Let's Talk About : Pinterest Manners

Are you guys on Pinterest? I've been resisting for a while now. I told myself after I signed up for Twitter - and then finally figured out what everyone was using the #-key all the time (#whathappenedtothespacebar?) - that I wouldn't sign up for another social website. Nope, not me. I'll just stay in the stone age. If I get lonely I'll reactivate my AOL instant messenger account.

But, social-media is a bit of a slippery slope and here I am! All signed up for Pinterest.

I'm a bit bewildered about the common courtesies. So, in effort not to step on any toes, I asked both a style blogger and a photographer to share their thoughts on Pinterest Manners.

"I just use Pinterest as a personal inspiration board to save things that I can draw inspiration from. I forget that other people can see my boards, as I look at it as something I just use for myself. It's different than a blog. I'm never going to do anything with the image that I pin, I just look through them to inspire my own work.

No two people are going to see the same pin exactly alike I assume, but I get so excited that I feel like I don't have time to slow down and comment when I repin anything. I repin anything and everything that I see that I like."
Cassy Berry, photographer

"I always link back to the original sources when I'm pinning my own pins straight from the internet, but I'm actually really bad about going back and sourcing everything when I'm pinning other people's pins.

I tried to do it for awhile, but it was so incredibly time consuming that I gave up. Sourcing everything kind of killed Pinterest for me, because the point is to be able to quickly save inspiration.   I always pin things directly. It helps to go to the direct source when pinning something. (for example: If I see someone pinned art from Nan Lawson on their blog, I'll click on the link to Nan Lawson and then pin the image directly from the artist.  That makes it a lot easier.)"
Lauren, stylist and blogger

 I think the luxury of carefree inspiration collection, that Cassy and Lauren mentioned, is because of Pinterest's design. One of the biggest advantages of Pinterest is that the images maintains a link to the original web address it was uploaded from (whether or not that was the original source is an infinite regress problem). That is new for a photo-resourcing website.

It's predecessors, like We Heart It provide no connection to the image's creator. Even Tumblr has an endless string of links to secondary sources, who recently recycled the image. It is so easy for the image's creator to get lost - and when that happens, a large part of the artistic value is also lost. So much more can be learned from a picture when it has context, and can be understood with in a body of work.

I'm interested to see how Pinterest evolves, and I hope it continues to pave the way for more carefree, and reliable, inspiration collecting.
Have you joined Pinterest? Do you have any tips, Ms. Manners?

[ (1 and 2) on film with my pentaxk1000, shooting for a project Cassy and I are working on about Portland People in Love.]


  1. You don't have to worry about sourcing things that are pinned already. If you click on it, you'll see the source already is tied to the original pin. If you're pinning something directly, then you should state the source, which happens automatically from most sites, anyway.

    I just do as Cassy mentions, and use it as my inspiration board. You can add "Pin It" to your browser, too, making it super easy to pin things you find online when you're shopping, or get the Pinterest app for your iPhone for when you're out and about. It's meant to be fun, so don't let it get to you! Just enjoy gathering all your fun inspirations and ideas into one place, so you can create, design, etc, with all your eye candy in front of you!

  2. shari : Thanks for your tips. The source being tied to the original pin is so helpful!

  3. thanks for asking for my input on this :). i feel honored that you'd think of me miss shorey. oh...and i was just looking through your flickr and your photos are so incredible. you are really talented lady! your photos make me feel happy. i might have to commission you sometime :).

  4. I love your part about Twitter. I was SO the same way. I was totally lost & didn't even understand what people were saying at first. It was bizarre. I have joined Pinterest though because it's a great way to see what people are interested in and a way for me to keep track of both my inspiration & their sources! I hate that about Tumblr too. I always find awesome images & I have no idea where they came from, so I forego writing about it.

    Have fun pinning!

  5. Lauren : Yes! Let's work on a project together. You can make everyone look fabulous, and I'll try not to over-expose the film (... or over-expose it jusssttt enough)

    Connie : I love that too - It's nice to have a place to store and share inspiration, with out having to dedicate an entire blog post.

  6. Great thoughts about Pinterest, Sam! I've asked myself a lot of the same questions. But, for me it is a place to store my creative inspiration and random things I like around the interwebs that don't really jive with my blog. I like a lot of fashion and design, but would never blog about it, so it's a great space for me to curate my tastes in those areas.

  7. Bethany : Right! It's a great extension for design bloggers, and a whole new avenue for other bloggers to share their personal style.

  8. i love pinterest for how easy it is to pin, share, and organise visual interests. and i LOVE that we can clearly indicate the source. i enjoy tumblr but really dislike how beautiful images are floating around without an owner.
    somehow pinterest has become really connected to my blogging world, in a way that tumblr never has.


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