Pinterest gets right what Tumblr got wrong

Follow Me on Pinterest

I've started making boards on 
Pinterest, a fascinating new site that I think is going to be a big thing for artists. 

Attributing artwork is something I believe to of huge importance, not just the letter of the copyright laws, but also attributing art to artists who've dead for hundreds of years. I've written about it *ahem* a few times. (Thisthisthisthis...)

Here on Blogger, if I want to re-share some artwork, I need to save it to my drive, and re-upload it. There's a bit of work involved. So attributing the art is just a tiny step, and one I think is more likely for bloggers to do since they're crafting a whole post. 

While there are ways to effectively use Tumblr and be respectful of creators, as I've written before, it's easy to lose track of a creator of an image and have it shared and re-shared thousands of time without attribution. The reblog button makes the initial person's mistake too easy to replicate.  In part, I created the Trilobite Boy Tumblr to get a handle on how Tumblr works. You can attach an url that would follow the artwork, but it's not mandatory. So tons of people just blog away, and creators lose all credit for their images all too often. 

Enter the new site Pinterest. 

Pinterest was first on my radar when my wife mentioned it looked interesting for sharing artwork. Then, via Twitter, I read ZDNet's "Why small business can't afford to overlook Pinterest". I maintain a Twitter feed for a national retailer, and thought this was right on the mark. But I like to test things with my own accounts before bringing it to clients. Then, my friend and fantastic artist Eric Orchard started in on it in a big way. He has a good eye for effective media for artists.

Pinterest takes the responsibility of attribution away from the user: I'm using it in Chrome, and I placed a little button on my Bookmarks bar. If I'm on a site, and wish to pin an inspiring piece of artwork onto one of my themed bulletin Boards (say, "science art that inspires me") then I click on the Pin It button, and Pinterest creates a screen that has all the images from that webpage on it. I pick the one I want, click, write a description if I wish, and post on the board. There's the option to tweet or Facebook-stream it too.

But the best part? Anyone else following that bulletin board of mine who decides to pin it on their board, will still have the original link to the original website functional if someone clicks on the art itself. The more artwork is shared on Pinterest, the more potential hits the blog, gallery or website will have.

Pinterest got respect for creators right. And they made it so easy.

You can find my Pinterest at

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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--> Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the new Scientific American Blog Network!