Something to Think About

Is Pinterest in Our Best Interest?

The recent brouhaha about Pinterest, a current addiction and tool, and its copyright issues, the internet and blogging made me confront some interesting and sometimes painful realities.  I love the internet, but I must admit it was pretty amazing to discover that a lot of this website had been lifted up onto Pinterest.  I was flattered.  I was amused.  I was surprised. And a touch dismayed, but I can’t really claim any part in it because it had been done by lots of other quilters who found my blog and my work interesting enough to them to pin to their wall.  And I’m sure you’re not surprised that eighty-percent of Pinterest users are women. (How many of them are quilters?)

So some of my quilting exists on pinboards, and websites and floating around on the internet, where we, readers and bloggers, attempt to capture these photos so we can make more and better and more fascinating and The New and Next Big Thing! in quilt-land. To be truthful, I spent some time how to “capture” my apparent presence on Pinterest (albeit a pebble in a lake in terms of numbers, I’m sure), but in the end, failed.  Late to this particular party, I set up my own Pinterest site, and started to dabble in it.  I recognized that this could be a helpful tool for me to note which fabrics I liked on Spoonflower, as well as quilt ideas.

But given the copyright issues that have been raised (here and here), perhaps I should more cautious about appropriating other’s images onto my boards, even if I am thinking of this as a tool.  When I talked to Cindy last night, she asked, “How is this different from the thousands of images that are lifted from Google every day?” (Like the one above.) She has some thoughts on this, too, on her blog today.

So if I don’t use it as a tool, maybe it could act as a virtual quilt show, displaying my own wares on my boards, as I noticed that some have done, acting as sort of an alternative to Flickr. Interestingly, many Flickr sites disallow “Pinning” to Pinterest, through the use of a snippet of code.

So, what do you think?  Should we have more control over our own images?  Or once we publish them to our websites, it’s as good as done?  Are you, like I am, flattered that others like your work and are spreading your quilting gospel throughout cyberspace?  Or are you someone who is trying to make a living off their own work, and are dismayed to see it distributed far and wide without your permission?

Pinterest may or may not be the next Napster, as the Wall Street Journal noted.  But I’d be interested to hear what you quilters have to say about it, given our particular penchant for community.  Does this enhance our quilting community?  Detract from it? Weigh in with your thoughts and reflections.

12 thoughts on “Is Pinterest in Our Best Interest?

  1. I’ll be curious to see what others think. I’m not sure what I think. On the one hand, we put out a blog and we want people to stop by and see what we write and what we make – so should we complain when we get traffic from Pinterest? On the other hand it seems less personal – people who read blogs seem to have more of a relationship(?) whereas Pinterest is all about the next, newest, shiniest thing.
    I also see a lot of people pinning their own works, tutorials and patterns – and I’m not sure how I feel about that either….
    I’ll have to check out your links and see what others are saying.

  2. Let me clarify the pinning of own our stuff – I was thinking of the self promotion etiquette – but if you go by copyright rules, then apparently you should only pin your own stuff – or things that you have permission to pin. hmmmmm. More to think about.

  3. This is an interesting post. I agree with Rachel that Pinterest doesn’t seem as personal as a blog is. I’ve made a lot of AWESOME friends through my blog that, unfortunately, I’ll probably never meet, but I still cherish their words and advise just as much as I do with my best friend down the street. I LOVE looking at other quilter’s blogs and “connecting” that way. I’ve only been on Pinterest once because my daughter said I would just love it, but I’m not sure I do. I do love blogging and quilting, though. I spend too much time on the computer as it is, which takes me away from doing what I really love, and that’s quilting. So, with that being said, I think I’ll go sew something . . . 🙂

  4. I think pintrest is good and pinning is good. Use good pinning ediquit and make sure the page your linking too is a direct link to image your pinning so others following your pin can make it to the right page. Go pin my blog would love to see what others like. The web and or blogs are places where you share your images. once you post your image its not yours any more it belongs to all of us. If your one that does not want others too see your work for heavens sake stop blogging. Go hide in a shoe box for the rest of us lets get inspired and go make more quilts.


  5. Bottom line, I stepped away from FB and did not become engaged with Pinterest. Both take too much time. Already not enough hours in my day! I want to work in my garden, play with my poodles, pet my kitty cats, work on quilting while fitting in all the other mundane life chores.

  6. I really can’t understand all the hysteria over Pinterest right now. Correct me if I’m wrong, but has there been ONE lawsuit? Pinterest is A) useful and B) fun. But at this point, it’s not lawsuits that are in danger of destroying it—it’s all of us rushing to delete our Pinterest boards because of a few highly speculative articles.

    Also, there is a way for websites to block people from pinning their images: Flickr users can opt out as well. Granted, not every website may be aware of how to do this, but if someone really feels strongly about their images not being pinned, there is a way to prevent it. I’ve had a few images disappear from my pins, and I suspect that is the reason why.

  7. Huh. Here I’ve been trying to figure out how to help readers “pin” things by embedding a “pin it” button in my posts. I’m not really wanting to “rule the world” with my creativity, I kind of just want to make stuff and have people see it, since no one in my “real” life other than close family members seem all that interested… Gee. The Internet moves too fast for me to keep up.

    On another note, I’m working on binding my drunkards path quilt tonight. I think as long as I make enough stuff to feel like I’m creating more than I’m being “inspired” then I’m under control. Right?

  8. good gravy! this drives me insane. in MY opinion, pinterest is a great resource. i have been on it since its inception and i think its great. a few always have to spoil things for the rest of us. to me, it seems that the common denominator is the almighty buck. people fear that pinterest will take money from their pockets. What???? i am a prolific pinner. if i repin something i click thru and check it out, AT the source. how can that be a bad thing? increased traffic, i would think that is a no brainer. i am probably going to make some people mad with this response but i just have to say my peace. there are few things left in this world that are truly original, especially in the quilting world. really, you want to copyright a pattern made from a block that has been around for 100 years??? if they take away peoples ability to pin or make people have to get everyones permission before pinning something, pinterest will shut down. it wouldnt be worth the effort.
    *jumping down from soapbox*

  9. Haven’t been been to pininterest yet. I’m afraid…very afraid – it looks like the kind of place that I could sit down and look at while I’m having breakfast and then look up at a clock and realize it’s lunchitime. I like to create and quilt – I have enough inspiration, ideas and fabric that I’m hoping to use in this lifetime. I think pininterest would only deter me from that timeline.

  10. Seriously? I like it, I use it for my personal “memory crutch” … i find it easier to “pin” an idea for inspiration and actually find what the heck i’m looking for again. I like the visual reminder. I have TONS of blogs bookmarked – and i can never remember which one was what… I use google reader – well “use” is not accurate – i forget and i start to feel like I have ADD – i can get lost on the internet forever.
    SIMPLY – get real – if it’s not meant to be shared don’t post it.
    I like that i can PIN and find the original source.

    Not afraid of Big Brother of the Brave New World.
    Maybe i should be, but life is short.
    I LIKE it.

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