I love Pinterest. I really do.

I signed up with the intent to carefully monitor my activity. But after the first two weeks, that’s gone out the window. Now, over a month later, next to facebook and my blog, Pinterest holds my digital interest more than any other website.

It’s my own personal, public digital clipping source. If I had to clip magazines to get all the information my Pinterest boards hold, I’d be able to pay my utilities with the paper recycling cash.

But I have a bone to pick with other Pinners, and it’s this: cite your source! I’ve read several posts from photographers who deleted their Pin Boards for copyright reasons. I understand that. I wouldn’t want my copyright works to be out there for anyone and everyone to take.

I do admit, I’m as bad as the next person when it comes to repinning from a friend. And I don’t have issues pinning a relaxing vacation site or a frog.

But if you were clipping from magazines, wouldn’t you want to know what store or cookbook or magazine to find more information from? If you have a wishlist for others to look at, don’t you want them to know where to get the goods?

I just spent 10 minutes trying to track down what was a great picture of a stockpile pantry with the promise of obtaining similar results without extreme couponing. So I clicked on it. But there was no information. So I clicked on the “via ________” link, which took me to that person’s source. Then to that person’s source. Then so on and so on.

I rabbit-trailed a back-up of more than ten – yes, ten – sources; and still none of them brought me to the information I sought. I finally gave up.

Now, I admit it’s fun to just have a pictoral collage of pretty rooms and fancy frames on the wall. I have a board “People I’d Love to Meet” which is self-explanatory.

But when it comes to a garden flower, a craft or a product on a wishlist, I want the whole information. Pinterest is now my source for clipping ideas and how-to’s. But that’s worthless to me if I don’t actually have the directions! It’s like showing the front of a haircut to my stylist and letting her figure out the rest without any other input… I could end up with a mullet!

Trust me. You want me to have all the information possible. You really, really do.

Without citing the original source, it’s almost plagiarism upon plagiarism. Pretty soon, no one will be able to verify anything. And I really like to verify my sources. I like the details. I like originality.

I can also only hope, as a blogger/writer/publisher, that anyone who pins links to my work, will actually pin links to my work. How else will others find me? How else can I build a credible business reputation?

Now here’s the flip side of that coin: it’s really hard to track the original source once a pin has been repinned. And I don’t have time to track down the original pin source. As, I’m sure, do you. Does that make me a hypocrite?

What do you think about Pinterest? Do you respect the source when you pin? Do you think there’s an absolute answer to this question?

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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