Pinterest is a new network that revolves around pinning photos. If a website or blog does not have a photo, it literally cannot be “pinned” to a pinterest board. (Listen up bloggers and website owners, powerful sharing is going on at Pinterest, if you want to be included, you should have nice graphics.)
I’d like to help you get started just like I did with QR Codes, Web 2.0, wikis, etc.
1 – Get an invitation.
Anyone can view Pinterest boards, but if you want to start pinning, you’ll need to get an invitation.
Option A (Stealth method for getting an invitation)
If you’re on Facebook, this is simple. Just go to the Pinterest app on Facebook and look on the right (as shown in the graphic below) to see if you have any friends on Pinterest. If they’ve taken the time to like the Pinterest page, it is likely that they not only use it but like it. Message a friend or two and ask for an invitation if you don’t like to be open about it.
|Go to https://www.facebook.com/pinterest?sk=wall and see which friends you know that “like” Pinterest. Ask them for an invitation.|
Option B (Open Method)
You can do like I did and ask on Twitter. I had at least 10 people who messaged me and said they’d give me an invitation. Don’t be embarrassed, I’ve just been using pinterest for a week. Tons of people aren’t there… yet.
2 – Create some boards
You’ll want to have a few boards to start adding to before browsing and before connecting with friends. Usually pinterest suggests some for you.
You can see my boards at my profile http://pinterest.com/coolcatteacher/ and in the graphic below along with some typical descriptions
Note: What is particularly fascinating about Pinterest is that when you follow someone, you can follow either just the person or one or more of their boards. I usually follow the person and then can unfollow specific boards on topics that don’t interest me (like Tattoos or wines), I can also just follow a random person’s board about iPad apps and nothing else. It lets you get very granular with your time. Think of it as if you could segment a person’s Tweets and follow just their technology tweets and leave off the junk about their dog.
Here are my boards and how many are following each board (after a week):
- Happy Thoughts – 209 followers – “These are the thoughts of things that make me happy when I look at them. It is my personal mood booster.”
- Things that make me laugh 221 followers – This is my board of funny things so I can always find them again. Like Mary Poppins’ uncle, I love to laugh!
- Teaching ideas and apps 243 followers – Great ideas for teaching and helping students be more.
- Inspiration – 219 followers – I love to look at things that inspire me to be more. This is a personal boost for those days I need to climb mountains.
- Productivity 223 followers – I am a productivity fanatic. Here is where I’ll post ideas about how to improve my life and get more out of it. With 3 kids, global collaborative projects where thousands of kids work together, books, a busy blog, and lots of social media to attend to, time is valuable. We all have the same 24 hours in a day but differ in how we use those hours. Let’s use them well.
- Collaborative Writing 232 followers – My second book with @eyeoneducation is about collaborative writing. I co-manage wikis where over 1,000 kids collaborate AT ONCE. Google docs, and cloud tools are just some of the cloud tools I use to teach and encourage writing. I’ll pin examples, ideas, and tools here to help with collaborative writing.
- Being a Social media Maven – 217 followers – I love social media and want to understand and use it well. Here is my collection of tools, ideas, and methods that help me in this area.
- iPad and iPhone apps for Teachers – 230 followers
- Global Collaboration in Education (a board I’m inviting some friends to help me moderate) 222 followers – Excellence in global collaboration in education by people who are flattening classrooms.
- Beautiful Workspaces – 188 followers – You spend a lot of time at your desk and I do too. I want it to be beautiful and inspiring. Here’s my collection of beautiful work spaces when I’m looking for how to improve where I work.
- Little BIG things to improve education – 194 followers – My collection of the little things that can improve education in big ways.
- Online and F2F Presentations 204 followers – A collection of my online and face to face presentations by Vicki Davis, full time teacher, @coolcatteacher, co founder of @flatclassroom.
Board Set up Basics
- Board Name I recommend around 28 characters. Any more and it will run off the board and a person glancing at your profile might not be able to see what you are talking about. (Note: It might take 29 characters, I was afraid to mess up my board names and that is the most I’ve been able to get on there without running off. Nudge me in the comments and I’ll update this number.)
- Board Description Tell people why you’re making the board and what they can expect on the board.
- Who can pin? You can invite others but they must be on pinterest. I’m inviting our Flat Classroom teachers to our Global collaboration board to collect best practices, and it is taking a bit of time to get them invited, set up and then add as collaborators.
- Category. They have preset categories. This is important because a person can go to the homepage of Pinterest and browse by category. This category determines whether your pins might show up on the main pinterest feed or not. All of your boards should have a category. I’m so excited that Pinterest started off with an education category! That has helped teachers find each other.
Once you’ve set up your boards, you can start pinning.
My Golden Rule for Joining a New Network: Find the 300
I’ve found that when I go on a new site that if I find and follow 300 good sources of information in my field that I will begin to get meaning out of the content. Sometimes I have to go unfollow content. For example, there was a great pinner I found who also had a real tattoo fetish that filled up my whole screen. I unfollowed just that board and it cleaned up my stream right away.
I did this on Twitter and every other site. After I follow 300, I start engaging, sharing and being as helpful as I can. If you’re sharing in social media because you want to be the hot chic on the block, think again. People will see through your diva charade in a moment. Be real and be really helpful. If you are helpful, kind, and useful, people will follow you. If not, you’ll still learn a lot.
Have fun on Pinterest and be sure to share your tips below.
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