Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are you pinning yet?

It’s March, you're about half way through the semester, busy with your school work in law school, and looking for a break. You’ve probably heard about one of the fastest growing websites Pinterest, but have you taken some time to look at it lately. It’s not just something to do when you’re just looking for some relieve from all your school work, there might just be something really useful for your research on this social networking site.

Pinterest is a “Pin-Board” social photo and video sharing site, and one of the fastest growing social networks with over 10 million users. Popular topics include animals, design, celebrities, fashion, and sports, but lots of other topics are included and growing every day, including such topics as law school, law libraries, legal research and government documents, as well as such hot topics as gun control, immigration, small business, entrepreneurship, gender studies and gay rights. Some libraries are using Pinterest to post a sampling of their new acquisitions with book jackets which links to the vendors and publishers such as we do with our monthly "Selected New Acquisitions" list. Beyond the images though, many sites have links out to other web pages with lots more on the topic of interest.

For those of you who have not encountered Pinterest yet, the way it works is that after signing up, you create your own topics of interest on boards with photos and videos. Then others can comment on your Pins, re-Pin your images or share them via email, Facebook or Twitter. Even the Federal Government is getting into the act.

Government documents have been covered by a number of individuals as well as libraries for a while, but now even the Government Printing Office has expanded its social media presence by joining Pinterest.

The GPO press release says:

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) expands its social media presence by joining Pinterest. Connecting people through 'things' they find interesting is the founding principle of Pinterest and a natural fit with GPO's core mission of Keeping America Informed on the three branches of the Federal Government. GPO will use Pinterest to share historic photos, videos, products, and Government publications with the public. Pinterest joins GPO's other social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Government Book Talk blog.

Link to GPO's Pinterest:

"GPO is constantly evolving and keeping up-to-date on public trends and the popular ways to access and share information," said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. "GPO's expansion of social media supports our mission of Keeping America Informed. Joining Pinterest is one more way GPO can engage the public and continue to serve as the official link between the Federal Government and public."

Actually the government has so much material that they can share without problems of copyright that the potential is practically unlimited. But if you do join Pinterest and start sharing be careful of what you post because you are still responsible for copyright infringement. And like any web surfing, it can get very time consuming.

Happy pinning.

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