What’s the deal with… Pinterest

16 May

Last week I spoke a wee bit about how the MIA has incorporated QR codes into their exhibitions. This week I continued to explore some tech trends by finally succumbing to Pinterest.

As per my usual skeptical self, as soon as I heard that something was popular, I gave it a long hard stare and questioned everything about it. Hours later I’m beginning to see there might actually be something to all the hype, aside from the countless cute puppy photos.

For those of you who don’t know what this newfangled site is and why the number of followers has been exploding on a daily basis, here’s a quick summary from the Pinterest people:

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “But Brittany, but why would MIA get a Pinterest account when they already have Flickr? What’s the difference?”

Great question, and pretty much the reason why I didn’t get a personal Pinterest account earlier.

The main thing I took away when dealing with that question is that Flickr is built around posting images you’ve created whereas Pinterest is built around sharing all types of content.

Pinterest isn’t limited to photos, it’s a collection of everything. So you could click on a photo of our Educational Coordinator, Alysa Procida, while she is speaking with an Inuit artist via Skype – and also see the actual video of her interview. Unfortunately, Flickr can’t do that.

And since Pinterest encourages sharing (or “repinning”) you can include the content other people have posted into your own collections (or “boards”). That’s pretty cool, especially for museums because a HUGE part of our mandate revolves around education. Through Pinterest, we can both inform the public about Inuit art, and show support for like-minded institutions all while maintaining professional courtesies (i.e not stealing the hard work of others) because the original links are automatically embedded in the pins.

Now that I understand the concept behind the site I’m starting to play around with our boards. A lot.
I foresee a Pintervention in my future…

Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant


One Response to “What’s the deal with… Pinterest”


  1. Happy International Museum Day! « Peek Inside the Museum of Inuit Art - May 18, 2012

    […] year. In previous posts I’ve already written about our incorporation of social platforms like Pinterest, and explained how smartphone applications like QR code scanners are changing the way people […]

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