By Cari Phillips, Staff Writer
Taking a new spin on the old tradition of cut-outs and bulletin boards, Pinterest is sweeping popularity from creators and collectors of all ages.
Pinterest is a free social networking site that allows users to post links to items they find interesting and group them together into searchable categories for others to browse. The most popular categories are weddings, food, architecture, fashion, crafts, design and photography.
Once users create accounts, they set up virtual pin boards that can be individually titled. Then, when browsing the site, people can click on an item he or she finds interesting and pin it to his or her own board specific to that interest. The website simplified previous browser features such as bookmarks and tabs, turning likes and pins into a way to save and catalog favorites.
“I use Pinterest as a stress reliever from school work,” said Alexis Van Pham, freshman biology major. “I look for do-it-yourself projects I can do on the weekends when I do not have homework. I also enjoy the different quotes people post as inspiration when I am stressed out about something or just want a happy thought to get me through the day.”
Many students may find themselves using Pinterest as an effective tool to procrastinate.
“I go on from time to time just to see what is new and trendy in the creative world,” said Ben Wright, sophomore digital media studies major. “Everything is divided into categories and you can view so many things efficiently and quickly by scrolling. Then when something catches your eye, you can just click and then view it.
Pinterest can be labeled as a form of social media because it allows members to follow Facebook friends and other people they may or may not know. One can find others who are interested in the same areas and follow their pin boards. Comments, likes and tags are also features Pinterest has implemented into the website.
“There’s something for everyone, whether it is inspiring work, or something funny to look at,” Wright said. “Pinterest really fulfills its name because almost everything is interesting.”
The unique selling factor for Pinterest is the boards. Examples of board titles used by Union students include things such as “Dream Home,” “My Style,” “Photography Inspiration,” “Wedding,” “Good Eats,” “Just Happies” and many others.
“Boards are the heart of Pinterest,” said developers for the website. “Today’s boards do not do justice to the incredible collections people have created. We have worked carefully to make boards special: Less like a web page and more like a beautiful, living, physical thing to share with others.”
Residence Life secretary Courtney Clarke uses Pinterest to decorate her home and make creative Christmas gifts. “It has lots of ideas for cheap, practical ways to manage a house,” Clarke said. “I have made several things a lot cheaper than I could have bought them, because I found the idea on Pinterest.”
Anyone who has a desire to create or even just to look may find an interest in getting on Pinterest to explore new ideas and possibilities for their craft or interest.