Following the first post in my new series about how the internet works, The Probably Complete Guide to Not Fucking Up Stumble Upon, I received tons of emails asking me to explain other social media conundrums, so I decided to take this show on the road, and by road, I mean sitting in my office in my underwear on a Friday night watching House Hunters International, and offer up my take on another social media fad de jour, Pinterest.
First, I am going to phonetically break this word down for you, because I was at a conference recently where I heard a woman repeatedly say the word Pinterest incorrectly, no less than 500 times. Had it been a drinking game, I would have been eating cheeseburgers of a dirty bathroom floor with the Hoff.
Honestly, if you don’t know how to pronounce words, you aren’t allowed to hold the microphone.
Pinterest, pronounced pin-trist. Like the word interest, but with a P.
Pinterest has been around for about four seconds, but unlike Google +, people who use it don’t want to immediately stab themselves in the face.
So, it already has that going for it.
The basic premise is that it’s a site that allows you bookmark, or pin, all the rad things you find on the internet into collections, or pin boards.
Remember when you were a teenager, and you used to tear Guess Ads and Tori Spelling pictures out of magazine and tape them all over your walls? It’s like that. With less Boys II Men.
Think of them as online inspiration boards.
See a cool recipe? Pin it to your food board.
Come across 2011′s answer to the Rachel haircut? Pin it to your style board.
Find a probably photoshopped picture of Ryan Reynolds naked but get off on it anyways? Send it to me.
It’s a genius idea, really.
Pinterest, like most platforms today, has a social aspect to it. You are able to follow the boards of people how have awesome taste, and people can in turn follow yours. The easiest way to start following people is by signing in and syncing it with your Facebook account (or email, or twitter, or like the entire global census), giving you immediate access to all your friends boards.
But don’t worry, unlike FourSquare, Farmville, and those spam links about spiders living under your skin, who’s been looking at your profile, or those teeny tiny pictures of something that maybe kinda resembles a clitoris, syncing Pinterest with Facebook will not automatically post things to your wall making you look like a paranoid pervert.
So, how does this all work?
Well, first things first, because Pinterest launched in beta, it’s available by invite only, which, yes, I know, I still have PTSD from Google Wave also, but trust me it’s worth it. Plus, registered users have unlimited invites, so scoring one is a cinch!
Once you get your invite in your inbox, you’ll need to create an account, and like I said, the best way to do this is by signing in via your Facebook account.
Next up is creating your boards. They give you some general ideas to start off with, but this is really your chance to be creative, so feel free to nix the start up boards and be creative!
Once you have all the boards you need (and don’t worry, you can add more at anytime), click create.
Ok, this is all great, but how the hell do I actually pin stuff, this sounds like black magic?
The next step walks you through installing the Pin button on your bookmarks toolbar, which yes, I had no idea what that was either, but in Brittany terms…
Once you do that you can start pinning, and there are two ways to do that. The first, is pinning directly from the Pinterest website. By clicking the word Pinterest in the upper left hand corner, you are taken to a page with the most recent pins from all the people you follow. See something you like? Add it to one of your boards by re-pinning it. Simply scroll over the picture, click Repin, select which of your boards to pin it to from the drop down menu, change up the description if you like, and click Pin.
One of the best features of Pinterest is that it saves the originating link of an item. So if you see a dress you want to buy, or a recipe you want to try, by clicking the picture, you can find the website the item was originally pinned from.
The second way to add items to Pinterest, is by doing so while you are surfing the web. When you come across something you love and want to save, simply click the Pin It button on your bookmarks tool bar, select the image you want to pin, and then, like above, select the board you want the item added to, write a description, and pin it!
Tip: All of your Pins and Boards are public. Sooo….yeah.
Another tip: Sexually Ambiguous Internet Etiquette ostrich says…
Pinterest is crazy addictive and very easy to navigate. I see plenty of the dumb asses I went to high school with on there pinning images of Kid Rock quotes and Juggalo tattoos, so I am fairly confident my pug could figure this shit out if he wasn’t so busy playing Angry Birds Rio, and that means you can too.
So hop on, explore a little bit, pin some stuff, and before you know it, you’ll look up and it’s dark outside and you forgot to pick your kid up from soccer 7 hours ago.
Welcome to Pinterest.
Got tips? Share them. Got questions? Ask them. Wanna follow me on Pinterest? Click here.
Still need an invite? Leave your email in the comments.