News Column

Pinterest Is Pinning It Down

Feb. 10, 2012

Rob Anderson

Call it a virtual bulletin board, a Web-based scrapbook or even an online wall of man cave "wishes," but "Pinterest" is quickly becoming a social media craze.

Pinterest is a social website that allows the "invited-only" account holders to organize and share online images they find interesting, informative or even inspiring. Once the user clicks on an image and shares or uploads the idea to his or her Pinterest account, the illustration becomes what is known as a "pin" and can be placed on a user-designed or theme board offered by the website. Boards can be created for any imaginable topic, from quotes of TV-star comedians to exercise routines, to recipes for a sloppy joe grilled cheese or cinnamon roll pancakes.

And though the concept of assembling for display examples of personality identifiers, interests, accomplishments, or goals is not a new one, the format or media one may choose to exhibit his or her self-expression is taking on new appearances.

The annual Cherokee County Republican Women's Club flea market held recently at the Tahlequah Community Building offered an outlet to purchase or present items for sale that may connect to a "pin."

Re-Treasure booth proprietor Lynn Harvey is always on the lookout for items that a customer may have an established "pin" for or will be the inspiration for a shared idea.

"It's an idea forum for everything," Harvey said on the idea-sharing website that presents links to Facebook and Twitter. "Most of my friends have a Pinterest [account] and it's so addictive. I'm old-fashioned. I use a scrapbook. Something as simple as using a basket to display your stuff in could be considered what Pinterest is about."

Tahlequah freelance marketing consultant and web designer Lisa Pinnick said the site has become the leading marketing avenue on a business or private-individual level.

"Pinterest has surpassed all other social media websites as far as marketing," she said. "So many people are doing it. It's really addictive. Whether it's a person blogging about recipes or it's a business website ... say I'm doing some marketing for a health site and we do a new blog post about gluten-free cookies. We'll pin a picture from the blog post of the gluten-free cookie, they click on it and it ups our traffic. A business can use it to drive their traffic, and on a personal side, it's a way to categorize the things you need to do and the things you want to do."

Just as Pinterest presents an unlimited angle of interests, Harvey said Tahlequah's flea market setting offers the same options for a buyer or seller. She has participated as a seller for seven years and is among several repeat vendors to the weekend rummage sale.

"There's so much that's different, from household goods to antiques to furniture," she said. "It's just a good market here."

Flea Market Coordinator Pam Coonce said the annual event typically has 40 vendors, but noted the booth need not have a "pin" interest to participate.

"We like variety, so we like people to bring what they like [to offer for sale]," said Coonce. "I think it went very well. Everyone seemed very pleased. We want to give thanks to all the people who helped us and let us post notices [about the flea market] The community building .. the people we work with are always very nice and helpful."

Because the focus is in fundraising for club activities and donations for community organizations and events, Coonce said a final tally of overall sales for the two-day market isn't available due to each vendor handling financial logistics individually.

"Our fundraising is in renting the booths," she said. "In fact, we usually have a lot of repeat vendors because they do well."

The opening-day experience was an auspicious one for Things-N-Stuff proprietor Mert Fredericks.

"I did really well," said Fredericks. "I met half of my goal, and I didn't expect that."

Fredericks said the flea market is a great way to move product.

"I have kitchen stuff, toys, guy stuff like fishing tackle and tool bins," she said. "I had to have a friend come help me I had so much business. We got to meet a lot of the vendors. We shop and buy from each other."

Source: (c) 2012 the Tahlequah Daily Press (Tahlequah, Okla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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