The other day, I was checking out some of the statistics for my blog, including "top traffic sources." I noted that "pinterest" had climbed to the number one referring site for the last week and month. It is still second to google for all time, but it is clearly on the rise as a referral for me. I joined pinterest to be able to see who or what was being pinned on pinterest from my blog. I have one post which was been pinned, A LOT. It is this one:
It features a travel journal tutorial. I can understand why it's popular, and I am happy to share it with others. The idea for the tutorial actually came from Vicki Chrisman, and I made sure to ask her if I could share it and then credit her and her blog.
That was all well and good, but then I was a little taken aback when I saw that this photograph has been pinned and repinned a fair amount:It's a beautiful photo of Henry and his girl friend before last year's prom. It's been pinned to boards about posing couples and ideas for prom pictures (you can read the full post here). I'm proud of the photo and a little pleased that people think it's pin-worthy, but yet . . . I don't know. It somehow feels a little intrusive to know that Henry and Vanessa are floating around in the pinterest world. While I don't mind having my art out there, it feels different to have pictures of my kids out there (even though this has been pinned more as art/ photography than as a picture of Henry, if you know what I mean).
Then, I started noticing a button that says "This is a no pin blog," like this one on some of the blogs I follow. I did a little more research and found that there is a bit of a controversy about people pinning images to pinterest without crediting them properly and the possibility of images being sold by others. Bloggers have responded with ways to make sure that pins are done responsibly, ways to block all pinning, and ways to allow only selective pinning.
I'm not sure where I come out on all this. I like the idea of pinterest bringing people to my blog, and I have always realized that anything I put on my blog is open to the public. This doesn't worry me; I'm a public person with a public job, so I don't find putting things in the blogosphere too concerning. That's why I've never minded using our real names, real locations, etc.
But somehow it bothers me. And I'm not sure why.
I don't think people are taking my photography and using it without acknowledgment, which would be an issue for me. I know that my blog friend Amy has had this problem recently and so has started using a watermark on her photographs (read her wonderful tutorial here). By the way, I found this really interesting post about how to see if your images are appearing elsewhere on the internet. I looked for a few of my photographs and found nothing, so I think I'm good there.
I am really interested to read what others think about this issue. Do you use pinterest? Have you had things of yours pinned? Did you like it and want to encourage it? Or do you want to discourage it? Have you ever had an image stolen? How did you find out and what did you do about it? As usual with a "Let's Talk" post, I'll leave this one up for a few days so people have a chance to weigh in on the issue. All opinions welcomed. Let's talk about it!
"Let's Talk" is a semi-regular series designed to inspire frank discussion and sharing of information on issues relating to photography, art and blogging.