Monday, February 20, 2012

How to be a Polite Pinner - Dos and Don'ts for Pinterest

This post is a bit different to my normal "Life in the UK" type posts. This is a more general one for everyone on the Internet. At least, everyone on Pinterest. 

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you probably will soon. It's a cool website that works as a way of visually bookmarking websites. I tend to use it for craft projects, things to do with my kids, recipes I might like to try and ideas for furnishing and organising my home. There are some other things I use it for as well, but those are the main ones for me. You can pin whatever you like, but there are some dos and don'ts that if you follow, will make everyone's experience on Pinterest better. 

So let me present to you my list of dos and don'ts.

Don'ts for Pinterest:

1. Don't pin huge long pictures. Or a series of pictures. If there's a strip with 28 photos in a column showing me something, I'm not going to pin it simply on principle. It takes up too much screen space when I'm looking through my pins and I'm bored of it by the third picture. Pin one photo and then let me click through to the rest.

2. Don't pin the first page of a website if you meant to pin a specific post. If someone has a great recipe for kumquat jam, pin the specific post, not the home page! Even if you see the recipe on the home page. Because as time goes by, the kumquat jam will move off of the home page and then I'll have to go scrolling and searching to see where the recipe came from. I might give up before I find it. If I do find it, I'll pin it properly and not repin from you and you won't get that little jolt of happiness that someone thought your pin was cool enough to repin. Because it wasn't; it was a pain in the butt to find that recipe.

3. Don't pin something from Google Images. Click through and pin from the website where the image is. Give people some credit for their work by at least linking to their website. Having said this, don't pin from Tumblr either. I'm willing to be corrected on this, but I've never seen a Tumblr pin that linked to the original source of the image. 

Now I'll stop nagging and give you some dos.

Dos for Pinterest:

1. Do pin the original source. Meaning if someone had a link party and has a link and a picture of the cool monkey mountain mobile you can make with twigs, click through their link and get to the original source. When I want to make my own monkey mountain mobile, I want to see the directions straight away, I don't want to have to wade through someone else raving about the mobile to find the link to how to make it. Nor is it very nice for the original monkey mountain mobile maker to not get the direct traffic. Give credit where credit is due. 

2. Do pin whatever you like. Within reason. Pinterest's own terms of service tell you specifically what's allowed and not allowed, but in general, nothing pornographic and nothing hateful. But if you have a huge collection of seagull websites and links you want us to know about, go for it. 

3. Do describe your pin. This helps people who are searching for certain pins. If you only put "." as your description of that fantastic argyle snood, nobody looking for snoods will find it. You might think the picture speaks for itself and is worth a thousand words, but a quick description will get more repins. 

4. Do try and check the pins you are repinning. Click through and check if it's original source. If it isn't, do a new pin from the source.

5. Do feel free to pin this post and share it with others. Also feel free to add your comments if you think I'm wrong or missed anything.