Pinterest, billed as a “Virtual Pinboard” to “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web,” seems to be going through that phase where people are trying to figure out how to integrate it into their social networking portfolio. Some are saying that it’s geared more toward women (see: Mustaches Prevail on Gentlemint, the Pinterest Site for ‘Manly Men’).
I’m not sure what a manly man is, and I’ll take images of wedding dresses and pancake stacks over firearms. I’m using Pinterest in my work (which is in health and health care), and I think others will want to as well. Here’s how.
Pinterest – beyond brunch plates and home furnishings
There’s nothing wrong with the above. Using Pinterest to tell a different kind of story was stimulated recently by Beth Kanter’s Board “Komen can Kiss My Mammogram.” Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
To cope with Flickr’s deficiencies above, I have been using Pinterest to organize images around a specific topic in health and society. For me, it’s like delicious.com (which is used to organize hyperlinks/web sites) for images. I’ve created a few boards with themes:
- Love Always Wins – “Photographs showing the movement toward a welcoming, equal, society for all.”
- Climate Change and Health – A new area of interest for me and topic on this blog, where I am putting together images that tell the story as part of a presentation I’m giving later this month.
On the climate change topic in particular, Pinterest is really helpful because I wouldn’t likely be able to create a series of blog posts with all the images that would tell the story. I couldn’t create a Flickr gallery, either. One of my pins from that board is above. I had to tweak the embed code a little bit, so one area for improvement.
Flickr is for hosting, Pinterest is for sharing
I think telling stories using visual images is extremely important, and I work to include visuals in every dialogue. Flickr is a great place to store my photographs that others can take, share, use, and re-use to tell their stories too. There’s a relatively large community of publications that access the photographs there as well.
The deficiencies of Flickr are:
- Learning curve – takes time to understand tagging, search and the like
- Weird quirk – you can assemble images you like into a gallery that can be shared, but there’s a maximum limit of 18 photos, and you can’t add your own photographs to it. So if you wanted to put together the photographs/images you compiled for a presentation, there’s not really an easy way to do it.
Pinterest doesn’t have the bar of entry that Flickr.com has, so images that other people find can be added, and so a story can be told, collaboratively, with images. I have created a board “Visual Messaging in Health“, based on ideas that Christine Kraft and Regina Holliday gave me. It’s a mashup of two Flickr groups – “Visual Messaging in Health” and “Patient Faces: A “stock reality” resource.” These things are additive, not competitive, because Pinterest doesn’t require you to upload the images, just find them.
I think this a good evolution of social media to show the power of images in addition to text. I notice that there currently isn’t a Board category for “Health,” which is a suggestion I’ll make to the service.
In the meantime, see what you think and see if this helps understand the possibilities.