Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings

Happy Leap Day!  Hope you are doing something unusual or at least eating something fun to celebrate.  I want to talk about Pinterest…what do you think about Pinterest?  It’s viral, it’s addictive, it’s inspiring and it’s also heavily under fire for potential copyright issues.

Image Source (please click-through to the original site before pinning this image)

Have you heard?  If you click here, here and here you can read really great articles, that also link to other articles about the fire.

To tell you the truth, I’m torn.  Completely overwhelmed by all of the information that is available and I’m torn.  I have heard of some people completely deleting their pin boards and I can definitely say that I’m not there yet.

I try to give credit when I pin things from other websites but I guess I usually just assume that the photos that I am pinning are original work.  I know that I have done things improperly in the past.  Usually I think I am fairly aware but I guess you never know.  Up there in parenthesis you can see my little disclaimer.  From here forward, you will see that if I add an image from Pinterest to a post, and you can also assume that I have contacted the original owner of that image and asked for permission.

I’m also torn because Pinterest is my #1 traffic source.  #1.  Above any other form of social media, above search engines, Foodgawker, Facebook, etc.  Now let me say that I’m not so concerned with blog hits and numbers so don’t take that the wrong way.

I love Pinterest for the way it works.  It inspires me in so many ways.  It helps me keep a whole lot of links, recipes, DIY projects, etc. organized in one place.  Since the beginning I have used it as a virtual ‘bookmark’ and anytime I need to find a recipe that I found and loved, I just head to Pinterest.  I really don’t want it to go away.

However, it seems that they have some ‘splainin’ to do.  (I hope you read that in a Ricky Ricardo voice.)

From what I have read, the folks at Pinterest are very interested in the user experience but are also very interested in protecting copyrights.  Just recently they placed a 500 character limit on descriptions.  I had previously contacted Pinterest because I found several of my recipes had been copied and pasted into the description section.  This step was a large victory.  However, the battle isn’t over here.  I think there are many more steps that will come to surface in the coming days, weeks and months.

What do you think will happen next?  Have you deleted your pinboards?  How do you feel about your posts/images being pinned?  Do you feel it’s against copyright laws?  Is all the fuss worth it? 

On a lighter note, did you check out my baked Elvis oatmeal from earlier today?  Definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations, and accidentally my new favorite breakfast!


26 Responses to “Wednesday Ramblings”

  1. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — February 29, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    I love pinterest. I discovered it way back when it started and was obsessed. then more and more people got on it and I stopped using it for a while because some pins were RIDICULOUS, but then I started seeing bloggers use it for their blogs. Then it got me thinking. the motto of my blog is “to share and inspire” and pinterest, when I used it, has inspired me A TON. there are a lot of things around my apartment that i have made/improved upon due to pinterest. so my motto stands: i want to share and inspire, therefore, pinterest is a great source for it. it’s my #1 traffic source too, but i’m not concerned about it either. i just want people to taste excellent dishes and to be able to recreate it in their home. and it’s a great way for you to expose your blog to people so they can find even more recipes to do that.

    there’s a lot of back and forth with pinterest..some people love it and some people hate it, i think the more people come to terms with it & the even MORE people that are going to be using it, bloggers can’t deny: pinterest is a great way to expose yourself whether they like it or not. it’s not always for traffic reasons. everyone started a blog cause they want to share their passion, so i think it’s a great way to do so.

    i’m done 🙂

  2. #
    Kathryn — February 29, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    I think I’m torn like you especially having read the articles you linked to. In my mind, there are two distinct ways that I use pinterest – one is how I pin things and one is how things are pinned from my blog.

    I’m less bothered about the second to be honest, I still am flattered every time someone pins something from my site and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet but that’s probably because I don’t really care about stats and I don’t have any advertising so page views etc don’t mean anything much to me.

    In terms of how I pin things, I worry that I’m a bad pinner but at the same time, my pin boards are a very personal thing. I use them as I would use an actual pin board if I was cutting pictures out of magazines etc. I’m not particularly enamoured with the fact that I might get sued for it but I find it so useful for organising my ideas and bookmarking recipes/crafts/whatever.

    So yeah, I don’t really know what to think. I want to like pinterest but there are some obvious issues. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks & months.

