Perplexed by Pinterest

sundaysalonI’ve had an account with Pinterest now (here I am) for about two years and you know what – I still don’t get it. I have several boards. One is a collection of images interesting doorways (on holiday I like to take pictures of handles and knockers – don’t ask me why). Another is a group of fabulous libraries around the world. I also have seven boards for book related topics. I don’t really know why I have so many but they are in a bit of a mess.

I dutifully add to these collections when I see something on another board thats of interest. But I’m beginning to wonder what the point is – some the images get copied to other people’s boards but as far as I can tell none of this activity has resulted in any traffic to my blog or comments.

Looking at other book related boards I see people create images of collections of books often labelling them ‘Best books of xxx year” or ‘books for your book club’ but that would take a fair amount of effort and I’m not convinced yet that it would be worth doing.

Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way entirely. I admit I have a lot to learn on some of the image related social media channels (I don’t have an Instagram account because I can’t imagine anyone being interested in pictures of what I eat which seems to be a popular topic).  Am I missing out on some key factor for success in this realm? Do any of you have Pinterest accounts and use them for book-related topics? If so, how do you get this to work for you?

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on November 27, 2016, in Bookends, Sunday Salon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I have a Pinterest account and I do think it could be useful but I just don’t have time to use it as well as I could. I collect garden ideas – because we are doing landscaping – and I collect yoga poses (idea on how to do them correct faults etc). I also collect some recipes. But I’m stretched too thinly so really don’t use it as well as I could if I were organised. Now, if I didn’t blog … or read …

    I’m on Instagram too, and I check that more often. Basically I’m on whatever social media my daughter is (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) – not to stalk her because she knows I’m there and welcomes me – but these media enables us to keep up when she and/or I are busy and can’t make a longer connection. I know she’s there, she’s OK, etc. I post some food (did you know that “research” has proven that those who photograph their food enjoy it more! Haha! You should try it), gardens, books I’m reading, an interesting bit of architecture, an animal of some sort. It’s just fun, and takes a minute or two. I might spend 5 minutes over breakfast looking at my account. I don’t follow a lot of people.

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  2. I have a Pinterest account but I don’t use it for anything book related since I don;t find book covers and what not useful. I used it for chicken coop ideas before I got chickens. I used for if curly hairstyle ideas for a little while. Sometimes I use it for gardening ideas. I have an instagram account I use when I am out biking. It is linked to my Strava account so all of my biking friends can see visual evidence of my adventures when I post the data from my bike ride.

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  3. I have a Pinterest account and I have to say that I do use it. When I see something that catches my eye on the Internet, I can Pinterest it and that saves it. I can go back and look, dig deeper, or whatever. Loads of times you will stubble across something on the net and never find it again. This is how I use it. Also, there are friends who are into the same interests that I am and I can see what they have saved. It isn’t a social thing, or I don’t use it as that anyway.

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  4. I have been on Pinterest for a long time and it is the one avenue that I have payed little attention to. I think it tends to drive traffic to home decor blogs and such that are directly related to beautiful images. I am sure that if I were to put the effort in to do actual book lists it might help, but I think for the purpose of my blog it really isn’t the best use of my time.

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  5. I started off in Pinterest and added a bunch of board and then started stuffing photos and websites in them. Soon I realized that what I was doing was like stuffing a scrapbook with photos but not actually arranging them or organizing them in a meaningful way. I stopped. now I only pin recipes and I have opened up several different recipe categories: breads, desserts, soups, etc. I actually use them all the time. I think the whole idea, originally, of Pinterest, was a way to organize one’s Internet bookmarks. It has certainly expanded beyond that point. The other thing I’ve noticed, which really bothers me, is when people pin things to their board without checking the links to see if the recipe/direction/photo actually trail back to the source. Good luck.

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  6. I got a Pinterest account to encourage traffic to my blog too, but it hardly does that. But once I had an account, I found I used it a lot. Mostly to keep a record of articles on issues that interest me – conflict between religion and science, other issues in science, other issues in religion, investment news, free speech issues particularly on campus, etc. Probably the only way it has helped my reading, writing or blogging comes from the pins I have kept of reviews of books I may be interested in, interviews with authors I like, which may otherwise be difficult to re-find when I want to refer to them.

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  7. I use Pinterest and have a board for fiction/non-fiction/#30authors/library love, etc. I still haven’t figured it out but I signed up for BoardBooster and it has helped launch it into one of my top driving referrals – still not sure how that happened, though! Also, I followed along 🙂

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  8. I might have a Pinterest account, or it might be Instagram… I can’t remember, which speaks for itself.
    But Jonathan, I do use Twitter. I spent about 2 minutes a day on it. I’m extremely selective about who I follow, basically just my favourite bloggers who tell me that they’ve got a new post for me to read, and news about the literary prizes I’m interested in. I don’t follow authors, publishers or people trying to establish a ‘presence’, though I expect them to have an account so that I can find out who they are if I want to. I unfollow prize accounts as soon as the prize is done and dusted. I unfollow anyone who just blathers on or wastes my time.
    So for me, it’s a very efficient way of personalising the news I’m interested in i.e. book news.

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  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is confused 😊

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  10. I have one too and used it quite a lot a few years ago but have rarely looked at it since!

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  11. piningforthewest

    I’m on Pinterest too, but I rarely add anything to my boards. I can’t even remember why I joined Pinterest, I think it might have been to collect garden images when we were moving house. Instagram is a mystery to me.

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  12. I don’t use it for the reasons you point out. But I know lots of my colleagues (magazine designers) who use it for professional reasons: to “pin” nice pics and layouts they can use as inspiration, a bit like a scrapbook. But if you’re a words person, I don’t see much point in it.

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  13. I have a Pinterest account but I never think of it as “social”. I use it to keep photos I find in my daily peregrinations on the Internet that I might like to revisit. I have a “private” board of family photos in case they get lost from my computer or elsewhere: then I know where to find them in a place that I hope is quasi-permanent. I use it as an aide’de memoire, more or less. And yes, sometimes one finds a photo of Her Majesty, The Queen, dressed like a cowgirl from Texas and I “pin” it so I can revisit the sensation.

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  14. I started on Pinterest, collecting images of decorative objects and rooms. I sometimes add the pretty images to a post or two.

    I did create a board for Favorite Books of the Year, starting with 2014, I think. I link the images to my reviews…but I don’t think anything has happened as a result.

    I don’t do Instagram, either. I’m also confused about the purpose! LOL.

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  15. I’m perplexed as well. I spent a little bit of time recently trying to see whether it would be of any use to me but decided it wasn’t, by which I mean, it’s great looking at others’ collections but I can’t see much point in me doing the same. I can’t really see the point of Twitter either. 🙂

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    • Twitter is another one that I use – more than Pinterest – but still nowhere near the extent of many other bloggers. I did ask a few of the more experienced hands how they approach this and they spend a lot more time on it than I have.

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  16. I have a Pinterest account simply so I can look at things – I can’t work out how to use it either! 🙂

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