Wow - On an unrelated note, Blogger threw a new format at us this morning! Trying my darnedest to figure it out. I don't do well with change!
And speaking of change, I finally joined Pinterest yesterday. Not really thrilled to discover that almost all the possible permutations of my web identity, Sweet Freedom, were already taken - but I finally settled on SweetFreedomPin. It is what it is, right?
I had put off joining Pinterest for months, because of the whole Facebook association nonsense. You see, you must sign up for Pinterest through either your Facebook or your Twitter account, so they can "help you find friends." And I am not a huge fan of Facebook.
Not to mention, you must be invited to join Pinterest. Gotta keep out the riff-raff, right? Except it is ridiculously easy to get an invite, so, not so much with the exclusivity.
Once you create your Pinterest account, Pinterest helps you find friends by instantly importing all your Facebook "friends" and making you a follower of all their Pinterest boards and pins. Gee - thanks, Pinterest! I spent about an hour unfollowing all of them, so I could at least decide for myself whose stuff I wanted to see more of. Then I drilled down into my account settings, and discovered I could disconnect Pinterest from my Facebook and Twitter accounts (DONE!), so why all this necessity to sign up through these social networks? Oh yeah, to help me, Yeah, that's it.
I have played around with Pinterest for a day or so, and discovered some neat photos and ideas. And I have created boards, and pinned things, and repinned things. But I still don't really get it: Pinterest is essentially a big, interactive virtual scrapbook, very similar to Flickr, but with none of Flickr's pesky attention to copyright and ownership. You can search for content, Like photos, comment on photos, and follow other users on both sites. But on Pinterest, you can also "repin" a photo to your own "board" (making the difference between Liking and Repinning murkily silly). On Flickr, the content you upload must be your own - on Pinterest, they mention this in the Terms of Service, with references to the DMCA (the Digital Millenium Copyright Act - Google it!), but it is so easy to "pin" photos from anywhere on the web without permission, that I suspect there are many copyright violations occurring. Heck, I didn't ask permission for the photos I pinned and repinned - I assumed that if the "Pin It" function works, I must have permission. No? Well, that seems wrong .... on the part of Pinterest and the designers of the "Pin it" functionality.
I know that photos of my work are being pinned from this blog and from Etsy - my web analytics tell me so! I (wrongly) believed that once I joined Pinterest, a simple search for my business name would reveal these pins. So wrong on my part! Because while the photos are attributed by a clickable link back to the site they were pinned from, this is not searchable text, and few pinners type photo attribution into each pin's text button.
My web analytics had cued me in to this particular pin last night:
Unfortunately, my iPad wouldn't screen cap this for me last night, so I had to search for it on the trusty old PC this morning, and I just couldn't find it again. Because it isn't attributed, don't you know.
So I turned to my friend, Google - and found this extremely helpful, informative site. The author gives detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to find which of your photos have been pinned, and how to get Pinterest to remove them! Good reading.
I looked at photos of mine that have been pinned on Pinterest, and the overwhelming majority are complimentary. Not that the one I've shown isn't complimentary - this is a gray area. There is a difference between admiring my work and blatantly declaring your intentions to copy it!
My photos and text are mine - and I love for you to look, but please, don't copy!
And follow me on Pinterest, if you are so inclined. Would love to see you there!