There's a lot of talk about Pinterest lately, and it's easy to see why -- this new site caters to the visual side of our brain, sharing information cleanly and efficient by way of colorful images. A lot of people are having trouble categorizing Pinterest -- is it a social network, like Facebook? A social bookmarking site like StumbleUpon? A microblogging platform, similar to Tumblr? Really, Pinterest is in a league all its own, very different from the other social sites on the internet.
Basically, the site works by readers "pinning" great photos from a blog post or website, which is then linked back to the original site that the image came from. Pinterest allows you to share the visual elements of what you're reading with your followers, who then have the option of "repinning," or linking it to their own pinboard and passing it on to their followers. People are sharing all sorts of stuff on Pinterest, from cheerful home decor to lush photos of must-see destinations.
Since Pinterest is a perfect place to share images, can you think of my favorite thing to pin? That's right: FOOD.
For those new to the site, Pinterest has a Food and Drink section where you can find all sorts of gorgeous food photos. If you see a photo that you like, click on it and the image will take you to the original page that it came from. I've found all sorts of wonderful recipes and cooking tutorials this way, because I noticed an image that showed something I was unfamiliar with, or was interested in learning about.
With its image-centric format, Pinterest is also a good place for you visually organize the links that you stumble across while surfing the internet. Create "pinboards" for every one of your interests; on my own personal Pinterest account, I have boards for Gorgeous Food, Kitchen Design, Personal Style, Home Decor, DIY Projects, Where to Go, and Photography/Art. I'm able to pin images to each of these boards, keeping each section of my profile neatly organized while remaining colorful and engaging.
For the visual people in the world, Pinterest is the most exciting social site to pop up in recent years. That new Washington Post burger recipe that you must try? Why not pin it, using the article's juicy photo and a few words to keep track of the link while sharing it with others? Be careful, though -- because it's so visual and easy to sift through, Pinterest can become a monumental time-suck. Millions of people spend hours every day clicking through the site, mesmerized by page after page of little square images. It's easy to lose track of time while browsing, just like any other social networking site!
Snag an Invite
Right now Pinterest is still invite-only, but you can visit this page to sign up for the waiting list. Once you sign up, go ahead and check out all of the tasty things I've been pinning by following my account. If you don't want to wait for an invite, go ahead and leave a comment here with your email address. I'll send an invite to the first handful of people who respond.
Foodies to Follow
To get you started, here are a few food-folk that you might want to follow: