For several years, I have been trying to become more motivated with organizing my creative life. I have a dozen cookbooks on my bookshelves—all of which have remained untouched since I began my school semester. I have hundreds of craft projects waiting to be done. I have a million ideas for parties and events that get filed away into the back of my mind, never to be thought of again. On top of this, I have an incessant need to share all of these things with my friends. A year ago, I found the social media website that changed my life—Pinterest.
Pinterest is a photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections in what are called pin-boards. The photos are linked to other websites which could give directions to a craft project or recipe, lists of planning ideas or interesting articles. You can browse through your friends’ pins or through categories that include DIY and crafts, fashion, sports, nature, travel, art, music, film and many others. Then, you can ‘re-pin’ images to your own collections or ‘like’ pins. This gives you a central place to keep track of all the things that interest you.
Pinterest has changed the way I organize my life. It gave me a single place to keep a record of recipes, craft ideas, event planning techniques and sources of inspiration all while giving me the same benefits as a normal social networking website like Facebook. I can share a funny internet “meme” with friends, display my favorite quotes, express my love for certain movies or books, share videos and even promote some of my favorite products. It is a website that I don’t feel guilty about having an obsession with.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest isn’t about telling your friends about the latest drama or having political debates on friends’ photos. Pinterest is about organizing your creativity and interests and sharing them with the world. Pinterest, I believe, has made me more innovative. I look at bottle caps and think “I could decorate a picture frame with these,” or look at an old t-shirt and think “I could make a scarf with this.” It has inspired a new way of thinking for me and sparked a creativity I never knew I had.
Pinterest was founded in 2009 by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. The site launched as a closed-beta in 2010, where people were only allowed to join Pinterest through invitation. However, in August 2012, the site became available to the general public without the requirement of an invitation. There is also a Pinterest iPhone app available for free, an iPad app available for purchase and a version for those without Apple products, called Pinterest Mobile.
Apparently, I’m not the only one with a passion for Pinterest. According to Experien Hitwise, a group that measures website traffic by collecting data directly from ISP networks, Pinterest has become the third most popular social networking site in the United States.