• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Thing 45: Pinterest

Page history last edited by Karla Irwin 10 years, 11 months ago

By Karla Irwin


Pinterest, as defined by the website, is a “tool for collecting things that inspire you.”  Pinterest is a visual version of social bookmarking.  In fact, unlike other social bookmarking sites, you must use an image to share an item. The site is a digital version of a corkboard. The site has become incredibly popular since its launch in March of 2010. The latest statistics from July 2013 has the total amount of worldwide users at 70 million. Pinterest is popular primarily with women, which make up 80% of those users, and the most popular age group is in the 25-34 range. 


Here is how it works:  First, you must install the “Pin It” button to your browser, or download the app. When you find a web page with a photograph, tutorial, recipe, etc. that you like you can “pin” it on Pinterest.  Pinterest will prompt you to select an image from the site you are on from which you can then add a description. If you choose, you can also upload your own photos. Once you start “pinning” you can organize your pins into groupings or “boards."  When you or someone else clicks on your “pin” they will be taken directly to the website, and they can decide to share  or “repin” to their own board, and of course, vice versa.  Once you have an account you can search other user's pins or browse subject areas.  You can also comment on and “like” pins just as you can do on other social media sites. Finally, you can link your Pinterest boards to Facebook and your friends can see what you are pinning. 


Although Pinterest has the biggest benefit for retailers, libraries and archives have found benefit in using the site as well. The most obvious reason is the site is another means in which archives can drive internet traffic to their repository website. The visual, clean organization of Pinterest will likely be appealing to an entirely new set of users.  Selecting topics that are related to the institution or repository and creating boards and content around them is a great way to initiate discussion. In addition, “pins” can be a means to outreach as you can add context to the items or boards such as descriptions of how archivists preserve and organize collections. There is also great potential for collaboration with other archives or related institutions.


The nature of Pinterest does call in some concerns with copyright and other legal issues. Gordon Belt, citing Judy G. Russell explains “be cautious about pinning third-party content, and suggests that if you plan to pin content that falls outside the scope of your own collections, you can never go wrong if you ‘look for content that is in the public domain; things that are covered by a Creative Commons license as long as you stay within the precise terms of the license; and anything where you have permission to copy it. When it doubt, ask. You absolutely can never go wrong asking for permission.’”




  • Take a look at Pinterest's About and Basic pages.
  • Set up an account and explore the site's features. 
  • Create some themed boards and start "pinning."
  • Check out other user's pins and "repin" some items.




  • Link your Pinterest account to Facebook.
  • Create a blog post based on one or more of your boards on Pinterest.


Further Information




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