05 January 2012

The Best and Worst Things About Pinterest









Pinterest: Pronounced pin-trist (like a cross between "pin" and "interest"): a social networking site that allows you to figuratively "pin" pictures of your likes/interests in a simple, organized fashion.


Best Thing About Pinterest: It allows me to tag, or pin, all the nifty stuff floating around on the internet. It’s like an online version of an inspiration board or a scrap book used to organize all the interesting blog posts, magazine articles, recipes, photographs…any nugget of information worth retaining. It’s easy to use, easy to organize and I can follow what other people are pinning too. I have even made a few pin buddies. It's also a great resource for tips on sales and awesome coupons. In fact, if Pinterest wasn’t already free, it would have paid for itself ten times over.

Worst Thing About Pinterest: It’s ruining my creative mojo. Ever since I started pinning I have cut way back on my notebook entries. You can see some of them in the picture above. I used to sketch and store ideas in these floppy, dog-eared journals and notebooks all the time—carried them with me everywhere. But most of it stopped last year when I joined Pinterest. I still sketch for work and specific assignments, but it’s not what it used to be. Now I just pin what other people have already done. Yes, these are good ideas on their part, but not exactly creative thinking on my part. In short: Pinterest is making me lazy. I used to see an article or a product and think “How could this be better?” “What is another context?” and illustrate it all out in my books like Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings; now my first instinct is not to sketch, but to pin it for a rainy day.

Le Sigh.

Still, there's no way I’m giving up my Pinterest account any time soon. 

I just need to make more of an effort. Maybe force myself to swallow some “unplugged” time to get back on track. Anyone else out there feel this way? What do you do to get your creative mojo going again? Ideas welcome! 

PS: Now that I have convinced you that Pinterest is like crack for creative types, you might want to check it out yourself. If anyone out there needs and invite, send me an email (emailauntpeaches AT gmail.com) I'll be happy to send one your way :) Here is a quick demo video for anyone who is curious what it looks like.

  

35 comments:

  1. i've managed to avoid the lure of the hype. tumblr and pinterest and the like cleverly waste turn their users into curators. which, i'm sure some people are thrilled about, but in your case...

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  2. Maybe have your sketchbook on your lap as you surf...?

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  3. If it was not for Pinterest I might not have found your blog just now. I am not too indepenently creative so I used 3-ring binders to collect clippings. I like that I can now Pin ideas in one spot.

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  4. You are so very correct in this...I have had to make a huge effort to not even log on most days...it HAS helped to stay away...the creative juices are flowing...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Rae

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  5. I have actually found the opposite. I go to pinterest when I need a creative boost. There is so much stuff on there that I never would have thought of that I can put my own spin on and create something new. Also, a nice walk out in the woods with my camera also helps get the creative juices flowing.

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  6. I agree, not just about Pinterest but the internet in general sometimes gets in the way of my creative mojo. Mainly because I spend way more time online than actually making stuff. lol

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  7. i'm like adrienne and have found it's where i go to get the creative ideas flowing...it's actually freed up time for me when i have the photo (i'm so visual) to link me instead of sorting through saved links in my favs trying to find a specific link.

    here's an idea...start your day with notebook entries BEFORE you do anything else! make it your rhythm, your habit. then turn on the computer...whatever you do, don't let that creative mojo get squashed.

    happy new year by the way!

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  8. Oh... I won't give up my account either...! I love pinterest! But as much as I like it... I always have my real paper inspirations and they are still more important for me. Or all the other stuff lying around my table, cluttering my boards... yes, we are talking about a real big stash of every kind of thing! But as much as it cost me my living space... it lets me live in a different kind of way. Having the stash in my fingers, feeling the paper in my hand, turning all the things, setting them to each other... The internet can't catch all this kind of inspiration and wonder. I love the pictures and ideas of others! And yes, it gives me a lot of more ideas of what is possible and how methods are working... but in the end nothing works better for me than my own challenge: I am not allowed to take anything back at home (because my stash is already way tooo big!) if I don't have an idea about what to make out of it. At that very moment I have the stuff in my hand! Can't believe how fast the brain is adapting and the ideas are flowing ;) So no smaller stash... but way more ideas than time! Pinterest can't cope that :)

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  9. I really wish they had private boards. That's my only gripe. I can't use it to brainstorm presents when any of the recipients can look at my boards...

