Did you know there’s a whole page devoted to how to be a courteous Pinner? No? Pinterest is an amazing tool, but like all tools, it can be used poorly. People can be rude, and sometimes even downright mean when it comes to Pinning. Here’s their list of guidelines, and how it can impact the blogger/webmaster you’re pinning from:
1) Be Nice
Pinterest is a community of people. We know that tastes are personal, but be respectful in your comments and conversations.
Bloggers check their traffic. And they can check Pinterest to see what people are pinning that are driving them to their sites. So, color me crazy when I see Pins with rude comments below outlining what they hate about the image before they finally toss out the one thing they liked. Take my blue barn door, for example. Blue is a very polarizing color. I get that. But when I saw Pins saying, “That blue is hideous, but I like the door” I don’t really know what to think. Or saying, “This isn’t really clever, I just should have thought of this sooner!” about my painted washer and dryer. It’s the backhanded insults like these that really bug me. Bloggers, especially ones who get paid, monitor their traffic. I never in a million years thought I would jump from 500 hits a day to nearly 7,000 when I posted my appliance makeover. I was just sitting around, dreaming up how I could gussy up the most boring room in the house, and the idea of painting them hit me. Not many people had attempted it, and I found next to nothing on tips or photos. So, I was the “first” to post it. And I learned some lessons in the process, which I shared with you. No need to go on bashing and being callous. Pinterest is supposed to be a source of inspiration. I’m amending the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t post a picture and then point out the fifteen things you don’t like about it.” Just post the damn picture and keep in mind the things you do love. Because that blogger will then check their url on Pinterest, and see all the nasty, flippant things you say about their stuff. And that’s just not the spirit of Pinning.
2) Credit Your Sources
Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Google Image Search or a blog entry.
Better people than I have covered properly Pinning from the correct source. Try not to get sucked in to the Apartment Therapy or Curbly time-warp. I’m totally guilty of this. If you can, please follow your inspiration through to the original post, and Pin from there, so people following you who want to replicate the project can easily find the source. Oh, and so the source can be properly credited. House of Hepworths had this happen to them, and that really does suck.
3)Avoid Self Promotion
Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.
I think this one emphasizes balance over abstinence. I do pin from my own blog, when I post something I deem “Pin-worthy”. I don’t overload my account with them, though. I enjoy when blogger friends of mine do this too, because following every single blog can be a challenge, but by seeing Pins of their posts and projects, I can still be inspired. And I make sure to click through to their blogs and give them hits and comments. Gotta share the love!
So there you have it. How to be a courteous Pinner. Be nice in your comments, be vigilant in your sourcing, and don’t shove your stuff in everyone’s faces. I hope you’ve all been Proper Pinners, but if you’re like me, you’ve been guilty of at least one “sin” a time or two. No time like the present to shape up though!