I like to think I keep up on most of the latest trends in social media. After all, when I began my current career, one of the requirements was that the applicant “lives and breathes social media.”
It’s the first thing I do each morning – after reading my hometown newspaper online – and the last thing I do each night, sometimes after I’m already under the covers.
Off and on through the day and into the evening, I tweet, link in, goggle at Google+, face-off in Facebook, whip up blog posts, and watch my virtual stock fluctuate on Empire Avenue – when I’m not writing about all of the above, that is.
I try to keep up with my millennial colleagues and readers and stay ahead of my Gen X and boomer friends when it comes to understanding what’s what, who’s where and how it all works.
At least I did until a couple weeks ago.
One of my former coworkers is a busy 30-something mom, with one child in grade school and another who is a preschooler. With kids to shuttle here and there, special treats to bake, school projects to help create, and that little one tugging on her jeans, begging, “Mommy, can I?” or “Mommy, would you?” she doesn’t have much time or excess energy to spend using social media.
I didn’t either when my kids were that age.
So I knew I was in trouble the day her Facebook wall said, “Melanie (not her real name) pinned to Fun Recipes (not the real board) in Pinterest.”
My head started spinning faster than an out-of-control old-fashioned playground merry-go-round.
“What? Pinterest? Melanie is on it before I am? She doesn’t even LIKE social media! I am in trouble. This thing must be big – really big. I’d better check it out.”
It took me a day or two. Yeah, I know. I must have been sick. That’s not like me – not at all.
When I finally did venture over to look at Pinterest, I didn’t get it. The crazy place looked like the chair-side table at the beauty shop. It was like Midwest Living, Good Housekeeping, Taste of Home, Country Gardens, Elle, Zappos and Zulily all stirred up together, with a sprinkling of Guideposts and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations thrown on as garnish.
I took a deep breath, sucked in my pride and asked Melanie for an invite to the invitation-only site. When the email arrived from Pinterest, I signed up and started exploring a bit.
I still couldn’t understand what anyone saw in a social networking site that was nothing but a bunch of photos – that was, until I clicked on one and found out this place was much more than a bulletin board or scrapbook full of images.
A click on a photo of “Better than Sex” cake took me to the recipe. Well, so what? That’s no big deal. Even the “church ladies” have that recipe! When I clicked on an image that said “100 fun things to do with kids,” I found myself at a mommy blog with a list that might keep kids from whining, “Mom, I’m bored,” when they’re cooped up on a rainy day,
“Ah, ha,” I thought. “Now I get it. I can create boards to link to pages about books I like, websites for places I enjoy, tips that help me as a writer. And, I can use it to get readers to the stories my colleagues and I write.”
Oh, and there’s one more thing I can do. I can pin my blog posts on my boards at http://pinterest.com/lincolnbuff2/ – and you can repin them.
Yep, I like this Pinterest.
Pin me up, reader.
© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012