The Web's hottest new social network
Move over Facebook, there's a new kid on the social networking block that's getting a lot of attention.
Pinterest, an online bulletin board that lets you "pin" photos onto your own personal boards and then share them with others, was officially launched in 2010 and has since gone on to experience some pretty rapid growth.
Recent reports show the site registered more than 7 million new visitors in December alone, and is driving more traffic to corporate websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.
When Lanae McBroom, owner of Candid Joy Photography in Chatfield, discovered Pinterest six months ago, she says the only people she knew on the site were her two best friends. Since then, she has amassed more than 1,400 followers — a number that might be indicative of a slight Pinterest "addiction," she said with a laugh.
McBroom is such a fan of the site that she and three of her girlfriends have formed their own Pinterest craft group called "The Pretty Pinners."
"We each take turns hosting a Pinterest craft day once a month," she says. "Whoever's hosting gets to pick out a craft for all of us to do that day and then also whips up a couple of recipes that we've found on Pinterest. We all bring our materials and then make them together."
So far, the group has made Spanish moss wreaths, magnetic recipe holders, jewelry hangers and ruffled tree skirts for Christmas.
When the group gets together, McBroom says some projects tend to work out better than others.
"Sometimes we finish them and sometimes we don't," she says. "The second time that we got together, one of the girls had gotten a bunch of old wooden pallets from her dad, so we each picked out things to do with them, thinking 'How hard can it be to tear apart a pallet?'
"Well, it's not that easy. We spent more time laughing and working up the nerve to try the next big power tool than we did actually getting any of our projects done."
McBroom says Pinterest has also helped her build and grow her photography business.
"It's a huge resource for branding, marketing, inspiration and a variety of Photoshop tips and tricks that I would have never discovered had it not been for Pinterest," she says.
Katie Goldsmith, a first-grade teacher at Chatfield Elementary School, says Pinterest has also helped her find new ideas to use in her classroom.
"I've found many artwork ideas, worksheets and games for my classroom," she says. "My students recently did a 'Groundhog writing project' and they were super cute. … I have also been able to use Pinterest to connect to other teachers' blogs and get even more ideas for my classroom."
The only downside so far, Goldsmith says, has been the amount of time she finds herself spending on Pinterest every day.
"It's my husband's worst nightmare," she says with a smile.
Pinterest is currently an "invite-only" social network, which means in order to sign up and start pinning, you'll need to request an invitation to join. You can also join the site by being invited by someone who's already a member.