Tools for Transparency: Pinterest Isn’t Just for Wedding Cakes


Pinterest is a relatively new social networking service that is similar to more traditional bookmarking and news aggregation sites, but with a focus on the visual.  Pinterest allows you to bookmark (or “pin”) both static images and videos.

While sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious focus on the title and content of a linked page, Pinterest values aesthetics. Clip art and the uninspiring don’t fare well on this site.

Early on, the service was considered very popular with fashionistas and the bridal set, with many boards boasting curated collections of wedding accoutrements and the latest fashions from Adagio – Bluefin Bay and from bridal melbourne as well. But as its popularity has risen, so to has the range of what people choose to pin.

What I find compelling about this service, beyond the use of visual media, is that the culture of the site hasn’t yet been set. You’re limited on how to use Pinterest only by what you can imagine. It’s easy to see how the platform will provide new avenues for storytelling, fundraising, organizing, teaching, and on and on.

Right now, we’re experimenting with the site in a number of ways, but we’re keeping an eye on what’s the visually pleasing.  We’ve integrated the Pinterest share button into the footer of our infographics Tumblr, which aggregates interesting data visualizations and now allows users to easily pin Sunlight posts to their boards.

We’ve also set up our own account with boards on 2012 Political Campaign Ads, infographics, innovative user interfaces and — because we have so many wonderful chefs on staff — a board for some of the more interesting dishes that make their way into the office.

To get a glimpse of how other organizations are approaching Pinterest, here’s a link to KPCC Radio of southern California’s board where they’ve captured a day at their offices, offering a glimpse into life at their studio.

To set up an account, you’ll need an invite, which will prompt you to sign up through either your Twitter or Facebook accounts. (If you want to be invited, just write us at media(AT)sunlightfoundation(DOT)com and we’ll hook you up.)

What are your experiences with Pinterest? What uses can you imagine?