Pinterest – great for using as a portfolio, creating your own ‘secret pin boards’ and displaying in your blog’s sidebar    …but use publicly with care!

I wrote about Pinterest in a previous post, back in February, exploring how it could be useful for education but also highlighting issues with the service due to breaches of copyright and all liability being with the user.

JISC Legal have published advice and guidelines around using image sharing websites such as Pinterest, Flickr, TwitPic and Facebook. In short, you should only upload your own images, or those that you have obtained permission or are licensed by the rights-holder to use.

Users do retain copyright ownership for images they post on Pinterest, Flickr, TwitPic and Facebook. However, if you use these services you need to check what rights you are granting them regarding reuse, modification, IPR and more.

When re-pinning or using images that you find on the web, again you need to ensure that you are not infringing anyone’s copyright. Don’t assume that you can re-pin an image from someone else’s board – they may not have got copyright clearance themselves.

This is a very brief summary. It’s complicated. See the full article for details.


Pinterest as a Portfolio

Since I last posted, Pinterest have revised their Pin Etiquette page which now says…

Be Authentic

Pinterest is an expression of who you are. We think being authentic to who you are is more important than getting lots of followers. Being authentic will make Pinterest a better place long-term.”

So, you can now use it as an online portfolio. See


My Pinterest Portfolio


Pinterest Secret Boards

Pinterest have recently released ‘Secret Boards’, allowing you to create private boards only available to you and invited others. I don’t really want to share my boards publicly as I like to collect stuff to inform my own projects – this seems to be a view shared by many others too! They could also be really useful for collaborative student projects, researchers, event planners…

According to Pinterest’s blog post, secret boards are available for the holidays and they are keen to get feedback. However, they’re not saying whether they will be a permanent feature, so it’s unclear at the moment what will happen to your secret pins. Perhaps this is something you should avoid putting too much effort into until a decision is made. Personally, I hope they keep them – I think Secret Boards are a great idea!


How are you using Pinterest? I would love to know…