Not long ago, a writing buddy told me about using Pinterest in her writing. She is doing the research for a steampunk novel and was sick of finding the perfect brass-clad do-dad only to lose it again in the vastness of cyberspace. Enter Pinterest.
On Pinterest, you create one or more boards. Each board holds a variety of images. Find an image that you like online and save it to your board along with the URL and you have it “pinned.” The image itself forms a visual link back to the original site.
As a highly visual writer, this clicked with me. Some time ago, I was researching a new character. This character had to have a specific look and I needed to have it down pat before I could write about him. Why? Because he lies about who he is and, suspecting this, my main character is judging him literally based on face value. I never found a model with just the right look, but I found a number that were close. Unfortunately, even with my links, re-finding many of these images proved impossible.
With Pinterest, problem solved. Or so I thought.
The first problem came when I tried to sign up. This isn’t like Facebook or Google Calendar where you simply register. With Pinterest, you have to request and then wait for an invitation. I was ready to research my next project NOW.
While I was waiting for this invite, I did some blog reading and found some warnings about using Pinterest. Apparently there are some copyright concerns. If I pin an image and the person didn’t have a Pin among their share icons, I have taken away their control of the image. It they are a photographer or artist, this can be a really big deal.
But Pinterest has a definite upside–its ability to drive traffic. According to this article, Pinterest drives more traffic than even Twitter. If I can find a way to use it to drive traffic to my site and/or blog, this would be amazing.
But that’s not how I want to use Pinterest. Not right now, anyway.
For now, instead of creating Pinterest Boards for visual inspiration as I research a new project, I’m going to start creating collages in Adobe Illustrator. As visual research, this will work just as well for me and that is my primary concern. For socialization, I’ve always got Facebook.
Author Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writer's Journey.