Monthly Archives: March 2012

Friends to Follow on Pinterest Twitter Follows

New Pinterest development makes connecting your Twitter account much more important.

Update 3/30: Reader feedback and my own research seems to indicated that to get a Twitter related bump in Pinterest followers , you need to have started your Pinterest account using your Twitter credentials. For now, if you started your account using Facebook credentials, you get recommended to other people you are connected to on Facebook. If you started your account via Twitter credentials, your account will be recommend to people who follow you who also used Twitter to sign up. Simply connecting your Twitter account after the fact doesn’t seem to allow your account to also be recommended to Twitter users. Bottom line: if you are going start a new Pinterest account for your business, it is absolutely important to link it to your Twitter account.

Pinterest experienced some controversy from auto-following friends if you used your Facebook account to sign-up. In a much less aggressive manner, you will now start getting more followers on Pinterest by having your Twitter account linked.

Pinterest has started to recommend “Friends to Follow” in the top left hand section of your main Pinterest stream page. Based on looking at the recommendations for the @free account,  Pinterest is suggesting accounts to follow based on who you follow on Twitter.

You can’t see all your Twitter connections on the site yet, but Pinterest has started showing three possible connections. These recommendations change each time you refresh your page. When you click on “See All” you are just taken to the Pinterest connection page which doesn’t provide any additional Twitter connections.

Twitter to come soon?

Since Pinterest is now showing a limited selection of Twitter connections, it is likely that they will eventually have an entire page that will feature accounts you follow on Twitter.

This is important news to everyone looking for more Pinterest connections, but it will be be particularly relevant to brands and businesses.

Since Pinterest doesn’t allow you to connect a Facebook Page, Twitter will become the best way to leverage your exist social media connections to build more Pinterest followers. It should be noted that even if Pinterest eventually allows you to connect your Facebook Page, it wouldn’t be consistent with Facebook API and policies for those who have Liked a page to have your Pinterest page recommended.

Based on the recommendations I have observed so far on the @free page, it isn’t clear whether Pinterest is weighting recommendations based on the activity of the your account. People are certainly less likely to follow your Pinterest account if you don’t have active and relevant boards, but it seems for now that just having a Pinterest account that is linked to Twitter will get you on the list. I observed several boards be recommending to the @free Pinterest account that don’t have any boards or pins.

If your brand aligns with visual images or you have ideas for how to use Pinterest , it makes sense to start working on having relevant boards now. Combining compelling content with connecting your account to Twitter could result in a significant number of new followers, particularly if you already have a substantial Twitter following.

Private boards coming to Pinterest

Pinterest announces new terms of service & that private boards are coming soon.

For my latest post about future Pinterest private boards and current alternatives click here.

As many of us have speculated, Pinterest today acknowledged that their original terms of service were a standard set of terms that didn’t really reflect the intent of what Pinterest was or is. To correct this, Pinterest announced a number of changes to their terms of service, acceptable use and privacy policies. These changes will take affect on April 6th.

Pinterest removed the language that allows them to sell the images you pin.

Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.

The number one request from Pinterest users is having the option to have private boards. Pinterest is listening…

Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

It will be interesting to see what Pinterest does in terms of API. Many marketers and brands have been interested in better analytics, so we might see that come out of future API offerings.

Pinterest makes it easier to report copyright violations.

Previously, all copyright violation reports had to be made as DMCA take down notices. And those had to be submitted by email or mail. Now Pinterest has a new online form.

Once you click on “Report a pin” you will see these options.

If you click on the intellectual property link, you are taken to the copyright page where you can scroll down to find an online copyright complaint form.

This form allows for listing complaints on multiple pins as well as showing the images on sites you may run or own.

You will also need to provide your:

  • Full Name
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State/Providence
  • Zip/Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Full Name as Signature

To complete the form you have to affirm three seperate statements:

I have a good faith belief that the disputed use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law (e.g., as a fair use).

I am the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyright or of an exclusive right under the copyright that is allegedly infringed

The information in this notice is accurate.

I view these improvements as an important step by Pinterest to address consumer and business issues, while at the same time, keeping Pinterest going in the right direction.

Trello Free Organization Tool - Easy to Use

My favorite free software this year. Trello lets you organize anything.