  3. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — February 29, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    I adore Pinterest, and it is my number one traffic source as well – even beating out Foodgawker and Tastespotting.

    I might be mistaken, but it seems like they could solve a lot of their problems by just using thumbnail images like google image search. I’m pretty sure that’s how google avoids violating copyright laws. That, and the fact that they don’t store images, which Pinterest should probably stop doing too.

    I don’t mind when people pin my stuff because blogging is a hobby for me, but I can definitely see where professional photographers would have issues with it.

  4. #
    Megan @CountryCleaver — February 29, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    I love it. It’s been the biggest garner of interest in my blog as well. It’s exciting when you see you recipes being pinned, but I have had issues with people posting my entire recipes as their tagline and that does bother me. I like the Pinterest has limited the number of characters people can use to make posts to 500 characters. That’s helped a lot.
    I’ve starting putting my copyright onto photos as a way to stymie their misuse. It’s hit or miss. But I’m not going to let it frustrate me too much. This is a hobby after all. Anything more than that is just a bonus.
    And I try to remind myself that if they’re pinning it, they must like it and I think Pinterest does a pretty decent job at keeping the original source intact.
    I guess I’ll just see where it goes 🙂

  5. #
    Erin — February 29, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    It is also my #1 traffic source. I usually tag whoever’s picture it is if I can find them on Pinterest, and it doesn’t really bother me that my photos are on there. I guess I am also really out of the loop about all the hype going on. Should probably read those links you shared.

  6. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — February 29, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I have my different phases with it: love, hate, annoyed, bored. I love it because we can share and save what we love and what inspires us. Plus, it does bring in decent traffic. Hate/annoyed because of the reasons listed by others – they could easily fix the issues by having a smaller max character limit (500 is still way too big), don’t save images, use thumbnail images, etc. Maybe we shouldn’t be able to click on a full size image? And then theres the boredom factor… this is when I keep seeing the same things over and over, or even items I saw when I first joined. I thought following more people would solve that issue but I’ve found myself unfollowing more as I do that.

  7. #
    Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen — February 29, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    i still love pinterest and i definitely agree that it has it’s issues but I’m nowhere near deleting my boards. i use it the same way as you really, as a way to actually see all of my bookmarks for different things instead of having them all in some poorly organized way in my bookmarks section online. I, like Kathryn above, don’t really make any money off of my site (I’ve made none so far) so I don’t really care about traffic and all that. I really just like to see traffic to know that people like my posts, but i feel like I get that affirmation when I see something of mine pinned, so it doesn’t really bother me too much. I agree that 500 is still way too much…that’s not necessary for a description of something. I’m torn too I guess but I still really love it and definitely won’t stop using it anytime soon hah. Good post Cassie 🙂

  8. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — February 29, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    Cassie I have mixed feelings about Pinterest, too. I am very concerned about the liability of pinning something that someone doesn’t want pinned. At this point, I am only pinning from websites where there is a “pin it” button. But, I do repin a lot too. So do I need to check the original site when I repin to see if they have the button or ask permission? According to the ddkportraits post, I probably should. As far as my own content, I don’t mind if it stuff is pinned as long is it is done correctly. But besides people posting the entire recipe in the description, I have had my pictures pinned and then in the description they put a link to a different website/recipe. That is what some pinners are doing if they want to pin something that doesn’t have a picture. I don’t like the idea of MY pictures being used to promote similar recipes on other websites (like Food Network!) that don’t have pictures. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out!

  9. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 29, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    I love pinterest. It is not my #1 traffic source, I seem to be abnormal from that regard. I pin my own stuff each time I post a recipe, but I also go through and pin like crazy through the day on stuff that catches my eye. Maybe I should tag people with my pin, hadn’t really thought of that. I think the 500 charter limit is good, but it should still be something closer to 200. I don’t think of it as a copy right issue, but then again I never think that way. It would be great if they didn’t store the images, so it wasn’t an issue. I don’t see it going away any time soon, thankfully so (I love it), but there is some work to do for sure.

  10. #
    Jenne — February 29, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    I LOVE Pinterest and it is a great source for traffic and virtual bookmark as you said. I think that as long as people are not posting the recipes in the comments and the picture links correctly back to the post with the recipe then I am completely game!