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  10. I agree w/ you - I feel like it's a really passive way of collecting ideas, but at the same time I love it because I hate clutter & clutter also stifles my creativity. I also think in a weird/backwards way though it's actually inspired me to be more creative because it took me to a new height of passivity where I actually became aware of it. Prior to pinterest, I would do sort of the same thing in google reader with my blog subscription - "like" or "star" those I wanted to return to, but never went any further with any of those ideas (truly I rarely even revisited them at all). But it didn't occur to me that I wasn't "doing" or making anything as a result because there was a lot more mental processing going on with reading the posts, etc.

    With pinterest, it seems like since it was such a quick succession of images to pin-pin-pin without a lot of reading/processing in between, I suddenly was aware that I was literally just sitting there, clicking a mouse. I wasn't generating anything in response & it actually kicked me into gear with the sketchbook and my own blog. I feel like since that realization I've gotten to a healthier balance with pinterest so that it's valuable as an impetus rather than something to make my eyes glaze over.

    All things in moderation :)

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  11. I haven't really got pinterest figured out yet. It is fun to look through. I don't have to worry about losing my creative mojo because I had none to start with.

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  12. I know I would have the same problem as you, so, so far Ive avoided Pininterest. I spend way too much time reading blogs as well..lol
    Too much reading, not enough creating.
    Im on rashuns :) getting very picky as to what i follow, read etc etc. :) But I do fall off the wagon from time to time.

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  13. It is addictive - I just pinned a picture of your cat in my Cats, Cast & More Cats collection I started. I have to agree with others that it is sort of sensory overload. I know I lose creative steam when it feels like I have to instead of I want to and if you go overboard on inspirations it makes it seems like you have a huge backlog you will never catch up to. There are also a lot of cool things other have made that look fabulous and cool on them, their environment or looks delicious to eat that wouldn't look so fab on me, not as cool in my modern garage sale home decor at their designer look and it just isn't healthy to eat all the sugary dishes I would want to make if I stared a desserts to make board.

    Might be best to go back to your old school method as it will help you filter out what you actually want to make, looks good on you, looks good in your environment or something you want to eat.

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  14. I feel the same about craftgawker and stumbleupon....both wonderful sites to see and explore the creativity of others.

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  15. I've noticed that a session on Pinterest (translate: 6 hours of getting NOTHING done other than imprinting the outlines of my butt into the couch) usually does two things in short succession- get the creative juices flowing and then utterly destroying them through sheer overload. "Ooooh, I could do this" ..."and this"... "and this, totally!" ..."yeah, this too"... "sigh"... "why bother, it's been done to perfection..." ... "pour me a wine, will you?" I have not crafted in MONTHS, which is not to blame on pinterest, but sometimes I sort of wish that I would just stumble across a random challenge like the envelope of doom from Mich L in LA that got my blog started, and then some random act of the Gods cuts off my internet connection for a week. Alternatively, I could just leave the laptop on the shelf and get going, but it seems to take "a bigger man than I" these days to achieve this major victory.

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  16. Agree! And I love pintrest.
    I was very close to deleting my account last week,
    But I jsut couldn't do it!

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  17. Ugh, I'm such a Pinterest wh*re. It's terrible. (And wooonnderful!!!) I totally agree with you and feel the same way. I agree with Steff too. I do get a great creative kick by going on there - but I soon get overwhelmed with the tonnage of stuff to look at. If I could set a timer and spend 15 minutes on there and them make myself go do something productive - it would be ideal. But I usually just sit on there, zoning out and feeling less and less confident in my crafting skills (and style skills, and cooking skills, lol!) as I peruse...

    I do absolutely agree that a forced "unplugging" is necessary. A self intervention, if you will. I've been getting increasingly less productive around here. Between way too much Pinterest, blog surfing, and recent Iphone purchase - I'm turning into a useless, uncrafty blob. (Thanks for pointing it out. ;) Jk, it's good to know it's not just me!)

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  18. That's true. If I'm thinking about something but don't know how to go about executing it I can always sniff out some ideas on pinterest. I do that w recipes all the time (as in "what can I make with 3Lbs of broccoli sitting in the fridge?") A walk in the woods is a good idea though. Its strange how mundane things seem so new given a camera lens and good light!

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  19. Me too! I bet they'll change that once they are out of the beta phase. In the meantime, I still keep my Wish Pot account open for some stuff.

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  20. Oh Rita, I bet you have some! Don't go selling yourself short. Some people are crafty, some cook, some people feel creative just in keeping up with daily household tasks, some just in singing along with the radio...we all exorcize our right brain one way or another!

