The Dark Horses of Social Media Pt.1: Interest in Pinterest

All right, I know, I have no excuse. I should not be struggling with social media at my age. I mean this is my generation’s thing- being connected 100% of the time. Well, it has been two weeks since my last blog post, I have missed all of my twitter chats despite my calendar notifications, I never update my Snapchat storyline, and Pinterest? FORGET it! So I am going to do a two part blog entry, one on Pinterest, the next on Snapchat. Hopefully this will inspire me to be more consistent with my social media presence!

Now that that is out of my system, let me now proceed to talk about my genuine interest in Pinterest. We have all heard about it if we have not actively pursued it. “Oh how did you make those cute cupcakes?” (says Kate) “I found the idea on Pinterest, of course!” (exclaims Jane). We have ALL met these people.

I started my account about a year ago, and it mostly consisted of pictures of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, snarky t shirts that I wanted to buy, and nail polish art ideas. I cannot bake to save my life, so being the girl who brings cute rainbow cupcakes to the party was automatically out of the question. My Pinterest has now grown to include other ‘boards’ where I can ‘pin’ pictures and articles. Pinterest appeals to me for several reasons:

  1. I am a visual learner, and it is all pictures (gorgeous eye candy)
  2. I can save things to explore further at a later time
  3. I can organize and categorize to my OCD hearts content
  4. Most people have no idea about its potential
  5. Collaboration opportunities
  6. I am a curious person who likes useless trivia

Pinterest has potential not just for those who like to knit and bake, but for educational institutions and museums as well. I am including some screen shots from my account (feel free to follow me for Pinterest malarkey) that has become a combination of my personal and museum related interests. I have found some interesting odds and ends that have been shared from all over the world, from personal and formal accounts. I have taken some screen shots from my account that are shown here.

This is my home page on Pinterest, with my archaeology collaboration board on the left and my recipe board on the right.
This is my home page on Pinterest, with my archaeology collaboration board on the left and my recipe board on the right.
Photo on my 'Museum Display' board. What a great way to contextualize a bag without distracting from its actual beauty!
Photo on my ‘Museum Display’ board. What a great way to contextualize a bag without distracting from its actual beauty!
I love photography, so naturally I love finding old photos. This is of a hoarders apartment in NYC taken in 1947 where two wealthy brother lived an died together.
I love photography, so naturally I love finding old photos. This is of a hoarders apartment in NYC taken in 1947 where two wealthy brother lived and died together.

Museums have finally begun to understand the importance of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Having this online presence forces your institution to be relevant, and as I found in my dissertation on museum digital catalogues, people want that kind of access that can be established via the internet from anywhere at any time. People enjoy seeing updates on what is going on in conservation departments, and seeing photos of objects with short descriptions in their newsfeeds. It makes them feel involved. It is approachable for those who are casually interested, and for those who want to have fun and play. Nothing is wrong with this! Pinterest seems to be a great next step for museums, especially for the smaller museums who have not taken the plunge yet. Most of the larger museums have Pinterest accounts, but they of course have more resources to delegate staff to their social media commitments.

Pinterest has potential to be a bit more educational. Now I personally think that Pinterest is a great way to share photos and information, similar to Instagram, but with a way for people to ‘pin’ them for later, and to connect maps, web links, and other sources of info for people who want more detail to explore. Users can explore museum design and cooking recipes- there is no limit. I can have my museum design board and eat my oven-roasted zucchini too!

In the mean time, join me on my excavation of Pinterest. I am a newbie, and have just started to uncover the museum side of the platform in all of its glory. It really is an excavation, there is so much stuff on there already! Plus you have to dig through all of the distracting photos of chocolate cake to find what what you were originally looking for.  If you are new to Pinterest but are interested in museums or archaeology, check out the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Museums Scotland to get yourself started, as they have a great variety of boards. From there, you can check out who they are following to expand your base, which is pretty much exactly what I have stated to do!

Peace and long life.


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