It’s all over. I got sucked into the spinning, pinning vortex of the online community Pinterest. Though I just started last week, I can’t go to a website anymore without thinking of pinning possibilities. Yes, the word addiction comes to mind; though I’m sure I could quit at anytime — honest. Okay, it’s an addiction.

Pinterest is a free website that gives users an internet junk drawer or, for the more tidy folk, a bulletin board to “pin” all of their findings from around the web. Pinterestors share photography, fashion, recipes or stuff that makes them happy. Or it could be like a favorite pinboard of my creation — “Rude Mechanicals,” which garages all sorts of moving and working objects like windmills, flying contraptions and vintage bikes.

When it comes to selecting and pinning, there are certain criteria that I’ve established — quite subconsciously until now, I must say. The photography has to be spot on, and I have to love the design, the idea or the object. My boards are still pretty slim, because I only want to post what I really like. Pinterest is a great way to jury your online visual experience and collect your selections. It’s also very shareable, since others that are following you on the site can see your pins and boards. To make it even more “social networky,” you can like, tweet or embed any pin.

How do you pin stuff? Well, images can be gathered from all over the web by uploading a link or by using the simple “pin it” tool. When I look at other boards that I follow, I can also “repin” what interests me onto my own boards. The pin retains its original link and, if clicked on, takes the viewer to the initial website or blog. It’s simple to use, but the links can travel widely and reach a broad audience, as people pin and repin.

But how do you fit in? Well, how Pinteresting is your company? Your B2B website’s visual content may not ever get pinned onto my wife’s board for her fall wardrobe, but are you “pinable” in your digital sphere? Strategic websites combine text and images to tell a brand story, engage clientele, and introduce products and services. So would your web visitors pin you? I mean, does your website have enough awesome sauce that it would make your visitors want to store your images, share your media and link to your site?

As likes, tweets, +1s and links increasingly become a vital part of search engine optimization (SEO) and intelligent marketing, your web presence and digital footprint must inspire involvement and promote interest to stay “on the boards.” It’s not enough to have accurate information. Fresh, innovative content and engaging design pull viewers in and make them want to tell everyone about you.

Don’t get lost in the online crowd due to blandness. You’ll have to be interesting or no one will pick up on you, and you’ll get lost in the shuffle. Sorry to say it, but it’s either be pinned or get pinned. I’d suggest the former, more positive and less violent outcome. Good content makes people take notice, take action and tell others.

In the words of Ben and the Pinterest Team, “Happy Pinning!”

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