  11. #
    Baking Serendipity — February 29, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    This is so tricky for me too. I also get tons of traffic from the site, not to mention serious inspiration for new recipes, house projects…it’s endless! It makes me think twice, but I honestly haven’t changed my final thoughts on it too much.

  12. #
    Lora @cakeduchess — February 29, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    A great post, Cassie! I’m just now getting into Pinterest and find it so inspiring. I try to mention where the Pin is from when I do a Pin. You posted some great links and I find more and more of my recipes being pasted into pins. I just write them and ask them to remove it;)

  13. #
    Ayshela — February 29, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    I like pinterest, but I can see where there would be issues with copyright. I like the change to the character limit. I was honestly shocked when I saw recipes IN the description! I think another change that would help would be to make it much easier and more direct to click through to the original post. There have been a couple things I’ve seen pinned that were ridiculously difficult to find my way through to the original source. O.o I would hate to see pinterest go away, but I think there could definitely be some refining in how it handles images and links.

  14. #
    Macaroni and Cheesecake — February 29, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    I love pinterest. It’s given me so many ideas and inspiration but I can definitely see why some red flags have been raised. I am glad they started the character limit but 500 characters is still a lot. I love when people pin items from my blog, I see it as a huge compliment. I am trying to be better when I repin items to make sure it has the original source but I know I can be even better about that. I agree with some of the previous posters, I would love if they would make it easier to find the original source somehow.

  15. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 1, 2012 @ 12:50 am

    Pinterest is really great but with anything and everything, there are pros and cons. I’ve seen so many people improperly cite fellow foodie bloggers work and I don’t know if these people are just ignorant or downright rude. It’s tough to get it all right but I do like it overall. I’ve actually been kind of addicted and I’m glued to the iPhone app in bed at 2 in the morning.

  16. #
    Katherine Martinelli — March 1, 2012 @ 4:27 am

    I absolutely adore Pinterest, and have from the beginning. Like you and many others, I use it as a virtual bookmarking device (I used to have folders and folders of bookmarks in my browser) and this means that I actually go back through, look at them, and use them. I actually make recipes I’ve bookmarked, etc. Copyright issues are a huge deal in the “blogosphere” recently and I understand that it’s a very important issue and I wouldn’t want anyone to directly copy by work without permission, but I also think that a lot of people are getting their panties in a twist. By putting something on the internet, you are making it public and implicitly saying that it can be shared. If you don’t want it to be shared, then don’t post it in such a public way. Perhaps this is a simplistic, naive view, but it’s how I feel (who knows, that may change!).

    Also, with regard to pinning ones own stuff, I have a board dedicated to my own recipes then lots of other boards broken up by theme. I like having my recipes in one place like that, almost like a visual index, since I do go back and revisit my own recipes. Also, Pinterest is not my #1 traffic source.

  17. #
    Alyssa — March 1, 2012 @ 5:46 am

    Ok, I totally read that in my Ricky Ricardo voice lol! I do love interest for the reason you stated-it’s great way to organize things you come across on the web and it also has given me so many great ideas. I’ve tried to make sure anytime I get an idea from interest not only to link to the original website but also link to the pin. I think like most new businesses and ideas, it’s going to have to go through some growing pains. After all even FB the top social media source still has to make periodic adjustments. I don’t want Pinterest to go away, but ido think they still have some work to do to make sure all pins credit or link back to the original source

  18. #
    Ryan — March 1, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    I’m a Pinterest addict like the rest of the world right now and love the great ideas that I get from them and the major boost to my traffic like you said. I so appreciate the post, Cassie, because I don’t know if I’m adhering to all of the Pinterest etiquette so this is a good crash course. I love it when people pin my recipes and am flattered, but can understand why photographers who make a living off their pictures would be upset. Maybe they could put a disclaimer on their site that asks people not to pin their work and maybe a “please don’t pin” watermark on their pictures or something which would at least give some notice to people who are trying to be considerate. I know that won’t stop everyone out there unfortunately, but I wouldn’t pin something that had a notice like that and it’s not like you can’t see who’s pinning your pictures. Also Pinterest would at least be on notice that they had pictures in their database that were there against the owner’s wishes as well. I know watermarks can be removed but it if I were really against my stuff being pinned and wanted to keep my website up, I’d try that first.