I really enjoy sharing useful services with people I know. If you are follow me on Twitter or know me in person, I have likely shared a few of them with you. But rarely do I find an service/application/product that I really think could be useful to every single person I know. Trello fits that.

There are hundreds of to-do list applications available. They run all the way from one basic list with checkmarks to the enterprise project management software. I have tried many of them. Trello is so simple, easy and initiative, that it is worth it to try for 15 minutes or so, to see if it is right for you.

What is Trello?

It is all about the cards.

A card is any text you want to add. I like to think of it as whatever you would write on a notecard. If you have never used notecards, then think of it as a note. It could be one word, a sentence or a paragraph. You can make as many cards as you want.

Then you organize them in lists.

Lists are just columns were you can sorts your cards. You can label lists anything you want and then drag and drop cards and reorder them in lists. The default Trello lists are To Do, Doing and Done, but you can change the names and quantity on any…


Boards are much like Pinterest boards. They are where your lists and notes live. You can have a broad board labeled “Ideas”. Or a very specific one like “What I want to accomplish on Saturday”. Your lists and the included cards can be reorder on your board however you like.

That is the basic of Trello and on its own has many uses. But. . .

Trello lets you go beyond that by “writing” on the back of the cards.

Like a traditional note card there is a back to Trello cards. Just click any card to access it. It includes a comment section and description that you can use like a traditional notecard. So if you are studying for a test, you can put the answer or definition on the back of the card and access it just by clicking on the card.

On a traditional note card that is pretty much the limits on what you can do, but with Trello you can:

  • Add attachments (videos, Word docs, PDFs and more)
  • Add color labels
  • And collaborate by giving others access to boards, thus…
    • Have conversations
    • Assign tasks
    • Vote for favorite cards

Examples of my own Trello use.

Organize and track the progression of blog post for this site.

I have many blog post ideas in Evernote. Some of those ideas turn into basic notes, and some of them turned into rough drafts. I created a card in Trello for each potential blog post, and then added the cards to respective lists in order to understand what I have to work with. I currently have six lists. They are titled:

Ideas – Notes – Drafts – Blog Drafts – Published – Promoted

With this board I can see all of my blog posts, whether finished or in-process, on one screen. When I take something from an idea to actually writing up notes in Evernote, I drag the related card from the Ideas list to the Notes list. Eventually as I work on each post, I keep moving the card along to different stages in the process and thus lists. In the end, what started all the way on the left as an idea goes all the way to the right as a published and promoted post. For many people, writing a blog post might be a one step process or at least the early stages are done in one’s head. For me, I like to break the process into small steps. If you don’t need that level of detail for smaller tasks like blog posts, try creating a board for something more ambitions.


Trello’s key feature is the ability to quickly sort information.  Complex projects can be broken down to smaller steps and then sorted and grouped.

Preparing for a trip

I recently took two trip. In each case I made a card for every single thing I need to accomplish before I left. I didn’t worry about the order; I just typed each task and hit enter. When I got done, I then created specific lists. In this case, three tasks required I leave the house to accomplish them (get cash, purchase sunscreen & get more dog food). With a normal paper list, I would need to make a new list, but with Trello, I just added a list called Errands and dragged those three cards to that list. Several of the task were ones my wife had expertise, so I made a list for her, dragged those tasks to the list and assigned them to her.

Website planning

I have used Trello to create “page lists” for new websites. Type every page you are considering. Sort them by how they would work in the site structure. Then you can even open up voting on cards to other members of your team.


I have yet to use Trello for any substantial group projects, but my wife and I have started to use Trello to organize some household projects we are working on. It has been usefully to quickly get ideas down and then sort them into more managable lists.

Trello is the kind of software I would gladly pay for, but thankfully it is entirely free. It takes seconds to signup and minutes to try it out. It is so flexiable, that if you give it a try, I am fairly confident you will find a use for it.


1 Spam Pin Delete Pin Process

Pinterest hacked. Hundreds of thousands of users are unknowing posting spam pins.

I have two new blog posts with details of the July hacking of Pinterest accounts.

Pinterest hack details

On Saturday morning Pinterest users began seeing pins show up on their boards without ever pinning them, and in this case it appears users did nothing wrong.

