Friday, February 3, 2012

PINS wanted, but nothing to PIN

I recently began using Pinterest as another online publishing/branding/dissemination tool. It's quite good for establishing communities of interest and sharing quick finds online. However, I quickly found a chink in the armor.

How to get good information, lacking any viable image Pinterest could 'grab' for PINNING? Pinterest is an image-priority social media tool. So, it needs an image to PIN the information.

This was a problem that evaded me for a couple of days. That is until I decided to find a solution this morning. I began writing Pinterest a SUGGESTION. Then - a few paragraphs into the suggestion, the answer came to me.

I needed to create and post an image - i.e., take a screen-capture of the article in-situ - then PIN the image.

OK, but I'd already done this. Hadn't I?

I used Jing - my favorite go-to-tool for capturing screen images as stills or in SWF video files (MPEG4 w/JingPro) - to create an image of the site in question. [Sample left: ehp screencap]

Fine. Now what?

I tried PINing this image from inside the browser as a file from my computer; from a server placement; writing a blog and pointing to it. The blog writing worked. But I write a number of blogs and having to add one more was not on the table.

So, I walked away from the issue until this morning. I knew there had to be something - so simple - that I was overlooking. And yes, when it did come to me it was a real "DOH!" moment. I've only used Flickr for the last 5 years, so why not use an Online Photo Management site (OPM) to serve as my 'Sticky PIN' offering for Pinterest?

I posted the screencap to Flickr, pointed to Pinterst and voilĂ ! ... it works like a charm. But as much as I love Flickr, it wasn't the platform I wanted to use for this process.

The second idea came pretty fast: a GoooglePlus alert popped up. YES! Google+ would be perrrrrfect!

Process for using Google+ to provide Pinterest a PIN it can handle.

  • Open Google+ account
  • Click PHOTOS ( this is Google's OPM Picasa in disguise)
  • Create an Album for your images
  • NOTE: name this album so it becomes your Pinterest album; suggestion, PINS or Pinterest .. or something you can quickly associate with Pinterest; more said on this below regarding a potential problem.
  • Upload your PHOTO/Image
  • NOTE: be sure to make the image PUBLIC and do not lock it.
  • Provide the image a caption
  • Save it
  • Open the image in its album
  • Click the image again
  • NOTE: this opens the image into a slideviewer like format that presents: Image Caption, People TAGS and a COMMENT block.
  • Click the Pinterest Bookmarket [Pin It]
  • Choose the IMAGE you wish to PIN to Pinterst
  • NOTE: after you have a number of images in this Album choice my become a problem, as it seems Pinterest does not offer a scrolling function - past the current page limits - to see other images in the Album: Bummer!| Short-term solution is to Name the Album as, say: PINS.[date] this makes the Album unique, thus reducing the images to choose from; The downside of this, is a rapidly growing number of Albums in your Picasa account; working on a long-term solution.
  • After you do the 'Pinterest dance' there it is, your image, all ready for Pinterest to 'grab'n'post' .

While looking at the slide-viewer screen I noticed there were interesting options.

  • Post the image on Pinterest
  • Post the image to Google+
  • On either platform I could Post the image with or without a comment.
  • I can use, with an image-only-posting, a single URL to lead the viewer to a blog post for a deeper, immersive presentation.
  • NOTE: this alternate use of a URL offers an interesting change-up of delivery; adding a positive boost to your ability to build interest.

A very interesting way to multiply my efforts in a relative single-action.

Double the SPIN - multiply my efforts.

I have my solution and at the same time I get a new double-header method for multiplying my publishing.

Great solution. Give it a whirl.


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