by Heidi Willbanks
Pinterest is all the rage these days, seemingly having gone from zero to hero overnight. Created in March 2010, Pinterest is now a major player in social media, promoting blogs and businesses. With its simple way of collecting and organizing your favorite things across the web, it lets users create elegant virtual pinboards in different categories: recipes to try, interior decorating ideas, wedding flowers--anything you can think of.
While at first glance it seems to cater mostly to e-commerce (basically creating shopping wish lists), some people are finding outside-the-box ways to use Pinterest. For instance, self-proclaimed "social scientist" Nicola Ziady gathers and shares great social media-related material on her pinboards (and if you're into social media, you should definitely follow her). The late astrophysicist Susan Niebur created a "Women in Planetary Science" pinboard, which is now maintained by astronomer Erin Ryan.
According to TechCrunch, Pinterest has more than 10.4 million users (an overwhelming majority of them women). Social media marketing blog Grow calls Pinterest the "natural evolution of social media." It's visual in nature, quick to click and doesn't require reading or thinking. Which, given how inundated I am by words and thoughts on a daily basis, is partly why I love it so much.
To sign up, you must request an invitation from Pinterest or be invited by an existing Pinterest user.