Just what I needed…something else and new to try to get my head around but people that I hold a great deal of respect for have been raving about Pinterest.com. Then, I had read this article talking about how Pinterest would transform the web in 2012. It’s all about curation and there’s just some much to curate for research, presentations, and just plain use. I decided to try it out. I headed over to create an account.
“Request an Invite”. Sigh. Isn’t that always the way. You get excited about something and then find out that it’s in a limited beta. It’s no problem though, I can wait to get in so I filled out the request and sat back to wait for my invite. It actually took a couple of days but it arrived this afternoon and I was all over it. Answering the invitation was short and brief like it should be and I was in.
Upon approval, there were two ways to get connected; one by validating through an existing Facebook account (in a graphic image) and the other via Twitter account (a smaller link). I decided to go with the Twitter route as It’s easier to manage and, despite a couple of tries, I kept getting errors. So, it was on to Facebook where the connection was quick and seemless.
I liked the way that the first thing that you do is identify your interests. So, I choose a few and sat back as Pinterest created for me my first page of interests.
Whoah! The first page wasn’t quite what I was looking for. While there were some really interesting stories that it had dug out for me, there were some images that I didn’t think could possibly be tied to what I had chosen as topics. Then came the real challenge. (after looking over my shoulder to make sure an audience wasn’t watching…) How do I get rid of this content? Signing up for it was so easy. It was just a matter of selecting content from broad areas. It seems like one of the areas was just a little too broad for my tastes!
But, getting past that, the rest of the content was really interesting. It seems like serendipity at its finest. Since I had connected via Facebook, it seems to be pulling content from Facebook acquaintances plus random people. That aspect really intrigues me. From book reviews to recipes to stories to cartoons – the initial blush was overwhelming. And, as I’m trying to do some reading and looking, I’m getting messages that people are posting new content. And, there are people that I know that are following my pins now. I hope that they know that I’m struggling to get a grip on all this.
And, as I’m reading and trying to understand, more keeps coming in live as if information has a mind of its own. Quite clearly, I need to sit down and totally try and understand just how all of this works. And, as I sit there, more items are posted. This is truly like drinking at the fire hydrant.
So, I decided to step away from the stories a bit and look at who is doing the posting. I recognize many names like Andy Losik, Shannon Smith, Kim Caise, Leslie Fisher, … Thankfully, these are all people a great deal smarter than me. Maybe I’ll just hang out and watch what they’re doing in order to master this. It really is intimidating and so interesting at the same time. Literally within seconds of opening my account, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach was following me. I know that I’m on the right track if a sharp person like her is using the service.
I like the way that content can be organized by topic. I could see this working very well with some presentations that I give. For curation or sharing, absolutely. For organizing research content reading for a class, absolutely. Or, as a way for a group of students to organize search results? Maybe that original article was correct. Time will tell. Certainly the bookmark will be very handy when it comes to curating your own content.
For right now, I’ll be honest; I’m just hanging in there and trying to get a handle on what I’m seeing. Hopefully, those followers of me will give me some time to wrap my head around this.