Pinterest is a virtual social cataloging and bookmarking site designed around pinning images to virtual bulletin boards. It seems to be catching on a little too fast. It’s common to get a servers are busy message, but refresh usually works. It’s also getting harder to get an invitation. If you request an invite from the site, you get put on a waiting list. I only waited a little over an hour just over a week ago, but many people are complaining about wait times now.

You can use the boards for anything. Crafting, food, clothes, event planning, decorating, gift ideas, wish lists, travel, comics, gadgets, or just saving pictures you want to keep or share. You can upload your own images, repin from other boards or link from most other websites. You can’t pin photos from facebook.

You start with 4 or 5 default boards, but you can delete, change and create new ones. There’s a little bookmarklet to add to your browser tool bar to make pinning pictures from the internet easier.  You can find friends, follow people and follow boards. When you pin an image, it brings the source with it, so you can go back. Many people use this functionality to bookmark recipes, websites and other directions.

Clicking on the word Pinterest in the top left of the screen will give you a news feed style view with boards you follow as the default. Click on the  Discussions tab to see images with comments, Everything for the newest pinned images on the site and Gifts for items that include a price.

Click on a person’s name to go to their profile with options to see their boards, pins, likes and mentions. Click in the middle of a board to see the pins on that board. Move your mouse over a picture to get the options to repin, comment or like. Use @ in front of a person’s username to mention them in a comment. Click on an image to get more details. Click on the image again to go to the original source. To the left of the picture is the board with thumbnails and you can move through the board with the arrows. below the thumbnails is a strip that says also from the same source page. Click on also from to see any pins that came from that source, or click on the webpage link to go directly to that page.

Have fun pinning!