Pinterest Guide – FAQ

With Pinterest you can repin content already on the site or you can pin images, videos, etc. from nearly anywhere on the internet. They have a button you can add to your internet browser toolbar to make pinning content easier. If you struggle with getting started using Pinterest try their help guide or searching for tutorials on YouTube before asking the instructor.

Q:What is an ethnography project?

An ethnography is the study of culture. We are studying the media literacy practices and events of fandoms. Their literacy artifacts are the things they create and share online.
For more handouts on field notes vis

Q: What should I Pin?

A: You should pin images and videos that illustrate fans literacy practices or events. See the handouts over fieldnotes for specific examples. Memes, screenshots of the show/film, quotes from the original text, cosplay photos, fanart, fanfiction are all literacy practices of a fan community. So are fan created videos shared on YouTube or Vine. These videos could be tutorials on how to cosplay or how to get started in the fandom, reviews or criticisms of latest episodes/books/films, paradoies of the original text, fan created music, etc. You can pin media criticizing your fandom as well.

Look for images with frequently quoted dialogue or text, words that are specific to that fandom (like Shinny is a word frequently used in Firefly that fans would know the meaning of), examples of things that fans have made (such as videos or jewelry or fanart, etc.), photos of cosplay, etc.  Look for maps or diagrams about spaces (buildings, etc.) of the show/movie/book, character profiles and maps, lists of terminology or weapon types or space ships types, etc. You are looking for media that fans are creating and documenting how they are sharing it, how they talking about their fandom, how they are participating in their fandom (a discourse community), etc.

You should be pinning artifacts that illustrates your fandoms literacy practices. You need to be able to relate the artifact with something we’ve read about literacy in this course.
See the Field Notes – Getting Started handout for specific details on what to look for.


 Q: What should I include with the pin?

A: Each pin needs to be labeled “Artifact #” with the number. This will make it easier for you to identify the artifact in your written field notes later.

If you want to preserve the text on something you are repinning put quotation marks around that text to remind yourself that’s how a fan described or reacted to the pin. Add the tag for your fandom. Remember that when you repin something the comments won’t be saved with the pin to your group board. If you want to save the conversation going on in the comment section you will need to take a screenshot of it (if you don’t know how you can Google for tutorials).


You could include a few sentences about why you choose to pin that material. Will the link lead to a fan website? Do you think the image says something important about the fans who participate in the fandom? What connections do you see between it and our readings over literacy?


 Q: How do I add a tag?

A: To tag your pin type a hastag on your fandom name without spaces. For example: #LostGirl

 Q: What board do I pin to?

You will be pinning to your assigned group board.

Q: What will I write in my field notes for each pin?

For each pin you will write 100 words about it in your field notes. You should identify Szwed’s five elements of literacy: text (which if your fandom’s book, TV series, or film), the context & function, the participants, and the motivation. For participants you can say how many people pinned it, how many views it had on YouTube and how many comments it had, etc. You can take screenshots of the comment section as well to help you explain the motivation or context & function. You can quote the comment section by taking a screenshot of the comment and pasting it into your notes. If you don’t know how to take a screen shot then Google it. You can take a screenshot on computers, tablets, and smart phones. Google the instructions for your specific device.

You should also look for and identify Scribner’s three metaphors. Literacy as adaption should be found with every pin- how are they adapting their basic literacy skills to participate in their fandom? Also look for literacy as power and literacy as a state of grace. With fandoms that feature the occult you can often find those against the fandom who make religious arguments about the fandom or text.

Relate anything you’ve read in EIIW to your pins within your field notes.

See the Field Notes – Getting Started handout for specific details on what to look for and how to get started.

Q: What is an artifact?

A: We are observing fandom communities by watching what they create and share online. These things they create and share (memes, GIFs, quotes, videos, fanfiction, blogs, etc.). are called artifacts. We are collecting these artifacts to make overall observations about their media literacy practices much like Jenkins did in his article about why Heather can write.