lifestyle

Pinterest ... in real life. Plus, a Pinterest cheat sheet.

Do you ever feel left out? That the whole world is in on something so cutting edge you’re the only one whose fingertips aren’t bleeding?

It’s time you got to know Pinterest. You’ve heard about it, seen the cute curly ‘P’ on all your favourite websites. Maybe you’ve been asked by somebody you thought you knew if you like their latest pin?

Obviously Mamamia is all over Pinterest (we do love a social network site). To take a look at our board  just click here. Don’t forget to sign up to follow our pins while you are there.

But if you still aren’t sure what all these “pins” are about we’ve asked Pinterest veteran (ie has been on it for more than a month) Nicole McLachlan to answer a couple of questions. But before we dive in, check out this video ‘Pinsanity’. This is what happens when Pinterest crosses over to real life:

Why do I need Pinterest in my life?

Pinterest is like the day-spa of social media. No pressure.

Facebook can be exhausting because there’s a nagging fear you’ve missed something? And with Twitter – whether you’re a ‘lurker’ or an active tweeter – it requires you to engagein a speedy, concise way. Pinterest is different – it’s all about prettiness, loveliness and going into a dreamlike trance as you wander through screens of style, humour inspiration and innovation. Also some weird stuff. If you want to engage with other ‘pinners’, you can, or you can ignore them. And they won’t care! How’s that for the polar opposite of Facebook?

How do I use it?

You use Pinterest to set up bulletin boards online. You know all those gorgeous ‘mood boards’ and stylish pinboards you see in home decoration magazines, but that you can never achieve because your own board is clogged up with pizza vouchers and overdue school permission slips?  Right. Well, Pinterest is your way of creating bulletin boards that are stylish and useful.

You can set up boards according to any category you like.  For example, I have boards called ‘Books I Want to Read’ (if I read a review that looks good, I’ll pin a picture of the book to that board), ‘Presents’ (If I see something that I love, but can’t justify buying myself, I’ll pin it here so when someone says ‘What would you like for your birthday?’ I can answer them).  I also have a board called ‘Funny’, which has stuff like this:

Pinterest is also awesome for projects, like weddings, having a baby (ok, that’s not so much a ‘project’) or in my case, redoing my home office.  I have a board called ‘Dream Offices’, which has pics of impossibly stylish workspaces from which I might take an idea and give it a red-hot go in my own workspace.

The beauty of the system is if you’re looking for ideas, inspiration, or you’re just nosy, you can search for other boards in the same or similar category, and ‘repin’ stuff you may never have found otherwise. Genius.

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How do I ‘pin’ stuff?

When you join Pinterest, they will give you a button that says ‘Pin It’ to put into your bookmarks/favourites bar. Once it’s there (and it’s dead easy to do), whenever you see something online – usually a picture – you want to keep, you click on it and then click ‘Pin It’.  If you have several boards, it’ll ask you which one you want to pin it to, and like magic, it will appear, pinned to your board.

Who else is on Pinterest? Is it full of Martha Stewart wannabes?

Any Martha Stewart wannabe worth her salt will be into Pinterest. But that doesn’t mean all Pinterest peeps are craft-inclined.  For example, if you’re into stationery, it’s nirvana. It’s a one-stop shop for meaningful quotes and if you want immediate access to 75,000 photos of Ryan Gosling, Pinterest is the place to be.

Having said that, even the most vocal anti-craft campaigner may feel the need to pick up the crochet hook when they *accidentally* come across something like this..

How do I get started?

You need to be invited. I’m not sure why Pinterest does this, but word on the street is they need to regulate the number of users. (Seriously? If Youtube can handle 75 million hits on the Kony 2012 video, I would have thought a website crammed with eleventy billion still images would be able to cope). Ask a friend who’s on it to invite you or just register at Pinterest.com and they’ll send you an invitation in a day or so. If you’re a real person, you won’t be rejected.

Will Pinterest bring more randoms into my life?

Kind of, but the beauty of Pinterest is there’s no need to interact with them.

Will I feel the need to buy stuff?

If you have the online shopping gene, it’s inevitable. If, however, you’re one of those people who doesn’t have a Paypal account (ok, that may only be my Dad), or who’s in it for inspirational quotes and pictures of cats wearing clothes, then you’re probably safe.

What’s the risk of time massive time suckage?

Look, the answer you’re looking for is ‘No risk at all! It’s a hugely useful resource that can totally transform your life by building in efficiencies you never knew you were capable of.’ That’d be the pants-on-fire answer.  The lie-detector answer is, ‘Are you kidding? It’s not so much a risk as fact.’  But here’s the thing:  If you’re on Pinterest, chances are you’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and probably even Google+ (though, for love of God, why?)

It’s really just another open window in your browser, isn’t it?  And a pretty one at that.

Here is a gallery of some of the most popular pins on Pinterest at the moment. Check it out…