I observed a $1000 free Walmart card image show up around 8AM CST when looking at the feed of people I follow, but I didn’t think anything of it. This afternoon Craig Fifield blogged about his wife’s experience with the spam pins. By this evening hundreds of thousands of these pins were showing up on Pinterest. Each spam offer pin (Walmart, Bestbuy and Starbucks were the main ones) had tens of thousands of repins listed in connection with them.

These spam offer pins aren’t happening because a user clicks on any spam links; meaning it is highly likely that Pinterest itself or some process in their system has been hacked.

In writing up this post, I went to the @free Pinterest page. I didn’t see any of these spam pins, so I started writing up what I learned. Five minutes later my wife sent me an instant message indicating that the @free Pinterest account had sent out the Best Buy spam offer. I didn’t do anything except go to the Pinterest website. I was already logged into my account.

My initial thought this afternoon was that someone could be using a brute force attack to figure out passwords, but based on my own experience and the vast nature of the pins, it looks increasing likely that someone has hacked Pinterest and figure out how to pin to a large number of people’s boards. Even a Pinterest engineer has two spam offers on his board as I write this. Kelly Lieberman pointed this out on Facebook.

Some good sized brands like Lidnt Chocolate also are putting out these offers.

It is very possible that no passwords have been compromised, but rather someone is actually hacking Pinterest itself. With the quantity of these spam pins, it looks to be the work of some kind of bot. I reported over a month ago about an account that followed over one million Pinterest accounts in one day. This seems like a similar technological exploit, but with much greater implications.

In addition to the unauthorized posts, its seems that the hack makes the edit button disappear on some of the offending pins. Where the edit button should have been is just a blank space. I list below a way to resolve this issue with a quick work-around. But the removing of this button points to how sophisticated the hack is and how open the Pinterest system is to exploiting.

One of the offending accounts that seemed to the basis for the Best Buy gift card offer is now returning a 404 error, so hopefully Pinterest is addressing this issue.

Update 3/18: The hack occurring on St. Patrick’s Day likely allowed these pins to go unnoticed by the Pinterest team for longer than would have occurred on normal weekday. Starting last night around 10PM CST, Pinterest began deleting the offending pins. As of this morning, a review of multiple Pinterest streams indicated that the hack issue seems to be resolved.

If your account has been hacked, you can delete the pin.

1. Go to specific pin page on Pinterest.

2. Add


to the end of the pin url.

3. Hit enter.

4. Delete the pin just like you would any other pin.

5. Confirm you want to delete.

Thanks to Mariam Shahab for sharing the basis of these tips.



New Pinterest Profile Page

You have a new Pinterest profile page, and your bio may be incomplete.

Example of the new Pinterest profile pages.

Early this morning, The Next Web reported that a new Pinterest profile page design had gone live to everyone’s accounts. You should be able to view your page’s new look by logging into Pinterest or going to

I am still trying to understand what was wrong with the previous profile pages. It was easy to see what boards people had, and you could get a quick view of nine images for each board. The new profile can best be described as cluttered. It could be I like images with quite a bit going on, but when viewing @free’s new profile page, my eye can’t decide what to settle on.

The Next Web described the new look as “streamlined”, but I don’t see it. In the past the photos where the focus on the page. If you wanted to learn more about the pinner, that information was in a column to the left. Now the bio information is prominently displayed at the top, and fewer photos are actually displayed when you go to someone’s profile page.

Pinterest cuts off existing bios.

I kept clicking around the bio section trying to figure out how to the read the rest of @free’s bio, but those clicks were in vain. Even in the Pinterest control panel, the full original description was gone.

It isn’t a big deal, but a little notice from Pinterest (even an email) would have been helpful. For your own reference, the new limit for the “About” section is 200 characters.

Keep Pinterest Unique

In the last three weeks, two reporters asked me whether Facebook could simply copy Pinterest’s concept. I countered that Pinterest has the unique advantage of a clean look and an image focus. Those two things would make it difficult for another other social network to copy Pinterest without setting up a separate section of their site. I still don’t believe Facebook has any interest in copying Pinterst, but I am surprised that Pinterest seems to have taken some cues from the Facebook Timeline and not in a good way.

Profiles are not the main way people experience Pinterest; so I don’t expect it will harm the user experience that much, but it does seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

It is easy to criticize something new, so I would love to hear your thoughts on the new design.