Want Private Inspiration Boards? Alternatives to Pinterest

So ever since the whole photo copyright situation, one of the things I've been saddest to give up was my book inspiration boards on Pinterest and my inspiration photos on Tumblr. I enjoyed having those visual cues to go to when I was struggling with a scene or needed to remind myself the mood I was going for with my story. (And frankly, when in writer's block, what better to help a girl out than a big dose of mancandy photos?) 

And even though I now realize it's not legal to be collecting and sharing those photos publicly on Pinterest or Tumblr, I did wonder how I could recreate those inspiration boards in a private use only environment. Yes, I could print out photos and pin them to a real bulletin board. But come on, anything that involves crafts is lost on me. Plus, printer ink is expensive. So I started to google.

Pinterest does not have the option for private boards yet. It's been talked about but hasn't come to fruition yet, so I wondered what else was out there. And wow--there's a lot out there. I couldn't possibly list all the different Pinterest-like sites I came across because I'd be here all day, but here are some of the more promising ones that allow private boards.

UPDATE (11/2012): Pinterest now allows up to 3 private boards! 

Photo by Alixanaeuphoria (Flickr CC) 

Six Pinterest Alternatives with Private Board Capability

1. Clipboard

This one is the one I'm trying first. It allows you to collect pictures like Pinterest, but also adds the function of clipping anything to add to your board--web pages, videos, articles, recipes, etc.  You can add a +clipboard button to your browser and when you come across something you want to clip, it's super easy to select exactly what you want. And they take privacy seriously. Your boards default to private and you have to decide if you want to share them.


2. Juxtapost

This one has a similar look to Pinterest and is mostly focused on photos. But it does have some added features that Pinterest doesn't have--private boards, the ability to share private boards with a particular person, the ability to export your boards into excel so that you can print things out, and a "more like this" button to see similar pictures. 


3. Springpad

This one is really visually appealing like Pinterest. You can do private boards and it has smartphone apps to help add things to your notebooks. This one is definitely tempting me too.


4. ImageSpark

This one goes with the idea of "moodboards" where you can arrange your photos not just in grid lines like Pinterest but can make it more collage like. You only get two moodboards to start though. There may be a charge if you want to expand beyond that.


5. Love It

This one looks very similar to Pinterest and appears to have the same functionality with the added bonus of being able to have private boards. Thanks to Amber West for recommending this one.


6. Bo.lt

Also has a similar look to Pinterest, but allows you to save entire webpages, not just photos. Also, it saves a copy of whatever it is so even if that webpage disappears in the future, the info is still there for you. 


There are more out there but these are the ones that came up most frequently when I was looking for private board capability. And remember, if you make any boards public, the same issues with Pinterest apply to all these sites as well. Don't publicly post pics you don't have copyright permission to use.

Has anyone tried any of these? Anyone have any other services you use that you'd recommend? Do you see the benefit of the private boards or was Pinterest all about the public sharing for you?

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week


 Fave photo of the week: My haul from RWA *pets*

How is it the end of the week already? Wow. All right, so those who may new to the blog, on Fridays I do a links round up of the best writing and publishing posts (along with a few fun posts thrown in) of the week. Since I was at RWA last week, I skipped a week, so this list will be a bit chunky. :) 

On Writing/Publishing:


On Social Media/Blogging/Promotion:


For Gits and Shiggles: 


What You May Have Missed Here:


All right, that's what I have this week. Now I'm off to hopefully write two winning book proposals. I hope y'all have a great weekend! :)

FAQ on the Blog Photo Debacle

Photo by Alexander Henning Drachmann (cc)So I'm still recovering from RWA this week. I have a fun combination of a sick child, a cold, and lingering jet lag. But I thought I'd pop in really quickly to answer a few questions. I've been getting a boat load of emails since my photography post. Most have been kind words--I appreciate that--but many have also had additional questions about the post and/or copyright.

I don't necessarily have definitive answers on some of these because I am NOT a lawyer and this is NOT legal advice. However, I can tell you what I've found in my own research during all of this.


FAQs from my inbox:

1. If I can't find out who owns the photo, can I use it?

No. Just because you don't know who owns it, doesn't mean it's not owned. Just find another photo that is creative commons or that you can pay or get permission for.


