Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pin Now, Read Later?

Pinterest.  It can be so addictive.  Once you start looking at all the great stuff pinned by others, it's just so easy to repin, repin, repin.

I see a lot of pins with the words 'pin now, read later' - good idea, right?  Just pin the stuff that looks interesting; you can always get back to it and really check it out later.  All you have to do is mouse over any interesting photo or pin that catches your eye, click the 'repin' button, and select a board to pin it too, and you're on to the next one.

I admit, I've done that a time or two.  The problem with that, though, is that so many other people are doing the same thing.  It's OK if the original pinner pinned the actual source of the article or recipe or tutorial or what have you.  But it doesn't always work that way.

Too often I find pins that just don't lead anywhere.  I click something that looks interesting, and I get a warning about a suspicious site - and I'm not going there, even if Pinterest actually gave me the option.  And that means I do not find the recipe or tutorial I was looking for.  (If it looks really good, I'll do a web search for whatever the pin was supposed to take me to, and I'll pin that.)

Sometimes pins lead to the original site, but not to the exact post or recipe - meaning I have to search through the whole list or blog to find the information I came for.  For instance, I was just searching for flank steak recipes and found one for tacos that look really good.  Clicking the pin led me to a page with all the posts on that blog that were labelled 'Mexican' - so I had to scroll through the whole list of posts to find the one I wanted. And then I pinned it.  Instead of repinning.  MY pin leads directly to the specific post with the taco recipe.  I'll be able to find the recipe later when I want it.

Everyone who just repinned the recipe without actually clicking through and looking at it?  When later finally comes, and they're ready to try the recipe (or read the cleaning tips, or follow the tutorial), they'll click, expecting to find whatever it was they pinned.  Instead, in this case, they'll get the whole list of 'Mexican' labelled posts.  If it's much later at all, that list could be significantly longer, making it even harder to find the recipe.

Another thing I've found, especially with recipes (but that may be just because I pin more recipes than anything else), are pins that lead to a post that links to the actual source of the recipe.  In that case, I visit the original source and pin that one.  One, because I don't want to have to click and then click again to get where I want to go, and Two, credit, linkage, and traffic should go to the original source and not just someone who linked to the original source.

So, while it's tempting to 'pin now, read later' I make a habit of checking the pins before I repin them.  That way, when later finally comes, I'll be able to read. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doodle 4 Google for Some Great Prizes

Did you know that Google holds an annual contest for students K-12 in the United States inviting them to redesign the homepage logo for millions to see?  I had no idea until last year during the voting period.  There were some really neat Google doodles drawn by students of all ages.  The winning doodle was drawn by a 7-year-old kid from Wisconsin.

Well, it's time for this year's contest.  This year's theme is “My Best Day Ever…” One talented student artist will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 technology grant for their school along with some other cool prizes! 

Visit the Doodle 4 Google page to get more information and download an entry form.  All doodles must be received by March 22nd. 

Public voting will run May 1, 2013 12:00 pm Eastern Time (ET) to May 10, 2013 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). During that time, you'll be able to select your favorite doodles, one from each grade group.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Free Online Courses

Udacity offers higher education for free.

A friend of mine just posted a link to this on facebook, so of course I had to check it out.  You know me - anything free, right?

But it's not just that.  I love the idea of being able to learn new things - being able to do it from home and for free is just a bonus.

They have some beginner courses - Intro to Computer Science, Intro to Physics, and Intro to Statistics - which would be a good place to start for someone like me. There are also some Intermediate and Advanced courses to choose from. Definitely worth checking out!

Who knows - I might figure out what I want to be when I grow up.