Friday, October 12, 2012

Why I love Pinterest

When Pinterest first started I resisted joining.  I was an early Facebook adopter and have since become quite addicted.  I was afraid of a similar time suck from Pinterest.  Friends joined, offered me invites (back when that was still necessary) and I declined.  Finally one day curiosity got the better of me, and I requested an invite from a blogger I followed at the time.  At this point I never admit to my friends I'm on Pinterest.  I use my blogging name and keep it separate.

The first time I went on, I repinned a few things checked out my friends pins (but didn't follow anyone) and followed a few bloggers.  Over time I started using the bookmarklet and actually find that I use that more than repinning.

What it comes down to is that I know myself and my talents and limitations.  There are some beautiful things and delicious recipes on Pinterest that I will never pin because I will never actually attempt them.  It's like Gourmet magazine.  I am intimidated by it, have never bought a copy and would never attempt a recipe from it.  It just seems beyond my abilities and I'm ok with that, because I know there are enough things I am capable of that I don't need to reach for that level.  That's not laziness, that's just knowing myself. 

I like the simple stuff.  I pin recipes from magazines and websites I like, but I don't follow the actual publication.  I don't want to be inundated with ideas, but if I see a recipe that sounds good in my Better Homes and Gardens magazine, instead of ripping it out, I'll find it online and pin it for later.  I also am a little annoyed that corporations are trying to get in on all the social media.  I understand why they do it, they want to make money, but supposedly this was started by some computer geek whose not very techsavvy grandmother wanted to be able to share recipes and knitting patterns with her friends - and don't blame me if that's wrong, I didn't factcheck it, just heard it somewhere and it makes sense.  

When it comes to crafts I stick to easy things I can do with my kids (not for my kids).  If you check out my pins you'll see what I mean.  If I see a cute picture, I'll check out the tutorial.  If I only need to buy one easy inexpensive item to do it, I'll pin it.  If there's a long list of tools I need, forget it.

I have two separate boards for recipes.  One for recipes I want to try and one for recipes that I tried that worked.  When I try something new, I view the recipe on my iPad as I cook.  If it was successful, it gets repinned as a recipe that works and I print it out.  If it didn't work, I delete it. 

The other thing that Pinterest has a ton of is organizing tips.  When I first started reading blogs I found a lot of homemaking sites.  Some had helpful tips once in a while, some made me feel overwhelmed, and some made me feel like a failure.  I no longer follow the blogs but I have pinned a few of the things that I liked and maybe follow that pinner so I can quickly weed through their lastest posts.  As useful as I found one series a blogger did on the multitude of uses of vinegar (and I mean it, I use a bunch of the "recipes" now), it wasn't the type of stuff I wanted to read everyday. 

So to sum up, my Pinterest tips are
1. Follow selectively.  You don't need to follow your friends, if they tried a great new recipe or made a cool new craft they'll probably tell you about it.
2.  If you don't want to follow a blogger constantly but don't want to lose sight of them completely, follow them on Pinterest.  You'll get the highlights and can always check their blog for more stuff if you want. 
3.  Install the bookmarklet on all devices.  Like I said, I get emails from Real Simple and BHG with recipes, if I find one I like I pin it.
4.  Purge your pins on a regular basis. I love that Pinterest tells you when you originally pinned something.  I recently deleted a bunch that I had pinned 8 months ago.  If I haven't it done it by now it's not happening, away you go.  
5.  Have at least one board of things that make you smile.  For me it's cute pictures of animals, pictures of places I have been and have fond memories of, and pictures of places I want to go someday.  Sometimes you just need to go to your happy place, and visuals that I have pinned help me get there. 

And in case you're curious, here are my pins

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I love all your comments, but admittedly have been a slacker about replying to all your kind words. I've recently received a bit of spam on my posts so will now be moderating any comments - and not allowing anonymous commenting. I hope that will help me stay on top of replies.