2. What about still shots from TV shows or movies?

This was one I really wanted to know. It *seems* like this is okay under Fair Use because you are only using a small part of a whole and not impacting the ability for the movie to sell. Jane at Dear Author spoke a little bit about this in a recent post.


3. What about YouTube videos?

If you are the one making the videos, then be careful. Don't use copyrighted material in your videos. However, if you want to say, embed someone else's YouTube video on your blog, is that okay? I haven't gotten a black and white answer on this. But here's what I've gathered. If it's a very short movie/TV clip, then it *probably* falls under Fair Use under the same logic as the movie still. If it's a music video/movie preview/clip hosted by that brand/artist/TV show/movie studio and there is an embed feature enabled, then it's *probably* fine. Like I said, don't take this as legal advice. But the nice thing about YouTube is that if you embed something on your blog and then You Tube finds out that the original person used copyrighted material, they take down the video and it will disappear anywhere it's embedded. So use with caution, but some particular uses are probably fine. (And obviously if a clip has the embed feature disabled, then don't use it at all.)


4. What about LOL Cats/Cheezburger photos or those funny e-cards?

For the e-cards, there are specific rules on how to use them. You can go to their terms of service and look, but it seems like the proper way to use them is via embed code NOT just cutting and pasting.

From SomeEcards TOS:

If you include or post any of the Content on another website, YOU MUST EITHER:

  1. use the sharing and embedding buttons on the Site for Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest; OR
  2. use the embed code or post the link of the Content ONLY.

Any other downloading of Content or dragging it to a third party site violates our rights to the Content.

As for the other, Jane at Dear Author contacted LOL Cats and it seems that they are okay if the embed code is present. Here's a quote from her site:

I emailed LOLCat about the embed codes and was told that some of the images don’t have embed codes for copyright images and that you needed to click through to the individual page of the LOLCat to see if there was an embed code but if there was one, it was there to be used.


5. What about recipes?

Recipes ARE copyrighted. You can copy a list of ingredients, but the directions on how to cook those ingredients are copyright protected. So no cutting and pasting someone else's recipes on your sites. (That obviously goes for the food pics that accompany them too.)


6. What about song lyrics or poetry?

Copyrighted. You can't use them in full. A small quote of a line or two would probably be fair use. The only exception would be things that have outlived their copyright term and are now in public domain.


7. If I post a link in Facebook and it adds that small pic from the original post to the link, is that breaking the rules?

Since that is a thumbnail sized pic and is a link to the original site, that appears to be fine. You didn't actually make a copy of the picture and paste it into Facebook.


8. Do these photo copyright laws apply across all the platforms: Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, blogs, etc.?



9. What about celebrity photos?

Those are copyrighted just like anything else. Most of those big gossip sites probably pay a fee to certain companies to get a certain amount of access. They are not free to share. If you need to talk about a celebrity, a better option may be a screen shot from a movie with them in it.


10. If a site has a Pin It button, is it okay to pin?

Not necessarily. For instance, any blogger can put a Pin It button on their site, but if they are using other people's images (knowingly or unknowingly), you could be pinning copyrighted stuff. However, if a retail site has the Pin It button on their own product pages, you're *probably* okay. Never hurts to check their Terms.


11. What about book covers and movie posters?

Publishers get the rights to the book covers to use them for promotion, so bloggers using them to talk about the book is fine. However, you cannot take part of the image and use it for your own purposes (i.e. lifting off the text and using the photo on the cover for other purposes.) I'm assuming the same applies to movie posters since they are a promotional tool and when used in the context of commentary or review would probably fall under Fair Use. (Though like I said above, don't take my word as law. There are other ways you can't use movie posters and book covers. Here's a bit of an overview for movie posters.)


12. Can you release the name of the photographer or details of the case?

No. I wouldn't do that anyway, but there are confidentiality rules. So if you hear anything out there about what amount was paid or who was involved, it's probably not true because I haven't released any details and won't be doing so.


13. How do these apply internationally?

My research has been U.S. specific, but most countries have copyright laws. Things are going to be different from country to country so be sure to look up the rules that apply to you.


All right, I think those were the main ones. Hope that helps!