Monday, June 25, 2012

Pinterest Etiquette?

One of my favorite pulps, and an entry on my
Pulp Frisson board.
I've been having a lot of fun with my Pinterest boards. And it's been gratifying to see other folks follow my boards, repin some of my selections, and even throw in a comment or two.

Something happened the other day that wasn't so much fun. I received a notice that virtually all of my pins on my Pulp Frisson board had been repinned -- all by the same person. I went and looked at the board (Pulp Attack) and sure enough, there they were with my comments stripped out.

Now there were several other pins from different sources, but still. Initially I was a little upset. My first reaction was that this person was building a board based on my work. After all, I was curating Pulp Frisson pretty carefully (as I've outlined in another post), and it seemed unfair that someone would take advantage of that and pull everything over to their board.

But then, the more I thought about it, the more I had to admit that it really didn't matter. First of all, none of my pins were original -- they all came from other sites. So I was sharing cover art that had been scanned in by other people to begin with. Secondly, it doesn't really matter how popular (or not) my boards are. There's no monetary reward, and in the overall scheme of things, I'm flattered for the attention they draw, but not especially worried about how they're ignored.

So in the end, I decided interpret the repinning as just a positive endorsement of my taste for pulp-era cover art.

I'm doing these boards primarily for fun, and that hasn't changed.

Still, it did cause me to question my own use of Pinterest. Is there any agreed-upon Pinterest etiquette (as there is for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites). Is repinning the entire contents of another board considered bad form, or high praise? Should comments remain with the repin, or is it acceptable to edit or even remove them?

I don't have an answer, and haven't really found any online. I'd welcome any thoughts about this. I'm not especially concerned about what others do with my pins, but I would like to be a good citizen and make sure my boards follow best practices.


  1. It's bad form to do that because they may get followers from your hard work who may see another one of their boards that links to their blog and they may get Google Ad dollars from clicks from pinterest.

    Someone did that to one of my boards the other day and it got me a little upset too. I too went through that process of thinking, but none of that work was mine originally anyway.

    That shouldn't be the issue. The time it took to carefully select what pins to include has value and essentially the value is in your curation. I would nicely make a comment to let the person know you know they ripped your board off completely.

    But again, it only takes energy away from what could be spent on something more productive so c'est la vie!

  2. JJ:

    You've hit the problem exactly. I don't have Google Ads associated with my Pinterest boards, so I'm not losing any money. But you're right -- I don't just pin willy nilly, either. Each pin is carefully chosen to fit in with the narrowly defined theme of the board. And that's probably the root of my displeasure. My curated board is being copied by someone else and (I suppose) presented as something *they* curated. And I also agree with your final thought. I could protest, but to what purpose? At least if someone clicks on the image, they'll see where the pin came from. And perhaps that's enough. Thanks for writing!