If Tumblr and StumbleUpon had a baby, they would likely give birth to Pinterest.
The new social networking site, which lets you grab things--photos, videos, and blog posts--from around the Web and "Pin" them, is quickly claiming the social lives of Internet users.
Aside from being a fun and effective way to discover new content on the Web, Pinterest might eventually replace traditional bookmarks, as the site offers a more attractive, visual way to scrapbook stuff you find on the Net.
Getting started on Pinterest is easy. Repinning, adding new pins, and following friends is simple enough, so once you master those basics, dive into these extra tips and tricks to advance your Pinning addiction.
Must-have Pinterest tips and tricks
1. Install the bookmarklet.
By adding Pinterest's bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar, you'll be able to quickly pin things you find around the Web without going to the Pinterest Web site first. To get it, head over to http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ and drag the "Pin it" button to your browser toolbar.
Now, when you're browsing the Web and see something you want to pin (like this post!), click the bookmark and you'll be prompted to create a new pin.
2. Tag friends in posts.
Like Facebook and Twitter, you can tag Pinterest friends in the description or comments of a pin. Simply type "@" immediately followed by the person's name, and choose from the drop-down menu. Once you publish the pin (or comment), that person will be notified and the tag will link back to his or her profile.
3. Collaborate with friends.
If you and a friend have a joint obsession with nail art, consider pinning together with a little-known feature that lets you invite friends to contribute to your board(s).
Head to one of your Boards and click "Edit Board" at the top. Next to "Who can pin?" select "Me + Contributors." Now, enter the name of someone on Pinterest (you must be following at least one of his or her boards) and click "add." That person will get an e-mail with your invitation; he or she may opt out and choose not to collaborate with you.
If all of you are all pinning consistently, collaborating will quickly raise awareness of your Board.
4. Be specific and use #keywords.
"What would I search for if I was looking for this pin?" That's what you should ask yourself each time you write the description for a new pin. Think of it as Search Engine Optimization (SEO)--the more descriptive your pin is, the easier it will be for users to find.
You can also add multiple hash tags (keywords) at the end of your description. For example, you might add "#fashion, #style, #dress, #bright" to the end of a pin about a dress. Add as many as you want, but beware that too many hash tags can look like spam.
5. Search for pins from a specific site
Want to find out what's popular on Pinterest from a specific site? Easy. Head to http://pinterest.com/source/[Web site URL here]/ and you'll see everything that's already been pinned from that site.
It's a great way to quickly get to what users are buzzing about from a site and repin those items without having to create a new pin.
Note that Pinterest is in invite-only beta right now, so expect some interactions with the site to be buggy. And if you landed on this blog post because you were looking for an invite, tweet me with your e-mail address, and I'll do my best to help.