Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pinterest - Timewaster or Worthwhile Resource?

Curiosity got the better of me a couple of days ago when Caroline Pointer of Family Stories asked on Twitter if anyone would like an invitation to use Pinterest.   I have been reading about this tool and wondering exactly what it was for a while now so, even as I prepare to leave for Salt Lake City this week and am time poor, I couldn't resist Caroline's invitation.

What is Pinterest? I see it as a social bookmarking tool that has a visual interface. Pinterest says "Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."

Once I had my invitation to hand I logged in, set up my profile and looked for some genealogists to follow. What I immediately noticed was that the main focus of my contacts' pinboards was not genealogy but decorating, fashion, cooking and travel. Most of them also had a pinboard for genealogy. I decided to set up a couple of Genealogy pinboards with an Australian focus and then added Genealogy Humour, my Travel Bucket List, Recipes, Android Stuff and a pinboard for my US forthcoming trip. I wasted spent a hour or so playing with Pinterest yesterday and logged in a few times to monitor happenings there.

My Pinterest Wall
What are my first impressions?
  • It is intuitive and easy to use - I only had to consult the help menu once.
  • There are a number of well-known genealogists using Pinterest. Looking at their pinboards tells me a little more about them than what I glean from other social networking sites.
  • It will be a valuable source of genealogy resources as more users add genealogy related pinboards.
  • It has put me in touch with some new genealogy contacts.
  • I can only find two other Australian genealogists using Pinterest at the moment and they don't have genealogy pinboards.
  • Liking, commenting on and sharing others' pinned items is a breeze
  • It has the potential to be a timewaster
  • It has an attractive interface.
  • I like this way of organising links.
  • It is frustrating that it was not easy to pin pages/links that had no images in them (Shauna - would you mind putting a pic on Diary of an Australian Genealogist so I can easily add it?)
  • I will not be giving up Delicious as my bookmarking tool quite yet.
  • I will enjoy using Pinterest
  • Pinterest is optimised for use on mobile devices so I can use it on my Android tablet.
  • I hope it remains free to use.
  • There are more females than males using Pinterest.
Thanks, Caroline, for the invitation. If any of my readers are on Pinterest please say G'day by following me.


Shauna Hicks said...

Hadn't realised that I haven't put any pics up on Diary - have thousands of travel pics but usually no internet grunt when I'm out and about. Thanks for thinking of me Geniaus and I'll try and get a pic up soon!

Tanya Honey said...

I'm interested but looks like I will have to wait for an invitation. Do you have any you can give away Jill? Pls?

James Tanner said...

You must have a higher tolerance for the stuff on there than I do. I sent in a request for an invite. How do you limit what you see? I guess I should read the instructions? Thanks for the post.

GeniAus said...

Thanks - Shauna.
Tanya - watch your mailbox.
James - when all else fails read the instructions - it is easy to filter out the fluff.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I've flirted with it but haven't had an invitation..happy to give it a go if you have an invitation on the loose ;-)


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