Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WoW: Pintiquette, or The Art of Politely Pinning

I am no Emily Post.  (I know you're surprised. ;)

I am terrible at sending thank you notes, formal introductions give me hives, and my elbows end up on the table at some point during most any meal.

However, I do believe in being generally courteous and polite, even if I'm no stickler for being absolutely proper. And generally, being polite is more a matter of being aware than of knowing and observing specific social rules. Courtesy is especially important in social situations, such as social bookmarking. (Did you catch that segue? :) 

Just like you can be a polite driver by being aware of others and giving them a comfortable amount of space, you can be a polite pinner (or a polite bookmarker on another social bookmarking site) by following a few basic courtesies (from the people at Pinterest themselves):

Pin (or bookmark) from the original source.  If you see a project featured somewhere (such as an Etsy shop featured on a blog), click over to the original source (the Etsy shop listing) and THEN pin it from there.

Pin (or bookmark) from permalinks. A permalink is a link that will always link you back to a specific thing -- a permanent link to something like a blog post, news article, or shop listing. By pinning a permalink, you ensure that both you and anyone else who is looking for the original source of the pin (see above) can find it quickly and easily with no searching around through archives to find the intended item.

If at all possible, do not pin an image from a Google Image Search or only an image from a blog -- pin the original page/article/blog post that the image comes from in order to ensure that the original creator receives proper credit. 

If you're not sure if your link is a permalink, take a look at the URL (the web address). URLs these days, especially on blogs, are usually fairly easy to decipher.
  • If the URL contains a phrase or abbreviation akin to "search results" or "label", you'll be pinning the results of a search or anything on that blog with that label, not a specific post on the blog.
  • If the URL is just the blog address, you'll only be pinning the blog itself and not a specific post on the blog.
  • If the URL ends in .jpg, .png, or .gif, you'll be pinning only an image and not an article or blog post. And that makes it very hard for someone else (or your future self) to find the original source.

Give credit and include a thoughtful pin description. It's polite to the creator to give credit and it's polite to both the creator and other pinners to include a description beyond "so cute!" A good description helps other pinners know what the pin is about and also helps Pinterest's search be as accurate as possible.

So, what do you do if you notice that another pinner isn't being polite? Treat the situation like when someone cuts in front of you in line at the grocery store: presume it wasn't intentional, point out the lapse in courtesy, and then let them respond. Just like most line-cuts are accidental, so are most impolite pins. Just leave a comment on the pin with the correct source and leave it to the pinner to correct it.

And what if you are (accidentally, of course) the impolite pinner? It's easy to correct the pin to show the correct, original, permalinked source. This actually happened to me just last week, with a photo I had pinned from Facebook without noticing that the link wasn't correct. :)

Just view the pin, click edit and copy and paste the correct source into the link box.

Save the pin and -- voila! -- your inadvertent lapse of Pintiquette is corrected.

Obviously these courtesies apply to any social bookmarking service that you use, as well as to any situation where you are sharing something that you found elsewhere online. And, in any on- or offline situation, it never hurts to just be nice, like your mother taught you.

Go, pin, and be polite. :)

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of two sweet little things (except on the days that they aren't) and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.
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