Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Welcome to my virtual pinboard

Pour une fois, ce billet sera uniquement en anglais, puisqu'il s'agit d'un site qui ne propose pas de version française. Si vous comprenez ce message, vous n'aurez aucun problème à utiliser le site :)

The last (although years old) online sensation is a new social pinboard called "Pinterest".  As usual, after coming across the name several times, my curiosity was roused and I wished to try it. A few days ago an online friend sent me an invitation, and here I am, so hooked I thought I had to tell you about it.

So what is Pinterest?  It would be best described as a virtual pinboard. When you go through a catalogue or magazine at home, there are stuff you might want to cut out and pin on a board or stick on your fridge door to keep for later. Pinterest lets you do that with stuff you come across online. Plus, you can also have a look at what's on your neighbour's board or fridge and steal his ideas.

You'll wanna answer: "I have a bookmark list / Delicious account for that!" The difference between Pinterest and classic bookmarks is, Pinterest focuses on pictures and displays your "pins" on a neat and attractive page. So basically, you can only pin images, that will be linked to their original webpage. As a result, it works best with anything visual: design items, food dishes, clothing, crafts, photographs, etc. And they will all be displayed on the same page, making it possible for you to find them, compare them or associate them with one look.

Imagine you're online, browsing on your favourite design shop website, looking for the perfect vase to decorate your favourite coffee table. You find one, then another; just pin them on your board with two clicks (thanks to a "pin it" add-on to your browser) and here they'll stay, ready for you to check them out later and compare them with other options you might come across. Or imagine you're looking for a great dress for a coming gala. You saw a few nice ones during Saturday afternoon's shopping, but wonder if you can still find better. Back home, you check online the catalogue of the brands you noticed in town, pin the dresses you noticed on Pinterest and they will be there for you to remember them and compare them with your next findings.

Another great feature is the social aspect of all this. Pinterest does not only display your pins, but also those of people you follow (and in order not to start with a blank page, you will be proposed to follow a few users according to your topics of interest). Then you'll be able, with one look, to see what the people you follow have pinned recently, and if you come across something interesting, you can like it or repin it to your own board. That allows for nice discoveries. 

The main page with the last pins by people I follow

Oh, and of course, you can classify your "pins" into different boards in order to keep them organized. I have a board about design items, another one for cat stuff (I'll have a new cat home in a few weeks), one with craft ideas and one for cooking recipes, among others. And they keep growing bigger and bigger.

My board with cooking recipes - yummy!

 The best way to understand it is to try it. Right now Pinterest is on invitation only, but since every current user has an unlimited amount of invitations to give out, it's pretty much open to everyone. Give me your email adress and I'll send you an invitation.

Hope you'll like it!

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