A Pinterest Success Story

There is a new social media toy on the seen that it seems everyone is talking about:

Pinterest.

Many of my friends in class had been talking about this site none stop, so I signed up. However, I felt like I did when I first saw Twitter. It looked cool, but I did not really understand how it could benefit me. It just seemed like something pretty to look at.

What is Pinterest?

My friend, Sara McClendon, wrote a great post about using Pinterest that can be found here. It is essentially if microblogging, bookmarking and photosharing had a baby platform. You share photos by “pinning” them to a category-specific board. Like Twitter, you can follow people’s boards, but they don’t necessarily follow you back. Like bookmarking sites, each photo is attached to a link where it was originally found on the web.

Here is the opening screen:


How Can PR Professionals Utilize Pinterest?

At first glance, Pinterest seems to only pertain to hobbies, but after using it for a couple of months, I see great utility for PR professionals.

  1. Driving Traffic. If you or your organization’s blog has engaging photos, it would be a great way to promote posts by pinning an interesting photo from the post. Pinterest is so shareable and viral by nature. It is a good way to drive traffic to your blog.
  2. Creative Brainstorming. Half the battle in PR, marketing and advertising is formulating a brilliant idea. That takes creativity and brainstorming. Pinterest is a great way to get inspired quickly. If you ever get stuck on an idea, scroll through Pinterest for 20 minutes to see what you will find.
  3. Easy Photo Sharing. It is so easy to share photos and find the owners of the photos to gain permissions to use their photos for stock images and such. Most bloggers are flattered by such requests and respond quickly.

In fact, the picture to the left is a testimony to that fact. I was looking for an ice cream scoop image to create an eye-catching flyer and Facebook event profile picture for an upcoming PRSSA, Public Relations Student Society of America, meeting about internships.

I typed in purple ice cream. I found this photo in about 5 minutes. I went back to the original blog post and commented asking to use her picture. Within three hours, she had responded to me saying yes.

We had our highest turn out for the semester, and I like to attribute some of that success to Pinterest.

Have you used Pinterest?

Navigating the World of HTML

For my social media public relations class, we were given the assignment to learn something about any aspect of social media and present what we learned. Because this is my first time using WordPress, I wanted to learn more about WordPress and how to use HTML code to better my overall experience.

What is HTML?

HTML code stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. According to W3schools.com, HTML is, “a language for describing websites.” HTML code is a markup language, or a set of markup tags that structure the layout of the website. The tags come in pairs: one signifying the start and the other indicating the end of the command. For example, <b> and </b> make the letters between the two tags boldfaced.

Experiencing Overwhelm

HTML is an entirely different language; some of it makes sense, and some of it looks like complete gibberish. When I started to delve into the world of HTML, I became overwhelmed by the vast amount of information. It is impossible to digest everything about HTML in the amount of time to do this project, but I tried to learn the basics and the overall force behind it. This project has further sparked my interest, and I plan on trying to learn more because in today’s society, he who can build a website can conquer the world.

A Little History

HTML was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 when he created a simple language that allowed the linking of various documents together with customizable formatting. The WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) began working on HTML5, and later XHTML merged with HTML5. It is not fully functioning, but for all intensive purposes, it is the latest version of HTML, which has these priorities:

  • The core language should be simple.
  • Markup is based on semantics.
  • CSS is used for style details.
  • Pages are often applications.
  • JavaScript is central.

WordPress and HTML

I found the more I researched that learning HTML does not fully equip you to creating your own WordPress blog. The free version of WordPress has many limitations including not having the ability to customize layouts extensively. Also, WordPress also incorporates CSS and PHP. CSS is the code responsible for the presentation of a webpage; whereas, HTML is the code that indicates the structure of a webpage. PHP goes within HTML to bring in plug-ins and applications. It is necessary to be well-versed in all of these three scripting styles to customize a WordPress blog.

Conclusion

HTML is complicated and organic in nature, always changing, so it is nearly impossible to work on understanding it on the side. I better appreciate outsourcing web designers to create webpages, because they are able to dedicate their time to learning this code. I did learn some basics:

  • How to italicize
  • How to create a heading
  • How to create a list
  • How to publish a picture

I wrote this blog post while trying to implement the basic tags I learned.