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.