“Pinspiration” Abounds

Popular site is addicting, but copyright concerns are on the horizon

PinsNot long ago, a much younger female colleague introduced me to Pinterest. It’s amazing to see how much the site has taken off, and in a relatively short amount of time, as outlined in this great infographic on techcrunch.com.

Now I am addicted to the virtual pinboard that lets me share photos of things I like with other people. I think I’m a fairly early adopter of social media, and align perfectly with Pinterest’s core demographic, which is largely female and Midwestern.

Using Pinterest and connecting with friends via Facebook, I can find and share great recipes, get ideas of how to decorate a room, find inspiration for a wedding shower, or get an idea of what to buy my teenage daughters for their birthdays. It really replaces the old-fashioned practice of cutting photos out of magazines and catalogs and saving them in a folder or scrapbook – now you can “pin” what you like onto neatly categorized boards.

And while Pinterest skews largely female, men are using it, too. Just look at the Cars & Motorcycles board – it’s full of motorheads who have a passion for big engines, classic and foreign cars, and more.

It’s truly fascinating to see the kinds of items posted on the site – they range from humorous quotes to 40 ways to tie a scarf, and from how to clear your car’s headlights to tips for taking great photos of kids. The range of information and the ease of viewing and sharing images are, to me, what makes the site so appealing.

Three of my favorites to follow are Real Simple, Lowe’s and Better Homes and Gardens, largely because I’m one who would read these print publications if time permitted. Now I can access some of the same content much more quickly on my laptop or iPad. It’s a huge timesaver. Kudos to publications and retailers who’ve embraced this new way of communications.

Recently, however, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that addressed the issue of copyright on Pinterest. It does pose some great questions about one’s ability to copy an image from a website or blog for use on your board.

According to the Wall Street Journal, all of the lawyers interviewed for the article said the courts are far behind in copyright law in areas where Pinterest could present issues. With Pinterest’s user growth greater than that of Facebook and Twitter at the same point in their history, these issues will likely be in the forefront for the site, as well as for lawyers and those who post original content.

While they figure this out, I’m planning dinner, picking out clothes, considering the best flowers for container gardens and thinking about a hundred other great ideas. All from Pinterest.

Are you on Pinterest? If so, do you follow anyone whose pins are particularly cool or interesting? Please share so I can continue my addiction.

Creative Commons License photo credit: erix!

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