HECAA’s Pinterest Boards Unveiled

Posted in resources, site information by Editor on April 23, 2013

With two fabulous Clerks of the Pinterest Boards — Katrina London and Debs Wiles — taking the lead, I’m delighted to announce that HECAA and Enfilade now have a Pinterest presence! Having written about the site in the past (21 May 2012 and 17 January 2013), I’m now even more optimistic. Lots of you are already pinning. Some of you, on the other hand, are rolling your eyes at the very mention of it — not another new digital platform to make sense of! As one who signed up for a Pinterest account (yes, accounts are free) and then did nothing with it for months, I understand feelings of nagging annoyance and even disdain. But after a year of using Pinterest for personal interests and projects, I’ve been won over. It’s not nearly as good as it should (or could) be, but I think there is enormous potential for scholars to provide some leadership and make this new vehicle serve our own interests. It’s still an experiment, and six months from now, we’ll likely have a much better sense of the limits. On the front end, I offer the following suggestions; and don’t worry, we have no plans to change what happens here at the regular site for Enfilade. As always, feedback is welcome. -CH


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1) Plan. You’ll need to sign up for an account — but even before that — you need to consider how you want to use your account. As a social media platform, Pinterest will want to intertwine you with the people you ‘follow’ and the things you ‘pin’. It’s entirely common for people to use their real names, and if you’re using it to extend a professional presence, that’s probably advantageous. On the other hand, if you’re pinning cleaning tips, then maybe you’ll want something a bit more discreet (initials, pseudonyms, &c.).

2) Press on. When you sign up for an account, you’ll list several sites you want to ‘follow’. Over time, that list will grow as you hone your preferences and likes. For most people, Pinterest is only as satisfying as the things they’re following. Warning: here’s there’s a small learning curve. After you first sign up, you’ll likely be bombarded by lots of images (‘pins’) that have little to do how you want to use the site. Don’t fret. In a day or two, you’ll gradually begin to make sense of how it works, the visual clutter will dissipate, and it’s easy enough to ‘unfollow’ things you want to go away.

3) Follow HECAA! We currently have several ‘boards’. Whenever we post a new pin, it will automatically be pinned to your homepage, too. People who follow you will see it only if you ‘repin’ it yourself.

4) Explore. There are lots of museums, academic presses, and other scholarly institutions to ‘follow’ (Yale UP is one example). There are also lots of images of amazing eighteenth-century artifacts — often posted by historical novelists. At the level of strategy, Enlade is not aiming to assemble large collections of interesting objects — paintings by Chardin or Kauffman, for instance. We have all kinds of resources for such collections: books, databases, &c. Instead, we’re interested in exploring what kinds of information would be a good fit with Pinterest and how we would take advantage of Pinterest as a venue for distributing visual information. Ultimately, we’ll be exploring how we might marshal collective efforts to maximize a critical mass of interest in eighteenth-century studies.

5) Think about organization. You’ll be able to create your own boards, assigning each pin to one of these. Generally, the more precise a board, the more useful it will be — to yourself and to others who may follow you. If you’re unsettled by the social media component, users are allowed three ‘secret boards’.

6) Think about who might see what you’re pinning. If you’re wondering how Pinterest could possibly be useful, consider this. Say you’re working on a paper on eighteenth-century picture frames. Through web searches, you find 10-20 sites and images you’d like to keep in mind. In a matter of seconds, it’s easy to pin each of those examples to a board you call ‘Frames’. With a system much easier than bookmarking or printing hard copies, you’re able to make a visual record, with brief captions and links. But also bear in mind: if those examples turn out to be crucial to your paper, anyone following you can, now, in effect, peer over your shoulder as you’re working. Perhaps that’s fine. Or perhaps you should use one of your ‘secret boards’ for that material. It’s easy enough to turn a ‘secret board’ into a public one later on, but you can’t go the other way.

HECAA’s Pinterest boards are available here»

Introducing: Clerks of the Pinterest Boards

Posted in site information by Editor on April 23, 2013

I’m delighted to introduce two new Enfilade interns: Katrina London and Debs Wiles. For the next six months they’ll be exploring the scholarly potential of Pinterest. As Clerks of the Pinterest Boards, they’ll not only be pinning themselves but also helping us think through issue of organization and anticipating pitfalls. In fact, they’ve been working on all of this already for several weeks now. I’m thrilled at their interest and enthusiasm. Welcome aboard!

For an introduction and invitation to HECAA’s Pinterest boards, please see this posting.

-Craig Hanson

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Katrina London

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 10.00.44 AMI am delighted to join Enfilade as a Clerk of the Pinterest Boards. I recently earned my master’s degree in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center, where I specialized in the decorative arts of eighteenth-century France. Also at the Bard Graduate Center, I was a contributor to the exhibition and catalogue Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened earlier this month. I currently work in the Academic Programs department at the Bard Graduate Center as a program assistant for an NEH Summer Institute directed by Professor David Jaffee, and I am considering doctoral programs in art history.

Deborah (Debs) Wiles

Debs WilesI came to horticulture as a career change. The more I learned about gardening and gardens, the more interested I became in the history of gardening. This led me to complete an MA in garden history at the University of Greenwich in London where I studied the history of Kensington Gardens and the evolution of the country house garden from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. I’ve since continued to research the biography of seventeenth-century traveler Celia Fiennes. I look forward to exploring ways to use social media as a scholarly tool!

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