I’ve read each of the Pinterest posts at Nebraska Learns 2.0 with interest. Mary, Michael and Emily have colorful, inviting boards. Pinterest is very appealing and the examples I’ve begun to see of how libraries and nonprofits are using it are innovative. It seems to be an almost ideal tool for libraries to use in outreach, marketing, education and display. I like Pinterest.
That said, I am disturbed by the lack of disclosure by the service that it is is apparently making money by adding tracking code to certain user-submitted pins and getting a cut when someone buys something though the pin. This may not be illegal but in my opinion, this action significantly tarnishes the trust element for and by users. For me it also raises questions about the ethical (or lack of) standards behind the service.
The questions of copyright infringement are equally troubling – the attitude seems to be rather blase as if infringement is not a big deal when in fact it could be for individual users. Although I’ve not thought it through entirely, I think there are policies or practices that the service could have developed that could address in a constructive fashion, copyright compliance.
I did seriously consider joining Pinterest but have not done so since I don’t have Facebook account and closed my Twitter account because I simply wasn’t using it. (I think that probably says more about my socializing style than it does about either Facebook or Twitter.)
Still I will continue to watch Pinterest, especially how libraries use it. The service is so new, that further development and change are probable and there may come a time when joining Pinterest makes sense.