Better Content, Creative and Connected.
Kathryn Johnston interviews Jennifer Waggener for Longridge Editors LLC; together they explore questions about how this particular social medium benefits a literary mind and helps organize creativity:
“Pinterest,” my friend Beth said, “ is like The Secret for people who are too lazy to read The Secret.”
I apparently am too lazy to even know what The Secret is, so I Googled it.
The Secret is, basically, a book about believing that anything is possible.
In essence you can pretend anything is possible,visually, with Pinterest. My friend was correct!
I wanted to know what someone who works with words thinks about all this, so I interviewed Jennifer Waggener; Jennifer is the former manager/buyer for the independent bookstore Taylor Books in Charleston, West Virginia. She is an avid Pinterest-er, as well as a writer and book lover.
K: I won’t own a Kindle because I just like touching books so much. You’ve referred to Pinterest as a “global muse.” Talk about how using a computer to assemble images compares to sitting down and cutting things out of magazines, books or any other tangible media.
J: I refuse to own a Kindle (for now). I have been living “live on the internet” for nearly a decade now, and it took a long time to find the right balance for me. I tend to keep my social media “profiles” separate, with very little overlap.
There are very few people who “know” me on Twitter, my blog, AND Facebook. Typically, they know me on only one social media platform. I like it that way. I keep Facebook for real life friends and family. Twitter is primarily my political and activist outlet, and my “relationships” there are with similar sorts of people. Most of my Twitter connections I’ve never met in real life. And then there’s my blog. For most of its life, nobody who knew me in real life had any clue I even had a blog, and I wanted it that way. I didn’t want their presence there to alter or impact what I might write. For the most part, with very limited exception, I’ve managed to maintain those separations, even now.
Pinterest is different. For me, the social aspect of Pinterest is less about interaction with others one-on-one and more about tapping into the expressions of ideas across the masses. It’s a resource, a sounding board, a “why didn’t I think of that!” sharing of ingenuity that never ceases to amaze me. I never think of the site as a form of social media when I’m using it, or being part of it; on the other hand, I’m acutely aware of the social aspects of the other services (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
K: I started a Pinterest “board” and now all of these people are following me. One of them is this awful acquaintance from college and now I’m sort of self-conscious about what I post. Do you ever feel like the on-line part inhibits you?
J: You can certainly learn a lot about someone by really looking at their boards. It occurred to me just yesterday that my Pinterest boards tell more of my story and about who I am than you would likely learn in many years of knowing me in person. Even so, it has a less intimate feel. Does that make sense? It’s a communal bulletin board composed of millions of individual minds, and you can read deep in between its images or skim as superficially as lack of time allows and fully enjoy your Pinterest experience, either way.
K: So it doesn’t necessarily make you think about what you pin in terms of who’s following it?
J: No. There’s zero personal info on there. Lots of personALITY info, but nothing personal. It’s as innocuous as them looking over my shoulder at what magazines I read.
K: Any additional thoughts?
J: People use it in all sorts of different ways, whether it’s as a time killer, an amusement, a creative tool, a marketing push, or as a way to meet new people. I think that’s true with most forms of social media, but the beauty of Pinterest lies in the ability to actually use time spent there for the greater good. I started a board called “So I was Pin-spired to try…” and I re-pin or post my end results of some Pinterest-inspired endeavor as a way to hold me accountable to all this creative energy I’m collecting. It makes me feel like I’m a Pinterest user with a Purpose – and yes, I know that sound ridiculous. But work with me here. It’s a psychological advantage. I’ll use this board to post my experience with craft projects and recipes, DIY and decorating, books and random ideas (I have a ton more to add) that I tried because I found them on the site.
Kathryn Johnston graduated from Hollins College with B.A. degrees in Art History and French. After attending Washington & Lee University School of Law, she practiced corporate law in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kathryn focused on corporate advertising and marketing with the occasional foray into corporate formation and acquisitions. Her clients included McKee Foods Corporation (maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, which she consumed strictly for professional reasons).
Kathryn blogs for Longridge Editors LLC, writes book reviews, and advises on general legal issues such as copyright.