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  21. oh my fun with birch bark...i wanted to make a Christmas tree out of that precious paper thin bark but only found 2 trees in our area and they belonged to a business...stole a little (lol) but not enough. i love your post....and yes i am addicted to pinterest as well....love it! thanks for being you!

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  22. Shucks Dianne, thanks for being you too! Birch bark is the best. Keep an eye out -- I see it a lot around newer condo/townhouse subdivision type places. No idea why though. Maybe they don't shed leaves so much so they save on landscaping or something?

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  23. Exactly. It's a great tool but it's so easy to overuse it! Brings out the sloth in me. No good. And I like a good sloth!

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  24. I love Pinterest, but absolutely agree that it's too easy to just copy other's ideas. At the same time, when I know I'm so close to an idea, but need inspiration to take it to the next level...Pinterest can be fantastic!

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  25. I completely agree about Pinterest! I’m still clinging to my paper and pens although I know things are changing…
    A response to your post from yesterday…Maybe weekly stories? Of course I LOVE your craft ideas and how tos… but my favorite posts have one of your great stories. Often making me laugh till I'm crying. You are a great crafter but your writing!!! Awesome. I think there should be a book… (I may have said that before).

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  26. This is precisely why I've never opened an account and don't ever want an invite. I have a honest-to-goodness fear of Pinterest addiction. I know I would be sucked right into the fray if I ever started. I've found that if I really need a Pinterest fix, I can just google a subject, add the word Pinterest and BAM, the work has been done for me. Boards galore!

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  27. How do you know that's how you say it? Thanks for referring to Simon, I haven't thought about him in 20 years. Nickelodeon, right? We used to watch a beautiful cartoon back then about a dark haired boy in the Pyrenees and his big white dog. Was that Belle and Sebastien? I like Pinterest almost better than magazines these days. The things you see are different and interesting. I just can't figure out how to look at boards of people I am NOT following. I have started boards with odd things that I collect, but I have to pin my things to encourage other people to pin their collections. I think it is better than Facebook I have pinned a lot of birch bark products. In My style I think. Please don't take it off living trees. If you take it off in a circle, the tree dies. Wait until a storm when the branches break, or buy some online. You can buy up to canoe sized pieces from the native americans in Minnesota or Michigan. A lot of times you can find birch bark things at garage sales, you can just cut them up. Anyway, I second the people who want more stories. Ann

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  28. Didn't know about pininterest....it is cool and I can see how you can lose yourself for HOURS if not days in there. I was just clicking around and found an idea of something I could change around and make for my nephew for his birthday, then closed it, quickly as I looked at the clock. :) Must think of going to work.

    Love your journals, hope you get back into those soon. Your creativity rocks, Peachs.

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  29. I could have my son come over and change your operating system to Ubuntu.,,I only use pininterest to pin things I'm interested in making, and this has actually helped me make them. Now I have a board of what I have made but only moving the pin because uploard a picture?

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  30. I adore Pinterest!! I've actually created more projects with the inspiration found on there, and made more new recipes, since I joined. I can see how it could be the opposite though for someone who's used to keeping everything as a hard copy in a journal. I never kept a journal though, because it's always so hard for me to keep organized but Pinterest was the perfect answer to that! Now I can store all the best ideas without running out of space, it's brilliant! And I find I do still change and improve upon ideas I see on there, never really copy one verbatim. I hope you can find a way to combine Pinterest and journaling together!

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  31. I agree! I've actually started limiting myself on what I'll follow. If I follow people completely I just wind up too overwhelmed with information, so I only subscribe to very specific things. I already have recipes coming out of my ears, so I don't follow anything for food, for example!

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  32. I keep telling myself that I need to have more projects and be more creative. I used to be creative! I'm blaming it at the moment on not having a proper table to spread myself on. Everyone needs a good surface to work on, right?! I will hopefully be moving in the next month or so and that will involve moving somewhere that will have enough space to spread out paper and card and thread and beads....

    Keep up the notebooks - one thing I miss about the olden days without the internet is the actual physical things like photos and letters and scraps of paper.

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  33. Pinterest overwhelms me. It kills my creativity as well, and it's sensory overload. But small doses work. I give it about 15 min per session to check things out, then I'm off.

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  34. I'm quite fond of "Dropmark" - it's like a private Pinterest, with sharing options. Will move my wishpot contents to there.

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-AP

 
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