Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting more (p)interesting

I'll admit it: I didn't get Pinterest.

What was it for, exactly? At some point, I theorized that I could save clips of clothes I liked, to check to see if they'd gone on sale later, but by the time I got around to that, everything was out of stock. I experimented with using it for an online scrapbook. That was okay, but took WAY too long. Then, hearing that it drove tremendous amounts of web traffic, I posted all the Creative Commons pics I've used on my website (to no appreciable jump in page views). And according to that scary home page, we are obsessed with wedding swag, diabetic-inducing recipes, and inspirational quotes. So not my scene.

Not to mention the fact that practically nothing I wanted to pin was a discrete image. Thankfully, at our state tech conferencem Nikki Robertson showed us how to download and then upload a file and link back to it. That's cumbersome but better than searching for the perfect image for ten minutes only to find it would not appear on Pinterest.

Things go better when I started following enough people who were pinning enough cool stuff, but when I logged on this week, I saw a refinement that I LOVED.

It's Pinterest's Categories. I spent forever in there over the weekend, loving the Art and the DIY Crafts section, was a little surprised that Women's Fashion was much more R-rated than Tattoos. It was a perfect ethnographic experience. And it was intoxicating. In the Education area, I stumbled upon some bulletin board ideas. I had always hated that sort of thing, until I saw this adorable design that looked like a rack of mugs! All of the sudden, I HAD to create that bulletin board. And while Categories are not entirely foolproof -- there were some errant images in there, leading me to think that some machine intelligence is involved -- it is such a wonderful discovery mechanism.

I am spending almost all my free time trying to figure out how to organize the library at my new school.   I have been thinking about the collection in terms of the mess that was Pinterest. Perhaps I can highlight some of the collection just like that. I am really leaning towards genrification, at least for some sort of display. If that takes off, perhaps all of fiction will find Categories. Exciting!

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