etc . Or you can create your own categories. For example, I have categories labeled kid crafts, gift ideas, quotes, boy bedrooms (for inspiration for my son’s room), and several others. Below is what my pin boards look like, by category:
So, say you find the image below on Pinterest and and decide you want to re-pin it to your pin-board.
Click on the image to open it in a seperate window. Next, click “Re-pin”. The standard categories will appear in the categories drop-down menu or you can type in a new category in the “Create new category” field. You can also choose to publish the image to facebook if you would like to share it with your friends.
In addition, you can add a description or a comment in the description field. If you want to send it to a specific person, use the @mention in the description (same as twitter). By adding a $ symbol and the price, your image can be filtered under the “gift” heading by price. You may also post a question in the description field which will post your image and question on the “Discussion” board and allow others an opportunity to answer your question or provide their opinion.
With pinterest, gone are the days of saving 100’s of inspirational ideas to my favorites and then forgetting what they were named. Another great feature of Pinterest is that it saves the URL of the image so that you don’t forget the source of the picture and can properly credit the image source.
In addition, you can follow people on Pinterest the same as following someone on Twitter such as a favorite blogger, designer, foodie, photographer, etc. This allows you to see what images inspire them.
I can see this being used in so many ways: gift wish lists, wedding inspiration boards for new brides, food ideas for dinner parties, do-it-yourself craft ideas, image ideas for photographers…and on, and on.
As a beta member, I am able to refer a certain number of accounts for membership. If you are interested in a Pinterest account, let me know via email (so that I have your email address) and I will submit your information to Pinterest. You can also request an invitation from the main site but you’ll be approved more quickly if you are referred by a current member.
Thanks and Happy Pinning!