Wet blanket: COOL THING 2

Harold Pinter ~ Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, 1992.Painting © Justin Mortimer.

Harold Pinter ~ Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, 1992.
Painting © Justin Mortimer.


When I first heard of Pinterest I got rather excited. A new social media tool for those of us who are devoted fans of Harold Pinter the play & screenwriter, Harold Pinter the director & actor, Harold Pinter the political activist. Or something Pinteresque ….

But, no. It is PINterest, not PINTERest. Damn it. Goldberg came to mind:

“You’re a plague gone bad. There’s no juice in you. You’re nothing but an odour.” (Pinter, Harold. The Birthday Party. 1957.)

So, in view of my disappointment, would I end up being be a bit of a wet blanket about Pinterest?

Well ….. having played around with it, Pinterest is does seem like a really useful ‘social scrapbook’. I think it works best where users have a visual flair (of course how you judge this depends on your own aesthetic preferences), but it can be more than just a collection of pretty pictures. It looks like a useful way to bring together the visual, image based elements of what you come across online (in or out of context) and what you want to upload from your own images /photos / videos. You can use it simply to group together images / videos in whatever categories you want, or you can be fairly creative and use it to ‘tell stories’. Being ‘social media’ others can comment, ‘re-pin’ & link to your Pinterest images. Communities of shared interests can develop through this. You find yourself following new people through the Pinterest boards you already follow or via the ‘recommendations’ from the Pinterest service.

I like Pinterest a lot, but I haven’t really engaged with it myself when it comes to uploading my own images / videos. See my pathetic collection of a meat canoe and an Avro Vulcan here: http://pinterest.com/russellburke/

However, I really think Pinterest has potential from a Library Services perspective. Much of what we do, be it marketing material, images on our website, images from presentations, posters, flyers, etc., video turorials, video tours etc., could be added to Pinterest to act as an archive of sorts, but also an easy way of showing what we offer (and have done) as a service, how we see ourselves, gather user feed back on ideas for promo material, for design competitions …. And as another way of interacting with our users who also happen to use this social media service.

I’d need to play around with Pinterest more in a work context to really understand what this would mean, what its potential is, but I think it’s a very interesting tool.

A tenuous connection, but I like this a lot: METZ ‘Wet Blanket’:

And here’s Harold talking about Samuel Beckett:


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