By Rene Aguilar

A relatively new social media website, “Pinterest” is making it’s presence known, it has not received much publicity since it’s launching but it is creating a lot of buzz and growing at a tremendous rate.  Personally I’m a visual learner, deriving knowledge and inspiration by looking.  This is why I find this website so appealing not to mention practical.

Signing up with Pinterest is by invitation, you can request an invitation from them directly, receive an invitation from someone already registered, connect through Facebook or Twitter.  Pinterest let’s you set up a personal profile which can be edited at anytime.

Basically it’s a virtual pin board, where you can easily pin any image or video from the web by simply clicking on the bookmarklet “Pin it” which you install easily in the bookmarks bar.  You will be asked to categorize and describe the images that you pin.  Pin boards you create can be given any name and categorized under different categories to facilitate searching, click the “Add” button” to create one,  you can also rearrange them in any order you want.

If you are reluctant to join or tentative about managing yet another social media site, don’t be.  Pinterest is fast and easy.

This is definitely a fantastic way to collect, share, acquire inspiration and knowledge from others with similar interests and tastes. Pintrest gives you the choice to link  your pins to Facebook and Twitter. This great feature makes it possible to post without going to their individual sites, offering you the ability to reach a much wider audience.  It also credits and links back to the original pinner and website of every thing that is pinned or repinned.

Clicking the “About” button will give you all types of useful information regarding the site.

Pinterest has allowed me to eliminate the need to keep file-cabinets filled with folders containing cuttings of images reserved for reference or future projects.  It has also eradicated the time consuming task of searching for a specific image since searching on Pinterest is quick and efficient.

By choosing to follow other pinners you will be able to see when they pin something and you can choose to follow individual boards or all their boards.  You can also un-follow someone without their knowledge.  By the same token you will be notified via e-mail whenever someone repins, likes, or comments one of your posts. You’ll also be notified if they are following you and gives you the choice to follow them back.

Repinning can be accomplished by hovering-over a pinned image with the mouse, a drop-down menu will appear and choosing “Repin”.  Choosing “Like” will notify the person you liked their pin without pining it to any of your boards.  If you choose “Comment” you can enter your own text in the box that pops up or opt to keep the same description.

It’s a good idea to embed the Pinterest (logo) hyperlink to your website, e-newsletter, blog or e-zine to facilitate linking your images back to Pinterest.  To do this, just follow the easy URL instructions which walks you through, step by step.

I forgot to mention that you can upload any photo to your portrait image and change it at anytime.  If you click on your portrait image, you can choose to “Find Friends” or “Invite Friends”. “Boards” show you every board you’ve created. “Pins” every pin you have pinned. “Likes” every pin you’ve liked. “Settings” let’s you edit your personal profile and choosing “Logout” simply logs you out of the site.

Pinterest is intuitive and very user friendly.  Packed with eye candy, full of beautiful and amazing images.   It’s a lot of fun and a great way to share and collaborate with others of similar interests.  I use it regularly to pin images that I like, inspire or interest me. I really enjoy browsing the site and discovering varied images ranging from jewelry to incredible micro shots.  Furthermore when an image really interests me , I can conduct further research by going to the original source.

Pinterest’ potential as another marketing tool is quite appealing, images of your Metal Clay creations can be pinned (posted) to reach a mass audience, establish your brand presence on the web and link back to your website.

If you are interested in selling your work, just add the $ symbol and a price amount in the description of your pin and Pinterest will automatically add a price banner across your image, pin it under “Gifts”, separated by price points.  This is in addition to whatever board you categorize the pin in.

If the image that you want to pin is not on any website but in your computer, you can still pin it.  Just go to the menu bar and click the “Add” button, a pop up window will appear, click “Upload”, choose a file to upload, choose the board you want to categorize the pin in and enter a description.

WARNING:  Pinterest can be addictive!  Specially at the beginning, time yourselves, exercise discipline and just walk away from the computer.  Without restrain it can be a real time drain but at some point I do hope to connect with you on Pinterest.