Tuesday, January 22, 2013


          Have you ever heard of Pinterest? If so, do you think it’s just one more thing that you lack time and interest in pursuing? I like it partly because I have time to like it. Some of the enjoyment of being a senior citizen is to have time for things like Pinterest. Sure, if you abhor the computer, then you probably won’t free up the time to find your way to this excellent bulletin board.

          My much younger friends, Cheri and Christi, first raved about Pinterest to me last year and, at the time, it seemed a bit overwhelming. What could an internet bulletin board offer that would be fun and interesting? [Sidebar: By now you see the word ‘interesting’ keeps coming up. Think of Pinterest as an online bulletin board where you can pin interesting things.] What the name doesn’t hint at is that the site compiles and presents a cabillion ‘interesting’ things you might want to save for future reference. Instead of printing out something interesting and putting that piece of paper in a drawer, folder or instead of pinning it to the bulletin board above your desk, you ‘Pin’ the item and it is saved to your own virtual bulletin board.

          Your big bulletin board is then broken down into as many smaller sub-bulletin boards as you want or need. For instance, attached to my board I have 18 topic specific boards with interests which include: cats, books worth reading, men I like, gingko, veggie sushi, style, for the home, and miscellaneous. Each item pinned under one of these boards leads to a picture and a recipe, website, blog or some other avenue to get the information you need. There are thousands of pin possibilities for how to get your clothes whiter, or pack better for a trip or make the ideal Halloween costume, or tie a scarf or where to buy something or how to make something. All the users contribute thousands of new pins daily.

          Pinterest is like being able to view the entire web and select and store those items that interest you. Recently I became interested in altered books, where decorative art is made from old books. I searched on Pinterest and found hundreds of examples of different altered book projects and displays. I ‘pinned’ them and then later, when I had more time, I went back and looked at them individually. By doing this I was exposed to websites that showed where altered books classes or exhibits are taking place. I was exposed to other people who shared my interest and to instructions on how to reproduce some exhibited work.

          And don’t EVEN talk about food and recipes. Pinterest recipes have a life of their own, and well known jokes have been published about how much time, energy and ingredients have been taken up with tried and true or tried and not true cooking. Three of my 18 Pinterest bulletin boards deal with food alone.

          Pinterest isn’t a game. It’s a huge conglomeration of information. Granted, like Wikipedia, most of the info is viewer input, and I generally double check things that sound wacko.

          There is no obligation with Pinterest. There is no advertising, no possibility of spam unless you travel down a path to a dubious website (and Pinterest is very good about ferreting those out ahead of time) and no social interaction per se. Yes, you may comment on a pin in the public arena but you don’t need to chat or talk or email with anyone else there. No one is going to bother or poke you if you don’t pin for weeks or months. It truly is there for you, to use as you see fit.

          I think it’s definitely worth checking out. Find it out here http://pinterest.com/

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