Pinterest—the social media “pinning” site, is often overlooked by genealogy buffs. That’s a mistake. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, Pinterest is great for family historians. If you spend any time on social media, consider this one.
What all the Pinterest hoopla is about
Pinterest’s popularity initially soared with the wedding planning and recipe crowd. However, the rest of the world is catching on to what makes it such a powerful and enjoyable tool. It’s a visual search engine and personal collection depot in one.
Why Pinterest is great for family historians and genealogists
Not to belabor the point, but who collects TONS of visual information?
The last time I searched Google for “Pinterest Family History,” I got no fewer than 235,000 results. Now that’s a wealth of information!
If you don’t know how it works, it won’t take you long to catch on. After creating an account, you simply “pin” anything on the web that interests you. Whether you’re pinning an article or a how-to video, you “pin” a picture and add a description. (Most browsers even have a pinning add-on that allows to pin with a simple left click of your mouse.)
Repining is even easier. Pinterest offers suggestions or you can search by hashtag or keyword. If you like the previous pinner’s description, you don’t even have to change it. (Here’s my family history board, if you want to see an example.)
Keep track of new ideas and resources.
Pinterest is great for family historians because it offers a ginormous repository of resources. You can find resources for historical images, family history art and gag gifts, articles, books, tips, records, and scrapbook layouts.
From looking at other users’ pins, I learned some cool things—like how to find historical images of cities around the world and using aluminum foil to make grave marker rubbings. A couple of clicks later, they are saved for my later perusal, which for me, is more effective that figuring out what I did with that piece of paper I printed out.
Share tips, resources, and advice.
Genealogists are a supportive, helpful crowd. Another reason that Pinterest is great for family historians is that it facilitates sharing. Not only does it catalog your ideas, it suggests new ideas from people with similar interests. You can “follow” a board that has advice you’ve found helpful and other people can “follow” your ideas. That plays right into the way we like to help each other out.
Share your stories.
In addition to resources and articles, you can share personal and family stories and your own memories. In fact, that’s a whole separate post—See “How to Use Pinterest to Share Memories” and “Pinterest Boards for Memory Sharing Ideas.”
You can also share scrapbook layouts, wall-art, crafts,—virtually anything. And, since you probably have other interests, you can create other boards to collect and share ideas about those hobbies.
Build your platform with Pinterest.
For many, genealogy is more than a past-time or obsession. It’s part of a business plan. Pinterest is great for family history professionals as well. By ‘pinning’ and sharing valuable content, you are enhancing your platform. Since it’s as easy to pin your own content as it is others, you’re not limited to shameless self-promotion.
As you look for ideas and resources to share with your followers, you’ll become a content curator. Someone who can be relied upon to provide valuable insight and advice.