How I’m using social media for troublemaking, part one: Pinterest

Since January, I’ve been experimenting a lot with social media, partly because I’ve really interested (theoretically/practically, personally/professionally/academically) in social media and partly because I’m working as a social media specialist/educator at Room 34 Creative Services and want to be familiar with different forms of social media. My approach has been to pick out a limited number of media that look promising (which means that I might be able to use them for meaningful engagement in making and staying in trouble) and experiment with them.

One media that I’ve, perhaps stubbornly, refused to experiment with is Facebook. I have seen it used effectively, like by my grad students, but I just can’t get past the privacy issues + overall tone of site + the games + over-controlling of user experience by Facebook admin, in order to experiment with it. My twitter feed does get posted on Facebook, so I do use it a little. And, I do like seeing what my friends/family are up to on it. 

Yesterday, I finally convinced STA to add social media buttons to this blog (see upper righthand corner of this blog). In honor of this occasion, I want to offer up a series of brief descriptions of how I’m using social media right now for making and staying in trouble. Today’s description: Pinterest

I’m using Pinterest for critical and creative experimentation. So far, I have 11 boards and 95 pins. Almost all of my boards are related to troublemaking, like my trouble role models, apps I want to trouble and troublemaking books for kids. I’m also experimenting with a Beside/s board. So far, I haven’t done too much with that board, but I see it as having some interesting potential.

(P)interestingly enough (ugh…I need to stop doing this pun), I’m not really using Pinterest to connect with other pinners. I don’t follow that many boards or repin many items from other people. I also don’t comment and don’t receive many comments.

One of the only comments I received, on my pin for Mattilda Berstein Sycamore, still pisses me off every time I see it. I chose not to engage with the person (should I have responded?), but their response, especially the YOU in all caps made me think comments might not be useful for me on this site. Thinking about my reluctance to use comments or to engage that much with other pinners makes me wonder, what exactly makes a social media site social? 

My Pinterest Boards as of April 23, 2012

I really like using Pinterest for keeping track of some of my ideas and examples. I’m hoping that the various boards can serve as inspiration for current and future writing and video projects. As I write this description, I realize that I want to think and write more about how I use/want to use Pinterest.

2 Questions to return to later

What makes a social media site social? What sorts of engagement do social media offer, beyond sharing and communicating with other users?

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