Yep, I'm talking about Pinterest again today. I've been busy introducing as many people as I can to this wonderful tool, and since some of you asked for newbie tips, I thought maybe I could share some more detail on how it actually works, and how to make it work for you instead of against you. This is just stuff that I picked up along the way, and that I found works for me, no doubt there are lots of other things I haven't learned yet!
First I recommend you sign in using your Facebook ID, (if you have one). This makes it easy to find and follow your Facebook friends, plus one less set of login info to remember!
Second, start by setting up the different boards you want to use. Pinterest already has some default boards when you sign up, but you can either delete them, or rename them to more customised names. I currently have 24 boards, which seems like a lot, but some of them are for very specific things like Kieran's Birthday planning and Christmas (I don't just go crazy over birthdays). I also have boards for Crafts and DIY, Kid Stuff, Food and Drink, and Crockpot Cooking. These are probably the boards I pin to the most.
Once your boards are set up, and you have found some friends to follow you can start pinning stuff! You can do this in two ways: 1. Repinning items from the people you follow 2. Pinning items from external websites.
1. Repinning within Pinterest
When you log in to Pinterest it automatically shows you the thumbnails of the most recent pins of the people you follow.
When you see something you want to save, hover your mouse over the thumbnail and click on repin. You also have the option to either comment on the image, or "Like" it.
When you click repin a window opens up on top of the same screen. You can still see the original page in the background
Use the drop down menu to select which board you want to pin the image to. Fill in a description (this is one of my pet peeves with Pinterest, you can't leave that field blank), then check the box if you want to automatically share the pin on Facebook. Sometimes this box is automatically checked, I'm not sure if it's because the person who you're pinning it from shared on Facebook. In anycase, if you really don't want to share it over there make sure the box is unchecked. (Ask me how I know this!)
Now click repin. Once it's done you get bounced back to the original page. I mentioned before that I didn't like that when I pin something, I don't get taken back to where I was before. This happens if you actually open the pin in a new screen before pinning it. I tend to open all my pins first for two reasons: to see them bigger and be sure it is indeed something I want to save, and to double check that the source link is correct. I quickly learned to open my pins in a separate tab in order to be able to keep scrolling through the thumbnail screen. Yes, this does mean that I wind up with a gazillion tabs open which I then need to go through to pin to my boards, but let me explain.
When I first started using Pinterest I would happily repin thumbnails willy nilly. When I would go back to try to cook the recipe, or make the craft project I found that the source link did not get me back to the exact blog post or part of the site with the instructions I needed. Sometimes it wasn't even a link to a recipe, just to a pretty photograph. That doesn't help me get dinner made people!
2. How to pin and link to the correct source.
The second way to pin images is to save them from external websites. There are two ways to do this.
The hard way
Ok, it's not really hard, it just involves more steps and takes more time. When you want to add an image you can choose Add a Pin from the drop down Add menu at the top of the Pinterest Screen. It opens up this window
You can add the URL of the site the image is on, and Pinterest will pull all the images in to a slide show on the left. You then scroll through the slide show, choose the image you want, fill in the other details and hit pin. You can also click on upload, to add an image from your hard drive.
The easy way
Did you see the message at the top of the Add screen?
You're browsing an awesome blog and you see the most brilliant image ever. You must pin it now! Your hand grabs the mouse and you move the arrow towards the pinmarklet. WAIT! STOP! First things first. If you are on the home page of the blog, or happily browsing through page 11 of the blog, you first need to click into the specific post that the image is in. Pinterest will link the image you pin to whatever URL is in the address bar. If you want to be sure to correctly link the image you have to have the permalink of the specific post in the address bar. On most blogs you can get to it by clicking on the title of the post. Some other blogs will have a link to the permalink in the foot of the blog post.
This also applies if you've done a search for something on a blog, or in Google or Yahoo search. Make sure that you are pinning from the actual post the image comes from. What happens if you don't? Well what is page 11 today, will be page 22 in a couple months, so when next you go to find the tutorial instructions, or the recipe, you will end up in an entirely different place on the blog. I can't tell you how much time I spend hunting down the right blog post to go with a recipe or craft that I really really really want to do. I want you to avoid this frustration by all means! Ok, vent over. I feel better already.
Now that you are in the right spot click on the pinmarklet and a screen will come up with all the images from the page.
The window will pop up and you can fill in the info as usual, then pin the image.
And there you go! Now that I am at the end of this long post I realise that a video might have been a better idea! I hope that this helps out the new Pinners some, and makes Pinterest a bit less of a time waster.
For the next installment in this series (wait, it's a series now?) I'll talk about things like adding boards, rearranging them and other little things within Pinterest itself.
Now all that's left to say is Happy Pinning!