PINTEREST this...

There are two common questions I hear often as a Social Media Consultant:
1 – What is Pinterest?
2 – What do I do with Pinterest?
Pinterest is actually not new. It was conceptualized by Ben Silberman and Paul Sciarra in 2009. They originally tested in on a College crowd and then in live form to the public shortly thereafter. Remarkably they now enjoy 11.7 million unique visitors and it is one of the fastest growing and most popular Social Media (listed in Top 10) Sites.
So on Pinterest, you create boards that consist of images that relate to your passions, hobbies and interests . Then you share your pins with others who Repin them and vice versa and when you really like someone’s pins, you visit their page to see all of their boards and then you make the decision as to whether you are going to “follow” all or any one of their boards.
It’s addictive once you get some boards going because it sends you on a mad crusade in search of the greatest Pins. Granted it's not easy work because your boards are only as good as your pins and not all the images you choose from are of a high calibre. You have to do a lot of digging to find the treasure but once you do it’s extremely rewarding and it motivates you to move forward in your quest of Pins and Repins.
Board Categories range from Home Décor to Photography, Sports, People, Crafts... well you get the point.  As Pinterest takes on more and more users, they will need to lengthen this list in order to provide Pinners with a wider selection. Once you choose a category for your new board, you create a Title. As an example, we have a board called “There’s No Place Like Home” for home décor or “Dogs R Gods” for Pets.
Some boards have more of a purpose or cause such as “The Power of Women” which I created  for Voyages Groupe Ideal where I am presently consulting. This trusted Travel Management Company of 40 years  is owned and operated by 3 dynamic and powerful women and the team consists of 98% female Travel Professionals. It is therefore only natural to promote women who inspire and to share this with other women (Pinterest is supposedly made up of 80% women).
And in conjunction with that, I am able to run a contest that provides the winner with a virtual gift that I have asked them to Pin to their board and share with their friends and then they receive the actual gift in real time.
Onto this board goes women in my life and those in others’ lives who have inspired them in some way. This may include classic Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn or crusader/idols such as Mother Theresa or a magnificent women such as my Mom (below).

I also created boards  with vague/ informal themes such as “Blue for You” featuring beautiful images that are heavy in blue or “Leonberger Nation” which features a rare and magnificent dog breed.

Pinterest reminds me of when I was a kid and we all had hobbies – tactile ones – stationary collections, doll collections, stickers, hockey cards and the bulletin board at home where my mother tacked our report cards, birthday cards, schedules and photos.
Now that bulletin board is on-line to share with people I don’t necessarily know and instead of the item being a report card or a schedule, it’s an image that holds some meaning and manages to engage others in its spell.
Best Practices:
It’s not about how many boards or pins you have; it’s about how creative your boards are and how colourful and captivating your images are that make for an interesting and attractive Pinterest account.
It’s not a place to sell images or other products although you will see people distastefully doing so by placing a price tag in the upper left or right hand corner (Pinterest recently came up with policies and guidelines although it will be very difficult for them to police issues with the present framework).
It’s not a place for pornographic images or for a photo of your partner in their lingerie or worse, their speedo.
Pinterest is a platform on which we share tasteful images and common interests and where courtesy is to Repin, Pin and follow those who do the same for you.
If you have an hour or so a day to really sit yourself down and get into the motion of it all and choose the very best and most creative images and maintain your boards and share and engage with others; then Pinterest may be a good Social Media channel for you.
If however you are more into the impulse/instant gratification thing, you may want to stick with Tweeting or posting a quick status to your Facebook page.
If you are a Social Media Consultant or involved in Social Media on any professional level, you have to think strategically as to whether this is the right venue for what you are selling and for who you are selling to.  You have to be willing and able to play the game and enjoy the hobbyist side of it and keep in mind that whoever is following and repining you may just become a friend or at the very least, a client (and yes – that sentence is in the right order).
Pinterest  is a place where the expression
 “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
can easily be transformed into
“Beauty is in the eye of many beholders” and they are all on Pinterest.
Visit our Pinterest Boards at http://pinterest.com/dogstravel/


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Who do you miss this holiday weekend?


So it's a long holiday weekend. A few days off of work - good - missing someone who was around this time last year - not so good. 

That's the thing about holidays. They are a respite from work and our daily routines but they are also a reminder of the unexpected changes we have experienced and the people we have lost. 

 As we sit around the dining room table and enjoy a meal that brings everyone together at one time under one roof. We notice the empty chairs and we hear the voices and the laughter of those who have vanished from our lives. 

There are sweet reminders and there are sad ones and somehow they all mix together in our hearts and in our souls and they make the butterflies in our stomachs dance and sway. 

And it's not just about those who have passed from this life, no, the memories and the pain of those we have broken up with, divorced/split from come pouring in. They are no longer there beside us. They are no longer part of your part of the family. They may very well be sitting at someone else's dining room table surrounded by a new extended family. 

When you split with someone you have truly loved and have seen on a daily basis for years; it's surreal. It's like starting all over again in a way. There are days when you wake up and forget they are not beside you in bed and there are nights when you go to bed with someone else and think of them. 

 Memories are crafty and they play games with our minds. They toss and turn us and make us think of things we no longer want to think about and things we still want to think about even if it does us no good. 

 Have you ever seen the facial expression of someone invited to a holiday dinner who has just become single? Have you ever looked into their vacant eyes and found them floating in mid-air? They're lost. They're going in this direction and that direction and they just don't seem to be getting anywhere. You want to reach out and hold them and re-assure them that they will meet someone new - there's someone out there for them - it just takes some time and then you thank God it's not you. 

 Have a great long weekend and may those you have lost know somehow, somewhere how much you miss them and that real love is endless and may those you have parted from know that you loved them in your lifetime and they loved you and that's pretty damn incredible. 

 Love, Love, Love. That's really what it is all about.


What do you regret?




Regret.

It's a tough pill to swallow.

It's part of life.

It's usually about doing something you shouldn't have done or being with someone you shouldn't have been with or saying something that never should have been said.

I have regrets and so do you. As humans we are programmed to make many, many mistakes before we figure things out for ourselves. It's our trial and error, our "I think I'll do this and see what happens next" even though you pretty much know what will happen next.

But you know what is worse than regret - not regretting - I mean how much fun is that?

What if we did everything right the first time and there were no second, third, fourth, etc tries?

What if we met the person we were going to spend our lives with at the start of our lives and therefore never bothered to meet any other potential partners?

What if we never drank too much or smoked too much and were never sitting on the bathroom floor staring into the toilet bowl promising ourselves (and the poor soul who is holding our hair back) "I will never drink again." What if we never got to say that because we never knew what it felt like to drink too much or eat too much or smoke too much or have too much sex (is that possible?)




What about romance regret? How often have you reflected upon the lovers you have had in your life? How often have you regretted allowing someone to be on such an intimate level with you who chose to hurt and betray you? How painful is that regret and does it ever really go away or do you carry it into bed with each new lover?

And if you could undo just one single thing that you did in your life that you forever regret - what would it be?

It seems as we grow older, we are either too wise or too tired and fed up to deal with regrets so we avoid the big stresses and nurture the stuff that really counts. 

We become experts at burying those regrets under the tattered couch cushion along with the other crumbs from the flaky crust of our lives.

You wake up to a new day, you go from here to there and back again and if you listen carefully you can hear your inside voice saying:

"I have no regrets"