Updated 6/21/2015 As of today there are 80 boards and 1,705 pins.
Pinterest has only been around since 2010, and appears to now be the third largest social network, behind Facebook and Twitter. Most people use it to form ‘bulletin boards’ on which they ‘pin’ photos of interest from other websites, or from their computers. The original site pointer goes with the pin, so in essence what you have is an interesting photo which can direct the viewer to the original web site. A brief description can be added to the photo/website, and a viewer can make comments on the pin, or ‘repin’ the item to another site. This is much what one would like to do with a page of ‘links’ to topics of interest, and LaceNews has essentially decided to set up a Pinterest site to be used much like a ‘link’ page. This is not a typical use of Pinterest, but the application seems straightforward, so I’ll give it a try.
The LaceNews Pinterest site is at http://pinterest.com/LaceNews/boards/. Boards (think of them as sub-categories) currently established include:
- LaceNews Resources (pointers to each of the different LaceNews resource sites. Indulge me, I have to have something like that.)
- Best Laces from Ebay Alerts! (my choice of best lace from the LaceNews Ebay Alerts, chosen after all the auctions have ended. Shows you the kind of high quality collection you can form from Ebay auctions. The photos point to the Ebay Alerts post where that lace was reviewed on the LaceNews Blog. The actual Ebay listing disappears fairly quickly.)
- Lace Dealers (people who sell antique lace, both online and in shops. Not from professional lacemakers – there’s a separate category for that.)
- Lace Auctions (both traditional and online auction sites that habitually offer sales of lace.)
- Lace Museums and Collections (dedicated museums, and institutions and people with important lace collections. I’ve recently broken this up to museums by country, since putting them all in one board was getting very confusing. I’ve recently added pointers to a map that Pinterest provides.)
- Lace Exhibitions (these tend to disappear quickly, but most are already written up permanently on the LaceNews blog site. The pins point to the LaceNews post for the exhibition.)
- Lace Related Events (lace days, conferences, congresses, etc – basically the larger multi-day ones. The pins point to the LaceNews writeup of the event.)
- Lace recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (Three laces have been recognized so far.)
- Lace Organizations (14 boards organized by country. This will have to be broken up further for various countries, but I’ll wait until Pinterest institutes boards within boards – if they ever do.)
- Professional Lacemakers (For organizations that actually make lace for a living.)
- Individual Lacemaker Websites (For artists discussing their own work. Sometimes it’s a hard call to determine if these sites should be listed in the Contemporary Lace Artists category below.)
- Contemporary Lace Artists (Two boards, one for more structural artists, one for people who specialize in jewelry made with lace techniques)
- Lace Periodicals (magazines and newsletters, primarily published by lace organizations. I have two boards, one for current and one for out of print publications.)
- Informational sites and blogs (There are now two boards, one for blogs, and one for more permanent websites. These sites generally do not accept reader commentary. These are the most difficult, many are quite personal, not much actual information. I’ll probably do some more subdividing or weeding out. Normally I don’t list Facebook pages unless they are associated with some organization or are really dedicated lace sites. Everyone has a Facebook page these days.)
- Wikipedia Entries on Lace (Entries on lace in various languages. Quality varies widely, with those written in the country where the lace was developed tending to be much better.)
- Lace Discussion Groups (These actively invite public posts and commentary. I’ve broken this up into 6 different boards, one each for Yahoo, Facebook, Google Groups, Ning, Ravelry, and Other Sites. Discussion groups that are hosted by a specific organization will not appear here, but will be noted in the comments for a particular ‘Lace Organization’ pin.)
- Lacemaking Instruction (teaching sites – 3 boards, for actual schools and courses, online instruction, and the fast disappearing physical videos/CDs/etc. Nothing yet for books, since that is covered in the Supplies & Books boards described below. I am also not pinning individual online videos, since this is well covered in the LaceNews Channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/lacenews. I will pin one of the LaceNews Channel playlists if it has a lacemaking instruction subject.)
