I tend to use a handful of sites and apps regularly, and I thought it’d be fun to start a list. (Lists are fun. Lists make me feel accomplished with little work.)
Let’s start with Pinterest.
I’ve heard criticisms of Pinterest that I think can be mitigated or eliminated with some good old Best-Use Practices. In other words, YOU MAY BE DOING IT WRONG.
Some of my friends feel Pinterest is a waste of time–and like any other cool thing on the Internet, it can be. But also like any other Internet thing that is also a reflection of you, it must be curated. I don’t mean that in an annoying, high-falutin’ way. I mean that if you want it to be useful for you, interesting to you, and appealing to others, you’ve got to do a few things:
1. Follow accounts and boards you find interesting.
On Pinterest I may not get the most enjoyment out of following the “Hope Chest” board of a 20-year-old girl dreaming of rings and engagement photo shoots.
However, she and I may love the same kinds of recipes, art, or shoes. I choose which boards to follow, not just which people.
2. Create content that excites, stimulates, and appeals to you.
If you really like what you pin, you get several useful things from your effort. You’ll have one place to visually scan categories of your favorite things or primary aspirations. This served me well recently when I was seeking a new tattoo design to celebrate my 40th birthday. I pinned designs I really loved, and as I examined that board, my own idea began to form.
Pinning only what really appeals to you also helps like-minded pinners find you. You may discover someone who really inspires you, as I did with artist Rowena Murillo.
3. Let Pinterest be what YOU want it to be.
It’s a tool for you. If you want to catalog recipes, awesome! If you want to create outfits on Polyvore and share them, that’s cool, too.
You may be dreaming of your first home, or maybe you’re interested in going Paleo. It’s all there, but the site will serve you best if you remember that it’s your servant, basically. You create and share content that helps you.
I had a similar conversation with myself when starting Grammarish.
On this site I don’t have to post about a certain thing; unlike my last blog, which was tied to food, I can write about anything here. And there are no rules as to timing or length of posts, either. No guilt. Just a place to be myself and talk about what interests me, in hopes that it will at times be revelatory, useful, humorous, or inspiring to me and to others.