It’s no secret that for crafters and hobbyists, one of the best places to find tutorials and projects on the internet is Pinterest. While Pinterest can be a wonderful resource, keep in mind that it is just that, a resource. I will attempt to weigh-in on some of the more pressing etiquette concerns facing both users and the people who create material for Pinterest.
I Am A Fan
First, it is a well known fact that I am a fan of Pinterest, you can see my Pinterest header above. I have 38 boards, over which half of them are dedicated solely to polymer clay. But here’s where the “sticky” parts come in … what you are and what you are not allowed to pin, not only in relation to polymer clay, but in any content on Pinterest.
EDIT: I now have over 60 boards dedicated to polymer clay. Come & See.
Don’t Forget Your Manners
Pinterest acts as a visual pinboard to store ideas, projects, tips, recipes, helpful life hints, and so much more. Depending on what you are pinning, depends on the type of “etiquette” you should have on the site. Because this blog is dedicated to polymer clay, today’s topic will talk about polymer clay and the etiquette, the do’s and dont’s of pinning on Pinterest. While there are dozens of do’s and don’t that I could go through, I have picked the top 3 things that I see being done in error on Pinterest.
Always Reference the Original Source
Whenever you pin something on Pinterest, you must make sure that you have given credit where credit is due. It is considered poor form (and stealing to some), when you pin their work without referencing the original source, ie: their name or website. Here is an example of one of my polymer clay pins, featuring the work of Sarah Shriver, a world reknown polymer clay artist. I have seen this identical pin floating around on Pinterest with no reference to the original artist. This is considered one of the biggest “don’ts” of pinning. Always be sure that you reference the artist.
Correct an Un-cited Pin
If the artist is not mentioned on the pin that you are repinning, click on the pin and go to the source, it will ultimately lead you to a blog or website where the pin originated. Add your our description and list the original artists name or the website name. There is NO excuse for your pins not to have “credit” given, other than your own unwillingness to be a fair player.
Just Plain Wrong – The Biggest Don’t
Do NOT, whatever you do, pin someone else’s work to a board entitled, “Things I want to make.” Copyright is a huge deal with artists, especially ones that own their copyrights. Pinterest is rampant with crafts, ideas, tutorials, and there’s so much of it people think it’s okay for it to be pinned for themselves to make later…this could NOT be more wrong.
For example, I see Mickey Mouse all over the place on Pinterest. If you have permission from Disney to make Mickey then continue on, the sad reality is that 95% of people were NOT granted licenses to reproduce him. The same is true for Blue’s Clues, Harry Potter, and thousands more … Even Parker and Lolly. While some artists will see it as a form of flattery, other artists will see it as a slap in the face and may even feel hurt enough by it to write to you regarding what you pinned and why you shouldn’t have it on your “I Want to Make This” board.
Just Because You Repinned It, Doesn’t Mean Anything
I understand that we all make mistakes when we pin. Everyone does; including me. However, this being said, one of the worst things you can do is repin someone else’s pin without changing their description. If you like something enough to repin it, you should like it enough to click on it first and see who made it, remove the first pinner’s “now this is awesome” comment and write a much better description. You are responsible for everything you either pin or repin … no exceptions.
Which brings me to my final point…
The Only Thing You Should Be Pinning are Pins You’ve Clicked On First
Why is this the case? Not everyone clicks on their pins, they just repin pictures. Over half of the pins on Pinterest do not go where you think they will. Why? The ease of the “edit” button. People have repinned your work and then changed the URL tag to go to their bogus sites. So please … before you repin anything, take a moment and click it first. If it goes where it should, then repin, if not, you’ll be glad you took that 5 extra seconds to check.
There are lots more do’s and don’t for Pinterest and even polymer clay and pinterest…but for now, this is a start to help each of you.
Thanks for joining me today,