Pinterest is a mesmerizing and beautiful social network driven by visual content. It’s a virtual pinboard, and you can imagine it as an online place where you pin images of things you want to save and remember: quotes that motivate you, do-it-yourself projects you long to do one day, gadgets you would love to buy, pictures from websites that are packed with useful information, ideas for lesson plans, teaching tips, or recipes for next Friday’s dinner. The primary difference between Pinterest and a physical pinboard hanging over your desk is that your Pinterst pinboards are created and shared with the online world.

Pinterest isn’t merely a passing fad. The site’s growth has been explosive. In January 2011, Pinterest attracted 11.7 million unique visitors, according to comScore. That made it the third fastest-growing website for the month, and the fastest independent site to reach the 10 million monthly unique visitor threshold. The site has received praise in Time, which featured it on the 50 Best Websites of 2011 list. The first time you visit Pinterest, you may notice immediately that it’s an aesthetically pleasing site. You can see how much it relies on visually stunning photos. The second thing you may notice is that you can’t join without an invitation. Although I presume the site will eventually become open to public registrations, it’s currently in invitation-only mode.

You have two options for joining Pinterest:

*Request an invitation from Pinterest. This option requires waiting until your inviatation is sent directly from Pinterest. It you choose this option, you should receive an immediate e-mail from Pinterest thanking you for adding your name to the waiting list, and then you must wait for an invitation to arrive.

*Ask a friend to invite you. If you know someone who’s a member of Pinterest, ask her to invite you. The advantage of opting for this method is you get your invitation right away.
After you receive your invitation, you’re all set. To register, you must first have a Twitter or Facebook account. Although this might appear to be an inconvenience, restricting registrations to those already active in social media seems to have had the desired effect of preventing spam submissions on Pinterest. After integrating Pinterest with Facebook or Twitter you must go through a few steps to set up your basic Pinterest profile. After you indicate your interests, Pinterest displays the list of memebers it has chosen for you to follow. Pinterest also automatically sets up your profile to follow those friends from either Twitter or Facebook who are already established on Pinterest.
You will now be given the option to automatically add some boards based on suggestions from Pinterest. Boards are the main organization system for Pinterst and are designed to be a simulation of a pinboard hanging up on your wall. Before you create a new board, consider what interests you have that others might have as well. By creating boards that cover interests that others share, you can encourage people to follow you or your boards and engage with those who share your interests. You can be general, or you can be specific, but it should be an interest that will have content worth pinning.
Pinterest allows people to browse by category, so be sure to choose a category that accurately describes your board. In most instances, identifying a category for your board is pretty easy. Pinterest has serveral categories that cover a wide variety of topics. You're limited to the category options. Pinterest makes available. Unfortunately, some boards don't categorize well.
You can create a board that only you can pin to, or you can create a board that allows other Pinterest users to contribute to it. In most situations, especially if you're new to Pinterest, a solo board makes the most sense. On the other hand, a group board offers many interesting possibilities such as collaborating on a work project. After you create some boards, you may want to rearrange them to bring your favorite and most well-pinned boards to the top.
I have pinned the following sites to my boards and I use them for lesson plans and teaching tools. I have found several different blogs through using this learning tool.
The blogs all change weekly and I have truly enjoyed the creativity of my profession. My favorite site is were you pay teachers for their ideas! I love it!!! In the last week, I have probably spent over $125.00 on this site. I have come away with a wealth of learning tools and it all started with Pinterest.

When you share another user's exsisting pin, placing that user's pin on one of your own boards, that's called repinning. Repinning is fun and easy, and it's a wonderful way to build up quality pins on your boards quickly. Using repins also allows you to remain active without dedicating massive blocks of time to huntinh down great images from around the web to pin. Although you still want to do that as well, I would estimate a large portion of pins on Pinterest are actually repinned.

Sometimes it makes more sense to like a pin than it does to repin it. You might see a pin that doesn't rise to the level of putting it on your own boards, or maybe you don't have any boards that are a good fit andon't foresee needing such a board. In those cases, you may just want to like the pin rather than repin it.

Pinterest is a social network,but that doesn't mean you necessarily want to share everything or have your e-mail inbox overrun with constant notifications. The advice I have been given regarding all social networks and the Inernet is just as applicable here. Don't say something online unless you're comfortable with anyone being able to see it: your paretns, your children, your boss, your spouse, or strangers. To truly expereince Pinterest and prosper there, you need to socialize. The core of socializing is finding and interacting with friends and followers, as well as inviting your own friends who are interested in joining Pinterest but haven't yet recieved the conveted Pinterest invitation. Pinterest is a fun site that makes it easy to share content.

By: D'Arcy Simmons-Meng