- Digitized Lace Books and Articles (reflecting the growing base of digitized books on lace, or books that are actually published online. Traditional publications costs are going out of sight, as are prices for new books themselves.)
- Lace Software (there’s much more out there than you might think)
- Supplies & Books (there are now 11 boards for lacemaking supplies and books in different countries)
- Machine-made Lace (who makes machine lace these days? Plenty of manufacturers, and we never give them their proper due. Especially with the current fashion for lace in clothing.)
- Lace Fashion (I’ve now got two boards here. One for conventional fashion designers mainly since the 1998 Prada lace revival. But I’ve always felt that they really don’t understand lace, so I have another that shows lace fashion from the point of view of handmade lacemakers. This is just getting started.)
- Lace Monuments (celebrating the lacemaker in public art)
- Equipment (I now have boards on lace threads, bobbins, and pins & needles. More will follow. This involved transferring some pins from the Supplies & Books boards, which are more for retail shops, to the more specialized equipment boards.)
- Lace Consultants (this board advertises the services of textile conservators, lace appraisers and consultants. It’s slow getting going.)
- Lace Conservation, Storage Supplies (along with notes about how I manage my own collection.)
- Lace Photography and Presentation (equipment and notes on how I photograph lace – I take this very seriously. Also how I make and show presentations on lace)
- Mounting Lace for Exhibition (equipment and note on how I mount lace for show, based largely on my 2008 exhibition. As of 7/6/21014 this is still in progress. Some of the pins are currently in the Photography board, because I’m transferring them over slowly, trying to get them in a reasonable order.)
- Properly Washing your Lace (how to wash lace according to the best conservation principles. As of 7/6/2014 this board is just beginning).
If you do not have a Pinterest account, you can still see the boards. If you do, you can follow the entire site, or just those for a particular board. Clicking on a board brings up all the pins in that category. When you are looking at all the pins on a board, avoid clicking on the ‘Pinned from websitename” at the bottom of each selection – that just gives you a list of everyone on Pinterest who has pinned something from that website.
In order to get to the original website, click directly on the image, which brings up a larger version of the photo. Clicking on the ‘website’ button at the top, or clicking once again on that photo will take you to the original website from which the pin was made.
This all takes a little practice, but it’s fairly simple.
The study of how people organize their internet sites is fascinating Most have one main web page, rather static, and not always easy to update. Therefore we are finding more and more organizations having additional ‘streaming’ discussion pages, with Facebook being by far the most popular. Often these are not even mentioned on the regular website, and sometimes, very rarely, there isn’t even a website. So to find them all I’ve had to do some very detailed searches. If I find such sites for an organization, I will list their pointers directly in the pin description. Clicking on the photo or ‘website’ button gives you the original web site. But you must click directly on the pointer in the written description to get to the other sites. Things that I am finding include Facebook pages, blogs, twitter accounts, tumblr sites, and any variety of discussion groups.
I’ve recently started investigating the Pinterest Place pins. You can tag locations on a map for your pins. I’m starting this with the Lace Museum boards for different countries, and also the Lacemaking Courses and Schools board. It’s a little tricky, but we’ll see how it goes with those boards before I convert any more. What I’ve learned so far is that the mapping capability is tied to Foursquare, Stamen, and MapBox, and I think Foursquare was pretty much going broke before Pinterest took interest. The main problem is that when you want to associate your pin with a map is that you only have a limited number of places to pick around the actual site. So your famous lace museum might end up getting placed on top of somebody’s auto garage. I don’t know how to add addresses that aren’t currently listed.
When used to provide links, the Pinterest system is good, but not quite perfect:
- What happens when a pinned link disappears isn’t quite clear yet, but it does seem a little easier to maintain than a simple list of link pointers on a website. I have found an easy way to ‘ping’ all the sites listed in a board, so hopefully this will greatly help the website persistence problem. See http://tinyurl.com/mckpdf7 for a good discussion of pinging software.
