I believe in the power of the internet to support communities, share information and learn about the universe. I submit Instructables, post how-to videos and mentor students around the globe. I use open source and creative commons just as much as I add to it.
Yet Pinterest makes me uncomfortable. This social media service assumes that any visual content is there for the taking. Their ‘pin it’ button seamlessly integrates copyrighted material into the Pinterest licensing system. It's just a little too slick not to wonder what's happening behind their closed doors.
I am not going to delve into the legality of Pinterest TOS nor how many users are pinning content without copyright approval. That will be played out over time by those far more qualified than myself.
What I want to share with you is the understanding that Pinterest is a tool. And just like any other tool you need to use it wisely to support your needs or it will use you. The following is a heirarchy of methods I employ when sharing information on the internet and specifically addresses the optimization of Pinterest.
Step 1: Basic Guidelines
Prevent loss of attribution by placing a watermark on the image itself.
Make it easy for current social media to link back to your website by using plug-ins and apps.