Absolutely Nothing To Worry About : Pinterest and The Etiquette of PinningPosted: February 29, 2012
I wouldn’t say I’m at the obsessive stage of my Pinning, but I’m getting close. I only joined Pinterest a few weeks ago but have been an onlooker for some time. Every day it seems I see another (often unlikely) person has joined the world of Pinning. Some haven’t taken the Pin plunge yet but they have their boards and they’re following furiously. I know I’m quite a late comer to the party, I wasn’t sure I could cope with yet another social media, file sharing, naval gazing outlet but actually I really do love it and have gained more in a few weeks of Pinterest than in years of having a Facebook profile – which I still consider deleting on a daily basis but can’t quite do it. Now that, I’m pretty sure, constitutes a social media addiction.
So now that everyone seems to be getting the Pinning bug, the question of etiquette has to surely be asked. A Repin is a little like a Retweet (Twitter) or a Like or Share (FB). It’s a way of sharing something you have enjoyed, be it in words or pictures, allows you to show your appreciation publicly (rather than keep it to yourself, which lets be honest, hardly anyone does these days) and keeps the passing on element of social media alive and well. I’ve always tried as much as possible to use my Twitter, Facebook etc primarily for work purposes. As an important vehicle to spread the word about the brands I work with, all of which are online based. You can’t do one without the other, it simply doesn’t work, so very quickly you find yourself sucked in to a whole load of platforms which need updating ALL THE TIME so you don’t get forgotten. There’s nothing worse than watching “followers” falling or “likes” being undone. You may as well commit social media suicide right there and not bother.
And this is where Repinning and Retweeting becomes so valuable – essentially when you haven’t got anything of great interest to say or show, you can just steal someone else’s. It shows you’re still there, you’re still looking and reading and you’re endorsing this bit of information because you whole heartedly agree. But this is also where it gets blurry. When does the RT or RP cross the line?
I had a conversation with a friend the other day who was incredulous that one of her followers on Pinterest not only kept Repinning her lovely finds but didn’t even bother changing the captions to something which reflected her own thoughts. It had happened to me the day before too, someone had pinned one of my very own pictures and claimed it as their own, no Repin, no link, no nothing. We decided bravely to “report the pins” but neither of us dared press the button to see what happened. We just had a really good Skype chat bitch about it instead. As I typed, I quietly thought about all the Repins I’d committed in the past weeks. Had I changed the captions? Had I Repinned too many things from the same person? Was I a Pinterest pest? Where were the rules? We need to know the dos and don’ts before we all fall out with each other and are labelled social media stalkers and thieves.
Luckily one of the people I follow and Repin a lot, is a very dear friend so I called her to see what she thought. She found it funny – on the outside – and we laughed about Pinterest etiquette for a while and praised each others Pinning cleverness. I bet the moment she put down the phone she too had a little Repin panic. I bet you anything.
And one more thing, is it correct to use capital letters when writing “Repin” and “Pin” and “Pinning”? Oh who knows, I’ll just keep looking at the pictures.