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Now that Twitter and Facebook are old news, the new craze on the Internet is Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you should check it out because it truly is the next big thing to blow up your social network. After reading this article, if you think Pinterest is for you, head on over to Pinterest.com and request an invite. You won’t be sorry you did.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a new site that is still in beta testing and invite-only mode, but it is quickly becoming a great way to find and organize ideas for projects and décor, not to mention fashion ideas, beauty tips, DIY projects, and much more. The idea behind Pinterest is that it is a way to share awesome pictures you find on the Internet, and organize them into your favorite categories, or pin boards. Imagine if you had several bulletin boards on a big wall – one for each category you wanted to keep track of. Then, once you found pictures of ideas you liked, you pinned all of these pictures to the appropriate boards. That is what Pinterest is, except in a virtual world. It’s becoming so popular because it’s fun to look at pictures and gather ideas, not to mention there isn’t much reading to be done, so it’s something you don’t have to spend a lot of time on.

How do I use it?
Once you get a Pinterest account, you can start pinning. Download the bookmark and put it in your browser’s toolbar for easy access. When you find a picture you really like and decide you want to keep track of it, “pin” it by clicking on the bookmark. This will bring up a window where you can select the picture you want to pin and type a brief description. Pick the category you want it in, and pin it. It’s that easy. You can also follow friends and famous pinners and repin their photos. If you see something you like on the Pinterest dashboard, select the Repin button and pin it to your account. Finally, if you’re looking for ideas for a specific category – your home, for example – you can search for keywords and find everything pinned under those words. Then, repin away!

How do I get an invite?
You can get an invite by requesting one from the site. This usually takes a few days or a week to do. If you’re not willing to wait that long, check with your social networks. Someone you know probably already has an account and can send you an invite immediately.

What other things will I find?
You can find ideas for all sorts of projects. If you are interested in updating your home, there are tons of pinners on Pinterest that can help you with that. They will post pictures of all sorts of interiors from apartments to huge houses that will get you started thinking about what you want your new home to look like. If you are expecting a baby, there are plenty of pin boards for cute baby outfits or DIY projects to make your little one’s nursery the cutest it can be. If you are a budding fashionista, you can find a plethora of tutorials for your hair and makeup as well as ideas for clothes. Most of the images even link to places where you can buy the clothing or product you see in each picture. Finally, if you need a quick gift, you can search by price to find the perfect something for your special someone.

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