I have been completely, utterly pinned

I have a new obsession: Pinterest.

You may have heard of it and you may use it already. It started “way back” in March 2010 and got Time’s attention, landing on its list of top 50 websites of 2011. I’ve known about it myself for several months but hadn’t taken the time to join until this week. I was immediately taken with the concept: a digital pinboard where you can organize your recipes, decorating ideas, favorite quotes, photos, travel bucket list and virtually anything else you can possibly think of. It’s kind of like what Tumblr might be if it matured a little and hit an OCD phase.

I was dismayed to find that most of my friends had no pins at all or had very few. When I start something new like this, I want to dive in and immerse myself in it and set up a good foundation. I began with about four boards for books, recipes, decorating ideas and my travel photography. Four boards became six and six became nine (macarons really needed their own board …) and soon enough I had 300 different pins and had sent invitations to several of my friends who were interested.

My favorite aspect of it is the near-immediate social payoff. I’ve been getting alerts all afternoon and evening telling me that people have been repinning my photos and the links that I’ve added. The functionality appeals to my organizational style: hyper-compartmental, a place for everything and everything in its place. The design is clean, there are multiples ways to follow people (I can follow all of John’s boards or just the ones I’m interested in) and the use of square, 3 x 3 thumbnails for each board is visually appealing.

You can receive an invitation from any friend who is already on Pinterest, or get on the site and request an invitation. There are enough users already to have a good foundation of content, but not so many that it ends up being one big pass-around the way Tumblr tends to be. I’ve found that the “audience is there” for the photos, recipes and links that I contribute myself. The nifty and genius “Pin It” button, added to your browser toolbar, lets you add items to Pinterest while you’re looking at other websites, without having to reopen your full profile.

If you’re already on it, use it! If you’re not already on it, request an invitation and give it a go. Fair warning: You might get hooked.

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