- Unfortunately not all sites can be pinned if they do not have an appropriate ‘pinnable’ graphic (size is too small, or it is part of the site background). Or the graphics that are ‘pinnable’ might not be the ones you want. But I can upload an image directly from my computer, and put the original web pointer in the description. In this case the ‘website’ button is often missing, and you have to click again on the photo to get to the site. This actually holds a lot of promise for posting better looking advertising graphics which could be designed outside a website.
- It is also difficult to order the pins in a board; the one you pin most recently is always the first one in the list, shown in the upper left corner of a board. It moves to the right as more pins are added, eventually wrapping around to the next row down. The rather ‘jigsaw’ puzzle ultimate arrangement of the pins is interesting, but not always that readable. This is another example of the ‘streaming’ philosophy which has overtaken so much of the internet these days. I think the Pinterest people are working on better ways of organizing pins, but who knows when that will happen?
You can however, put the boards themselves in order quite easily.
- Boards cannot be established within an existing board, which means that the categorization possibilities are only one layer deep. I do note that the Pinterest people are asking users if they are interested in this capability – over 11,000 say they are (out of over 70,000,000 users, so adding this capability might not be on the top of their list). Basically Pinterest says most users only use one set of boards on one level, so what’s the point of going further (well, it’s the only option so what do you expect?). This is very typical of modern ‘streaming’ web design mentality – not only does it not cater to a traditional structured system, but it seeks to replace that whole system with something not very well thought out. And there’s not a whole lot that traditionalists can do about it; we are being overwhelmed whether we care or not. My whole Pinterest site would be greatly simplified if, for example, I could list all the boards with museums in different countries under one general ‘Museum’ board. Why Pinterest doesn’t understand something like this basically underwhelms my impression of how this site is run. They do offer another excuse (dated around beginning of 2014), that they only have 25 employees and can’t do everything… In the world of scientific research that’s what we call ‘whining’.
- You can’t pin another Pinterest site, however I can follow sites of interest. On the web page just above the various boards at the right you can click on sites that I am following, they are all related to lace. 179 of them as of this writing. None of these other ‘pinners’ seem to be using Pinterest specifically as a formal link page.
- You also can’t pin Facebook pages, however you can copy the pointer to the Facebook page into your description. Clicking on it works fine. I’ve also had trouble with VK.com, which is the second largest social network in Europe after Facebook, especially popular in Russian speaking countries. Something about how people are complaining that it contaminates their sites, although no one anywhere else seems to be having trouble. Very strange.
- Everyone can see all the pins on a board, and connect to the original website. However you can’t follow a board or make a comment on a pin unless you are logged into a Pinterest account. Which is quite easy to set up and free. (Which leaves open the question of how Pinterest makes any money…) Then again, you don’t have to follow the entire site, you can just follow one board.
- There must be a graphic to be pinned, you can’t attach it to something like an email address which would open automatically if clicked. The email can be contained within the pin description, but I can’t get it to work automatically. However, you can simply upload a graphic from your own computer and pin it. Which could be useful to display information for organizations without a website. I’ll look into this once I’m happy with all the pins for actual websites.
- I’ve recently had one pin taken down by Pinterest because the owner of the website filed a Millennium copyright notice with Pinterest telling them that nobody is allowed to user her images. Which is unfortunate since this is a well-known tatting supplier. But so far it’s the only instance I’ve had of this happening.
Once a pin is made it will also be announced on the LaceNews Twitter site, which is fast becoming a place where an immediate list of LaceNews activities across different social media can be maintained.
I think this is a very good advance on the traditional “link” page. The site also offers some interesting possibilities for organizations who might want to form their own specialized link pages on Pinterest. You can establish your own Pinterest account and boards, and ‘repin’ items of interest from the LaceNews and other sites to custom-design your own link page.