    What I don’t want to see happen with Pinterest is for all of the content to be driven by corporate accounts instead of individuals. You’re seeing more brands and magazines establish Pinterest accounts so they can upload images of their products and I don’t want to just see a bunch of canned images instead of images taken by non-professional (usually from blogs I guess) photography that I so love.

  19. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — March 1, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    oh wow! i didn’t know all that news was going on about pinterest. yikes! i love pinterest. it is so addictive and so inspiring and it also gives me something to do when it is 1 in the morning and my twins want me to lay in their room because they woke up. now that you say all this stuff it bothers me a bit being someone that does publish work and wants to get credit when credit is do. i always make sure that i am pinning from the original source. i recently started putting my name directly on the photos so in the event someone else uses them without permission my name is still somewhere on them unless of course that person tries to edit it. i started doing that not b/c of pinterest but i found some of my photos on another site without credit or link back, not cool. at any rate, i guess i could go on and on about this subject now. i am eager to read the articles you attached. i love pinterest but it sounds like they definitely need to control this somehow the question is how? with pinterest soooo popular and the internet overloaded with sites how can it be controlled? thats a toughy! thanks for bringing this subject to my attention.

  20. #
    Deborah — March 1, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    Oh, so many thoughts!! At first, I was annoyed when I saw my whole recipes being pinned. But it doesn’t bother me as much now, because if you really think about it, if someone really wants to make the recipe, they will click over to your site for the recipe because really – who can follow a recipe in that tiny font when it’s not formatted? Even if you copy and paste it from pinterest into a word document, you still have to go in and format it yourself. I don’t really even understand why people would even want to put the whole recipe there. I can see how it would be a problem when google picks up the pinterest pins that have full recipes instead of your blog post, but that’s the only time I see a problem. And I think, (and I may get publically scorned for this), but if you posting photos and blog posts online, it is there for people to access, for people to see. If people are going to get so upset about their work being shared, maybe online isn’t the right medium for them. That being said, I don’t think it’s right for people to outright steal your things, but I honestly think that the majority of “bad” pinning is happening by people who really don’t know any better – it’s not malicious. But some bloggers have been so verbal and mean about everything, I have almost completely given up on repinning things. I pin a ton – straight from websites with clear attribution to the blog – but I think it’s sad that people are so mean that I’m scared to pin. Pinterest is making it so that your images can’t be pinned if you don’t want them pinned, and I think that’s great – maybe then people won’t have to be so afraid of copyright issues. For me? I’m all for my images being pinned. That’s why I have a blog- to share what I’ve made, and I think that Pinterest is a great forum to share what I’ve done.

  21. #
    Aggie — March 1, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    Deborah…I pretty much agree with everything you just said…I’ve been walking on Pinterest eggshells lately it seems, lol. I love the collections of recipes I have on my boards. I love the new hits/readers/exposure my recipes are getting. I’m happy with Pinterest. But I am not a professional photographer, I do this for fun (I guess?), I don’t really have a strong opinion about it other than I love Pinterest and all this news is a little overwhelming and I’m not sure if I have the time or energy to invest to keep up with it, lol. Pinterest is supposed to be fun….it was my escape from FB & Twitter, lol 🙂

  22. #
    Anna — March 2, 2012 @ 12:27 am

    Longest comments ever! I agree with everything Julie said, and it would take a lot for me to get rid of Pinterest 🙂 That said, I’m glad they’re taking copyrights seriously and making some changes!

  23. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — March 2, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    I love Pinterest! It’s fun and like many other internet past times, I just don’t take it too seriously. If someone hates that I pinned their work, they can ask me to take it down and I will be happy to oblige but do think the site itself needs to take more responsibility for legalities and such.

  24. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — March 5, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    I’m torn as well – it’s a great source of both traffic and inspiration. I’m not ready to delete yet. I’m holding out some hope that Pinterest will update their terms of service agreement after the public outcry. Look how quickly they changed the character length after that petition went around. I’m hoping. In the meantime, I saw a great post on Blogging with Amy. Her thought was that if someone included the pin it button on the post or on their page that she felt that was a way of saying they didn’t mind if their stuff got pinned. If they didn’t, she wasn’t going to pin it to respect their rights. I think that’s a safe bet for now.


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