Does Pinterest, the year old digital pinboard site, have value as a tool for journalists?

The site’s gained a lot of traction in the social media world recently. It cracked the top 10 most trafficked social network sites, with 11 million visitors during the second full week of December, according to Hitwise. The site’s main users tend to be brides-to-be, people interested in home decor and lifestyle magazines, such as Better Homes and Gardens. I haven’t, however, seen a lot of news organizations using it.

Don’t get me wrong. They are there. Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the Today Show have some boards up as does Mashable and the Daily Beast. Individual reporters may also be “pinners,” as users are called, but it’s a bit hard to search for them. There are also users who create boards called “news” and pin news stories to them. Generally speaking, it just doesn’t seem like a lot of journalists and news organizations are in any hurry to use Pinterest for the news.

Part of the problem is that at first glance, Pinterest doesn’t seem incredibly relevant for hard news. The news orgs that are on it cater to lifestyle and health, creating boards mainly focusing on those topics. (Take a look at the WSJ’s boards.) With a bit of creativity and imagination, however, Pinterest could prove very useful for all areas of a news organization. If you are thinking about using Pinterest, just remember the site is still invite-only.

Without further delay, here are five ways reporters and news organizations can use Pinterest. Read more