It's easy to lose track of the articles and resources that you find online. There's a solution for that: Pinterest. Here's how you can keep track of what you find by using Pinterest for genealogy.
Links Mentioned in This Episode:
Lisa Lisson, who blogs at Are You My Cousin, is a Pinterest power user. She shared with me numerous ways that you can use Pinterest for your genealogy.
Dispelling Myths About Pinterest
First, Lisa dispelled the myth that Pinterest is only for recipes and only for women. It's for any subject that you would do a Google search for (including family history!) As for men using it, women are still the largest group on Pinterest, but the number of men using it is growing.
Using Pinterest as a Search Engine
Pinterest isn't necessarily "social media" like we think of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although there are ways that you can leave comments on pins and send messages to other users, that isn't why people are there.
Pinterest really is more of a search engine. Anything that you can think of that you would search on Google or any other Internet search engine, you can search on Pinterest. That includes genealogy topics!
What if you're getting started in German genealogy and are looking for some articles or tutorials about it? Search for it on Pinterest! Here is the top of the results that I got when I did a search recently for German genealogy:
Pinterest shows me what people have pinned pertaining to German genealogy. I can click on one of the pins to see more about it:
If I want to read this article, I can either click on the image or click the button with the URL.
Lisa pointed out that it's a good idea to scroll down past the pin to the "More like this" section. Here is where Pinterest will show more pins that it thinks are related to the one you clicked on. (Though why it shows a pin for tacos when I was looking at German genealogy is a mystery to me!)
When you're searching on Pinterest, search for topics rather than your ancestor's name. Think about topics like "Ohio genealogy," "Civil War research," "cemeteries," etc.
Organizing With Pinterest
Chances are that you've gone online to research one thing, only to end up chasing "bright shiny objects" — those articles, websites, and databases that look interesting, but maybe don't quite fit with what you're researching.... and then you end up spending hours NOT researching what you intended to.
Pinterest can help with that.
As Lisa noted, Pinterest originated as a bookmarking site and it is still one of its greatest strengths.
When you find something online that you want to refer to later, save it (pin it) to Pinterest.
On your Pinterest account, you can create "boards." Lisa compares them to the bulletin boards many of us had in our rooms as teenagers, where we would keep everything from photos of friends to spirit ribbons from football games.
You can make your boards as general or as specific as you'd like. You can have a board for genealogy, one for dessert recipes, and one for quilt patterns. If you're going to be pinning a lot in one topic, you might want to break it down further. For example, you could have separate boards for North Carolina genealogy, Virginia genealogy, and preservation. Here are some of Lisa's Pinterest boards:
Here's where the boards are magic: When you find something that you want to refer to later or that you don't have time to read right now, save it to one of your boards. That way, you can find that article, website, tutorial, etc. when you need it or when you have time to read it.
To save something to Pinterest, look to see if that post/website has a Pinterest button on it (like this blog post does). If it does, click that button and you'll have the option to save it to one of your boards.
Some websites are set up so that the Pinterest button appears when you hover your mouse over an image.
I like to use the "Pinterest Save Button" Chrome extension. Whenever I use Chrome, there's a Pinterest button at the top of my browser and I can click that and save that article or website directly to Pinterest. (This is helpful when I want to save a website that doesn't have a built-in Pinterest button.)
Getting More Genealogy in Your Pinterest Feed
Pinterest uses an algorithm, which means that when you go into Pinterest, it will show you pins that it thinks you might be interested in. If you do a lot of searching on genealogy topics, it will show you more genealogy pins in your feed.
Another way to get more genealogy in your feed is to follow people who pin a lot of genealogy items.
Did this give you any ideas for using Pinterest for genealogy? Are you already using Pinterest for genealogy? If so, share in the comments how you like to use it.