Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pinterest Pointers

Amanda Laborio, Marketing Intern

As classes begin once again, we are faced with another semester of assignments, exams, and presentations. Also, students will once again be turning to the Internet for new and interesting ways to spend their study breaks. One of the latest crazes engaging students online is Pinterest, a social media site focused on inspiring creativity and connecting with friends.

Joining Pinterest is still on an invitation-only basis, but with the site’s growing popularity it is becoming easier to get yourself an account. There are currently two ways of getting an invitation to Pinterest. First, you can visit the site, give them your e-mail address, and be added to a waiting list. Secondly, and more easily, you can ask one of your friends who is already using Pinterest to send you an invitation.

Once you have received your invitation to join Pinterest and have set-up your account, you can get to the fun stuff: pinning! Users are invited to post images, links, and videos to the site and these are all referred to as “pins.” From there users are also supposed to create “boards,” which are collections of pins. If you don’t want to make your own pins, there are plenty of them already posted on the site that you can “repin” to your board.

When it comes to creating your boards, the sky is the limit. Tap into your creativity and come up with interesting, funny combinations to really make the most of the site. Your friends can follow your pins and vice versa, adding a social media element to the site. While Pinterest may sound like all fun and games, I do have one warning. Once you start pinning, it can be difficult to stop.

To utilize the site as a good study break and avoid turning it into a tool for procrastination, it may be a good idea to set some guidelines. Rewarding yourself with 15 minutes of Pinterest time for an hour of studying could be a good solution. Also, if you’re doing an assignment that requires creativity, try using Pinterest to help you get started. Create a board about the theme or topic you’re focusing on and search the site to make connections between the assignment and topic. This may not work for all courses, but it will at least get you thinking about the material in a new and exciting way.

With limitless combinations of pins, Pinterest is a great way to get inspired, pick up new craft ideas, look at pictures of cute puppies, find recipes, and much more. For a relaxing break from the rigor of that calculus homework, start tracking down your invitation today.

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