I find myself suddenly addicted to Pinterest. Don't get me wrong, I signed up long ago, but never actually got into it. I took a second look at it recently, after doing the memento mori entry. So many of the Google results gave me Pinterest as the source, and so I found myself spending quite a lot of my evening perusing people's boards. There is so much to look through that a person could get lost for weeks! Since then, I've dedicated quite a few hours to building up my own boards.
Pinterest is a fantastic tool when you use it correctly. Its a cornucopia of ideas sorted by topic where a person can go back again and again to enjoy the fruits of their internet labors. You can find anything from fashion to cars to tattoos to home decor and everything in between. Whatever you're interested in, I guarantee you will find a board (or many) dedicated to the topic.
You have the ability to follow a person (like me, click here and you can follow me, sonpec) to see all their public pins, a board (like my Books I Love) to see what's pinned to that topic, or even a general theme, like women's fashion. Your home page then lists the newest pins from these areas, along with some boards or pins which fit in with your interests.
You can pin stuff directly from your internet searches, from other pins or upload from your computer. I especially appreciate that you can also have private boards which do not show up on your main feed or in any search. I created one just for family photos that I have stored in my email until now. These can only be viewed by me or someone I invite by email. You can also allow other people to pin to your public boards the same way. Say, for example, you've started a board for your high school. You can invite your friends to pin to that board also, so it's more of a community board, which is such a great idea. Anyone can see it (as long as you haven't made it private), but only those you authorize can post pins.
When you pin directly from the net, a description and the URL will be automatically generated. Unless you're pinning from Google or some other search-type sites, then you'll be prompted for a description before you can save. A great example is: you're at beyondtherack.com and you see a stunning vintage Dior bag. Pin it, and you get the website, the name and the price, usually. A handy tool if you're thinking about saving it for later (after you've slept on that $2500 price tag). Anyone following your board may see it and want to buy it - they just click the link in your pin and they're taken right there!
This site is perfect for people like me who have a hoarder living inside them. I love collecting things. I can't do it in real life, I don't have the funds or space in my home to collect all the things I would like, but I can do it here, reorganizing as the fancy strikes. Board titles, topics, themes and descriptions can all be easily changed and pins moved with the 'edit' button. Today that picture of a tree is in a board titled 'greenery' - tomorrow it's moved to 'haunted forests'. Instead of a folder on my desktop containing all the great pics of Maynard I find on the web, I can now simply pin them to a board on Pinterest and share them with the world.
My one gripe is that it can be difficult at times to track down the source of the photo if you're searching for more information about it. One pin I tried to track took me through the boards of six different people before I gave up. The pin will tell you if it's been pinned from someone else, and give you a link to that person. Then you have to figure out which board it's on (not always easy), then search through that board for that pin. Click it, and you may be starting the process all over because that person pinned from another board. I understand it would be too much to list the whole pin flow-chart (if you will) as some pics have been pinned numerous times, but it makes life a little difficult when researching a specific pin. On the other hand, it may be a first pin, but there's no real information. Say, they pinned it from Google two years ago and just wrote 'great car' in the description. Good luck finding out what type of car or who originally uploaded it to the web. Some people give an amazing amount of detail in their descriptions, some a line or two, and some none at all. I truly enjoy the ones where people have taken the time to give the background info - especially in the cases of antique photos or historical people and places.
So I think this is a fantastic time-waster, sorter of ideas, hoarding therapy and research tool all wrapped into one. I wish I'd started to actually use it when I first signed up, but I'm glad I've re-discovered it now!
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Once upon a time, if there was a TV show you wanted to keep up to date with, you had to know when it was on and be in front of a TV at that time to enjoy it. Then came TiVo, PVRs and now we have the option to watch shows on demand with our service provider, through things like Netflix, online or downloading. With all this choice and with so many great shows out there, it is getting pretty difficult to keep track of everything you want to watch, and what you've already seen.
Enter the 4-star rated iTV Shows app by Antoine Gamond available to download for $2.99. I actually got this app for free through another app, but I would say that even at $3, this app is well worth it if you like to keep track of your shows.
Once you add the shows that you're currently watching, the app will sort them into categories: 'This Week' and 'Next Week' tell you how many days until your show airs next, with the day, time and channel.
The 'Upcoming' category lets you know when shows past next week will be on. Since we're at the end of August, this category will be full to bursting, as we see a lot of new shows returning in September.
The 'To Be Announced' category lists your shows that are returning without a specific air date. You'll notice in the top right-hand corner of some shows there's a little red triangle that reads 'up to date' - that means you've seen all the episodes for that show so far. If you're missing any episodes, you'll notice that there's nothing there.
The last (and saddest) category is 'Ended'. I love that they've added this category, because sometimes you're wondering why you haven't seen your show in a while, and when you look it up you find out that it ended unceremoniously 3 weeks ago. This category is also great for those of us who hear about great shows, download some episodes, like it, then can't find any more. The minute you add the show, you'll know whether it goes past season one.
If you click on any of the shows, you'll get a page where all the episodes are listed with the name and air date categorized within the seasons. This page is where you can list an episode as watched by touching the check mark.
All of these categories are within the 'My Shows' tab, and that's the first thing you'll see once you open the app. If you touch 'To Watch' you'll get a listing of all the shows that don't have the little red triangle along with info of how many episodes you still have to watch. If you touch any of these shows, you'll be taken to the first episode you haven't watched. It'll give you a little info and you can leave or read comments about that episode by tapping the notepad and like it by tapping the heart. You can also share on social media from this screen.
Next along the bottom is 'Calendar' and it gives you a week's worth of shows. If you tap on one of them, it will take you to a brief (although not very-well written) synopsis of that episode.
The next two are 'Genius' and 'Statistics'. Genius is great as once you've set up an account with them (takes less than a minute) you'll get recommendations based on what you're watching now, what's trending and new show premieres. This is a great way to find new shows that you're not watching but would probably enjoy. I know I found a few this way. Unfortunately, you can't click on them for more info. Or maybe you can, I haven't been able to, clicking on the plus adds it to your shows. The stats tab gives you just that - your stats, interesting, but most of us probably wouldn't use it much.
You can also add friends and see what they're watching. Deleting a show is pretty easy once you figure it out (I had to google it), and although there is lots to explore, there is no help or FAQ page in sight. You can find info readily available on the web, as this app has become pretty popular for good reason.
All in all a great app that I use every day. It's well made, easy to navigate and has loads of great info. There could be a few small tweaks made (quick summary of shows in genius, FAQ or instructions added) but on the whole, iTV Shows 3 well deserves the 4 stars it has received. It would probably be higher if people understood that this is not an app which enables you to watch the shows, only track them, and that it does well.
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