Monday, February 6, 2012

AHA! What You Pin Is What You See: Pinterest and Visual Literacy

OMG! Repin!
Everyone's in a fuss today about Pinterest, the new "vision board-styled socio sharing website and app where users can create and manage theme-based collections" ( The site's mission statement is  to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting," ( If you have ever used Pinterest, it is very easy to start "pinning" things into collections based on what YOU like, or whatever you deem collection-worthy. I started Pinterest last summer, when a friend of mine invited me to join the website. I liked it initially because it was similar to Stumbleupon, in that I could just browse my interests and essentially waste time looking at things.

After a while though, I lost interest in Pinterest, mostly because I was working and in school so much that I didn't really have time to just sit and look at images of things that might have caught my attention. But examining Pinterest as a media tool that allows us to communicate and connect with each other through images alone (yes, there is text too, but the images are what catch our eye), I think it is a very interesting web application. I can go on my Pinterest homepage and see what my followers are pinning, and "repin" things that I find interesting or to my liking. All I have to do is LOOK at images and decide "yes, I like this" or "no, that doesn't really interest me" and my Pinterest boards are created. This is visually based judgment-making behavior, and something that fits very well into Visual Literacy. Can you think of any other places online where sharing your interests is as easy as sharing a photo? Looking at an image and making a judgment? Do all social networking sites have an element of visual communication?

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