The shortcomings of the ever-expanding Internet are few, but easy online storage is hard to come by. A new website called Pinterest is offering a solution, and many are flocking to it.
Pinterest, a website that functions as an online bulletin or pin board, allows users to organize and share their web findings. Members have the opportunity to browse any pin board they choose and select things to re-pin and add to their own personal collection. Some common items that are pinned include recipes, do-it-yourself projects and photography.
The site exploded within the first few months of launch and operation, and still requires an invitation to become a member.
Brenda Alavez, 19, a senior from Arlington, Va., said she enjoys browsing through all of the available pins and boards on the website.
“It’s great to have everything in one place,” Alavez said. “I like seeing other people’s pins because many times others will find things that I would’ve never looked at but that are really inspirational.”
It might sound like the site is more directed toward women, but Pinterest is actually the brainchild of a group of men. According to the Pinterest website, the creators had the common goal of connecting Internet users and allowing them to share their virtual discoveries with others. Their main theory is this: there are interesting things all over the Internet, but there was no way to store them all in one place and easily share them with others.
They said their reasoning for beginning the website is spot on. Tweeting on Twitter, posting on Facebook and emailing are all popular forms of networking, but Pinterest manages to be incomparable to these sites.
Elise Nickoliasen, 25, a senior from Apple Valley, Calif., said she thinks Pinterest does a great job of differentiating itself from other networking sites.
“It’s not about socializing,” Nickoliasen said. “It’s solely about sharing. Even then, for me, it’s less about sharing and more about keeping track of things that interest me that would otherwise clutter my favorites bar. My pinboards range from recipes to graffiti. I use Pinterest for any type of image that interests me and that I want to remember.”
Keeping a physical bulletin board or pin board can become messy, disorganized and difficult to maintain. A few simple clicks can keep pins categorized and neat on Pinterest.
Allison Woolbright, 26, a law student from Visalia, Calif. enjoys the simplicity and east of the website.
“I use Pinterest as an idea board,” said Woolbright. “It is what I would do if I had a physical pin board in my office to tack ideas on, but this way everything is digital. It’s simply brilliant. I have 24 boards and counting.”
It can be hard to not get carried away with the many findings on Pinterest. Alavez said she tries to set boundaries for herself while using the site.
“Most people tend to pin anything and everything they think is cool, but I try to limit myself and only pin things that are within my reach,” Alavez said. “Instead of pinning a jacket that is $300, I instead pin a $20 jacket that is similar, so I know what to shop for and I’m not left wishing.”
Even for those just starting out on Pinterest, it is wise to make sure all chores and homework are complete before hopping on the website. As Woolbright explains, it can be addictive.
“Pinterest is very user friendly,” Woolbright said. “Once you get the hang of it, you won’t be able to stop. You’ve been warned.”