five great things someone else said, vol. 34

In the last few weeks I’ve seen plenty of posts about Pinterest as it explodes from this small site I joined a little over a year ago to what it is today. Posts on netiquette, like I’ve discussed here.  More often I’ve seen posts that discuss how to use Pinterest for marketing and self-promotion, received emails from magazines and companies inviting me to follow their boards.

It was a wakeup call. Or rather, a confirmation that what I was concerned about was, in fact, something to talk about. Again. And I’m really thrilled to know I’m not the only one struggling with the issues of this great inspiration board in the ether and protecting the artistic work of myself and others.

After weeks of leaving comments on people’s Pinterest articles saying that we need to Pin With Love a la Link With Love, you could say I was thrilled to see this new piece by Kal Barteski on the Link With Love site yesterday:

courtesy of kal barteski

If you are in any way creating content – be it design or writing or photography or some other work of your staggering, unique genius, be aware your own work may be pinned without proper credit.

I can list so many reasons why this matters, but I’ll give you one. A personal one. I have had my work, as both a writer and photographer, used for profit without my consent more than once. My work has been taken and money made from it.

I was not asked. I was not paid. It was not OK. And I don’t want to see that happen to anyone else if I can help prevent it.

These things happened to me in the print world, where things like this seem harder to do, and I look at Pinterest (and similar sites) and see how easily your work can be Pinspiring to others.

All imitation is not flattery.

If your art is your livelihood, even if it isn’t, you deserve credit for your work. For your contributions to this great, big, beautiful, creative, inspiring, tangled web.

It doesn’t take Nancy Drew to click through a pin to its source,  see that a recipe came via Martha Stewart, and know that means the blog you’re reading it on wasn’t the original source. Go to the source. The creator.

I have so much to say on the subject (and will), and yet, here’s the funny thing. I still like Pinterest. Love it. I’m still weeding through my boards to make them right, but I’m adding new content, too.

I want to believe that we can make Pinterest better. I want pinners and the Pinterest powers that be to do their part. I want the web to be a place where we can all share our creativity without frustration or foreboding.

I want a lot of things. Go ahead, call me Veruca Salt. She wanted the world. I want the world wide web to be better. I believe it can be.

And now, five great things someone else said on the subject:

It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required. – Winston S. Churchill

Keep a light, hopeful heart. But ­ expect the worst. – Joyce Carol Oates

Don’t mistake activity with achievement. – John Wooden

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

Your two cents, please...