Tag Archives: blogher ’12

Pinterest info on the web generally falls into two camps: the how-to’s that encourage pinning with abandon and the anti-Pinterest campaigns that encourage people to boycott the site completely.

I don’t like those extremes. They lack opportunity for dialogue. Opportunity for education. Opportunity for change.

This time last weekend, I was looking over my notes for my BlogHer session and trying to condense everything I wanted to share into about 15 minutes. Inconceivable. Hopefully, I was able to lay a foundation for bloggers as to how they can use Pinterest and use it well.

What I aim for is a reasonable and well-informed middle ground: educating people as to how to use Pinterest well so that they can pin with un-reckless abandon, creating boards that respect online content.

Pinterest, like Tumblr or Facebook, or any other social sharing site, plays by the same rules. You can’t post what you don’t have the rights to.

In March, as I debated whether to continue using Pinterest, my concern was whether to keep using a platform that was hurting a lot of people by misattribution and IP theft. Here was the crux of the post:

If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. – Desmond Tutu

Rather than walk away, and say this is unfixable, I’d love the chance to try fixing it. I’m not good at quitting things when I know they could get better.

Looking away when someone is hurt and saying you don’t want to get involved is getting involved.

I decided to keep my boards. To believe that we, the users, the mighty mice, could make Pinterest better.

I think we can, and we are.

Once upon a time, I had almost a thousand pins. I hadn’t read the fine print. Many weren’t mine to pin in the first place. Others had old and broken links.

The value of your boards isn’t in the number of pins. Broken links aren’t valuable.

As I said at BlogHer, the great thing about Pinterest is that your ability to drive traffic isn’t inherently based on the number of followers you have. More followers mean more exposure, but the quality of a pin will lead to repins, which leads to more repins and more repins. Quality has the potential to create quantity.

Safety pinning: When is it pinnable?

Pinterest controversy surrounds the issue of copyright – users agree in the TOS to only use images they own the copyright to or have permission to use.

As a writer and photographer, and in my editing work, I take this very seriously. As bloggers we should, too. No, not just as bloggers. Everyone should do it because it’s exactly what they agree to when they join Pinterest. And also, karma.

On a serious note, I know people who’ve had their livelihoods negatively impacted via improper pins. So pin with care because people need to put food on the table. That’s reason enough, isn’t it?


The best part? It’s really easy.

Pin your ORIGINAL site content. If you drew it, wrote it, photographed it – pin it.

Pin from sites, from blogs to brand sites, with a visible Pin It button – be it embedded or via a Safety Pin. If they don’t clearly state “pin me” you can always email and ask someone. It’s fast and easy and people are generally awesome with a quick response. (Please offer the same respect to someone who says, “Please, pin away,” as someone who says, “Thanks, but not thanks.” One is no better than the other.)

Before you repin, always be sure the link goes to the original source and it has the OK to be pinned in the first place (ex. curated content sites can include images that go to another site, or perhaps the right site but not the permalink for the post.)

Pinning from a brand board? Only repin the content coming from their own sites. For example, a Martha Stewart board pin is safe IF the pin came from the Martha Stewart site. Always check URLs. Always.

Let’s respect copyright while making fabulous pin boards. Let’s make Pinterest a dialogue where we contribute original content, comment and like others content, and repin when we know it’s kosher.

As Jen, whose boards are an organizational work of art, says, “Don’t pin the ugly.” Both aesthetically and ethically, I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

For more info on copyright and intellectual property, here’s my all-ages primer.

Help make this place fabulous. One pin at a time.

I’m going to follow up this post with another on Monday about some questions about pins that sit in murky territory. If you have any questions, I’d love to try and answer them. Feel free to email me (contact info top right of site) or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to include answers that can help you!

Also, if you couldn’t make the conference or stayed out too late at Sparklecorn to make the first sessions of the morning, the VirtualCon from BlogHer ’12 should be up shortly, and I’ll be sure to add the link here.

Also, also…my fabulous co-panelist, photographer Heather Durdil, will be doing a series of Instagram posts on her site in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned.


Everyone takes away their unique experience from BlogHer. Last year, I was inspired and exhausted. After last weekend, I am exhausted, yes. Inspired, too. And I’m swimming in gratitude. Just beginning to get my ducks in a row again.

I came to BlogHer without setting crazy expectations. I had friends to see, old and new. I had a panel to speak on. I had sessions I couldn’t wait to sit in on. I awaited VOTY with great anticipation and Kleenex. I packed my iPad and a notepad, a stack of business cards and allergy free snacks to get me through each day (but I kind of did a lousy job on the food front and was wiped by about 7pm each night). But I planned to kind of go with the flow.

I did not live up to my not-so-great expectations. And that’s OK because I still got a ton out of it. I saw some dear friends and met some new faces. There are some paths that never crossed however much we tried. Not enough hours in the jam packed days. See that whole time thing I’m always talking about.

My panel was a great group, but oh, what I would have given for a bit more time to talk with attendees and answer questions (but I will do it – more on that below).

Thank you so much to Amy for sharing photos of me, jazz hands and all. You don’t know what it meant to see friendly faces in that audience (thank you Amy, Alexandra, Lindsey and Morgan).

(top, second row left, and bottom row left by Amy, the second shot on the right by Heather and the one of Heather speaking by me)

As last year’s photographer, I recognized so many faces wandering the hotel, and while some I have connected with via URL and IRL, there was a constant sense of “don’t I know you?” that I then realized hadn’t been via conversation but rather through my lens last year.

I went without a camera this year. No DSLR. No point and shoot. It was really kind of fabulous when a friend turned to me at one point and asked it I could take a photo of something, something that would require more than my phone, and I had to say no. Not fabulous because I couldn’t help. I would have loved to. But the fact was I spent my time at BlogHer mindfully aware of where I was and what I was doing and not busy trying to capture it all. I swear, I don’t even recognize myself.

The conference was huge and attendance was record-breaking. And the long days and the heat and all the people was, at times, a bit much. I didn’t get to all the sessions I had planned. Midday Saturday, I found myself wandering the largest of the expo halls, wanting a little time to simply have some quiet. (Only later did it occur to me I could have gone to the Serenity Suite, a space just for that very purpose.) I wandered the expo, stopping to chat with a company with a line of products that make my food allergy-filled life much better. Never underestimate the joy that comes for those with food allergies when they find themselves eating a fudgesicle for the first time in 20 years. I think I said thank you at least sixteen times for all the ways they’ve expanded the ways I can cook.

Rounding the corner, there was a booth for massages and things and I stopped to see if one was available. No, but they had a spot open for a light makeup application. I sat enjoying the  moment to just relax, not realizing until she was done that at about 2:30pm I had smoky eyes and bold lips more 8pm ready. At least I had little to do to get ready for the evening.

I didn’t make it to every sessions I wanted to, though I went to some great ones. And in that time I needed to unwind, I ran into people I might not have otherwise seen. Two three four, oh I lost count, people I had wanted to see but had yet to, including Diana and Wendi.

As for my session, it’s virtually impossible to share all you want in 1/3 of a 75 minute session. So I’ll be doing the first follow up post on Friday about using Pinterest well as a blogger.

After the conference, I didn’t have the time to see family and friends I had hoped for. But just before and after the conference, I did make it to the places that balanced the busyness of BlogHer with time for myself. Popping into the MOMA. The Met. A walk Sunday afternoon through the park, stopping at The Strand kiosk to grab some books. A visit with my great aunt. A walk on the High Line. Drinks at The Essex House. Just enough to remind me why I adore this city so. There really never is enough time. Never.