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A hair organizer, one of the many projects April Damlo has created with the help

What's your Pinterest?

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Facebooking, Tweeting and now ... Pinning. The latest term to be added to the ever-changing dictionary of online slang terminology is also the latest craze and admitted addiction for many.

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“Seriously I joined (last) Sunday night and I can’t stop,“ said Pequot Lakes mom of three, Charlene Kronstedt. “I am completely hooked. I look for every opportunity in the day to get on there and find just a few more things to pin. Pinterest is definitely where it’s at this moment. It’s so easy to lose yourself in it.”

The newest social media channel on the market, Pinterest (pronounced to rhyme with interest) is a virtual pinboard where users can share their own interests with others across the globe by simply “re-pinning” photos that pique their fancy. Originating in Palo Alto, Calif., in March of 2010, the site has seen tremendous growth since its humble beginnings, boasting a 429 percent increase from September 2011 to December 2011 alone and currently drawing on average 11 million users each month — catapulting the two-year-old site into the top five social media sites.

So what is it that has people everywhere talking about pinning? Simplicity.

“Once you hop on it’s so easy to scroll through and find something that you like and by having that visual as opposed to all words, like on Facebook, helps a lot,” said Kronstedt, who spends two to three hours a day on Pinterest. “If you see something you like, you simply click on the image, pin it to a board of your choice and you’re done. It really is that easy.”

Once a user requests an invitation to join Pinterest — which usually takes three to seven days to be accepted — they are set up with preexisting boards such as For the Home, Travel and My Style and are all ready to start finding “pins.” Similar to Twitter, Pinterest also includes followers, where you can see boards of those you follow and “repin” images they have on their boards. Clicking on an image will then send users to the original source, which typically includes quick-and-easy instructions on how to accomplish the image shown.

Whether it’s recipes, work out plans or your own personal style guide, it takes organizing to the ultimate level.

“Over the next six months, I have a wedding and a baby shower to plan,” said Lacey Twardy, who added she finds her sanity within a virtual pinning board. “Pinterest has ideas for both these major life events, I have based nearly all my wedding ideas from cake to decorations right down to the centerpiece all inspired by Pinterest.

“I am planning the baby shower for my cousin and I volunteered to help only because I was excited to have yet another reason to find neat ideas on Pinterest.”

But Twardy — a self-proclaimed “true Pinterest believer” — said Pinterest goes beyond the party planning with ideas for everyone.

“I’ve come up with great crafts to do with my kids,” said April Damlo, who discovered Pinterest while on maternity leave. “Not only for them, but I’ve found lots of great decorating and craft ideas for myself, too. Not all the projects I’ve attempted have been successful but it is definitely a learning experience. I’m sure my husband is getting a little tired of the phrase ‘look what I found on Pinterest.’”

Damlo’s husband isn’t the only male who may be confused at his wife’s newfound obsession. On Pinterest, guys tend to be an anomaly.

According to Hitwise.com, about 70 percent of Pinterest users are females between the ages of 24 and 54. In addition to female dominance, the Midwest is one of the most Pinterest popular regions.

“To this day, the Midwest is disproportionately represented given its population amongst our user base,” Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann — an Iowa native — told the Des Moines Register earlier this year.

ComScore.com reported Midwesterners are up to 102 percent more likely to visit Pinterest than the average U.S. Internet user.

Another user contributing to that traffic drive is Meggan Schwirtz from Pine River, who best described Pinterest as the “new fantasy football for women.”

“Any time we learn how to take a plastic cup and turn it into a small lamp shade, we score,” said Schwirtz. “A new outfit idea created by clothes I already own, touchdown. A killer ab workout routine, a new book to read, a fun and quick recipe for my crock pot; who needs football when you can pin.”

And the best part of the online fad? However you use Pinterest, whether it is as a magazine style guide, a wedding planner or just to pass the time, what you make of it is up to you.

“It’s really about you and your own interests,” said Kronstedt. “And in a busy lifestyle to find things that can spark your interests the way (Pinterest) does, why not check it out?”

JESSI PIERCE can be reached at 855-5858 or by email at jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @jessi_pierce

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Jessi Pierce
Born: 9/28/1987 (age 24) High School: Mahtomedi High School (home of the Zephyrs) in Mahtomedi, Minn. College: Journalism and Mass Communications degree from Iowa State University (Class 2010) Passions: Sharing the story. I love getting to know people, and in particular this town as it is so new to me, and being able to share something about them with the public. That and sports, especially hockey and lacrosse. Follow me on Twitter @jessi_pierce (views on Twitter do not represent that of the Brainerd Dispatch)
(218) 855-5859
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