Pinterest, the picture/pinboard social network, is growing extremely fast.  Its visual basis has made it popular across many diverse fields and demographic groups, and this visual appeal is a great tool for composers.  Like any other social network, it can be used to create buzz, share content, interact with audiences, and promote an individual or organization (although promotion is luckily more subtle on Pinterest; the creators seem more keen on making it an honest, open, and not self-absorbed network).  If ever there were a social network that emulated postmodernism, I think this would be it, with its melange of ideas and pluralistic approach to content.

A basic overview of Pinterest:  As a virtual pinboard, Pinterest lets users share images found online and uploaded from their computers by “pinning” them to “boards” (think of virtual corkboards for images).  You can interact with users by “re-pinning” their images to your boards, following their activity (like you would on Facebook and Twitter), with each share redirecting the viewer back to the original image (in other words, the original creator always gets credit and traffic).  You can also assign a price to an image to give other users an idea on how much the image or objects in the image would cost.  This basic overview is only current as of today (4/7/12); because this is a new service there are many possibilities that I’m sure will unexpectedly emerge as the creators refine and develop Pinterest.

So, how can a composer use Pinterest?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use score PDFs you’d use for printing and isolate one page, creating it as a picture file such as a high quality JPEG.  Pin this image to a board–for example, create a board for each piece you want to showcase, and post certain pages to showcase your work.  (Make sure you have done a good job engraving, though!)  You can also assign prices to these pages, to give viewers an idea of how much it would cost to rent or purchase the score from which the page is taken.
  2. Headshots or album artwork (with permission from the photographer or artist if it’s not you) can be posted to showcase certain interesting concepts (eg. your latest album cover that illustrates an important part of the work on the album).
  3. You can plan album artwork or photo shoots by repinning interesting pictures to a pinboard specifically made to gather ideas.  So, if you’re looking for cool album colors, you might create a board titled “Album Colors” and pin images with interesting colors to that board.
  4. Inspiration can come in any form, and visual inspiration is, as you know, a classic mode of getting the creative juices flowing for composers.  People post word-based images on Pinterest too, so you might create an inspiration-themed board that includes drawings, photos, and text-based images from which you can draw inspiration.

Be creative–this social network is just getting started, and there may be other uses that emerge as it develops!

Happy social networking, and thanks for reading,

Dan