At Experience Columbus, we strive to help our potential visitors find great travel experiences in ways that work best for them, whether it's in our publications, on our web site , via Twitter , on Facebook or Flickr. Recently, we've seen a lot of buzz around Pinterest , a social network that's starting to gain traction. The more we looked at it, the more we though it could work well for both showing off the great things there are to see , do , eat and drink and also, as a powerful trip planning tool for our visitors.

Pinterest is a visual way to bookmark links. Whether it's pictures of things that inspire you, DIY or craft projects you want to try, videos that make you laugh, or places you want to visit, it's a really nice way to help yourself remember those aspirations and share them with your network of friends. Pinning these images and videos is very easy - first you need to do is pull the "Pin It" button into your browser's task bar. When you find an image or video you want to pin, just click that button, select which of your boards you want the item to be pinned onto, then type a few words about it. It takes about five seconds. You can find images and videos to pin all across the web, or you can browse or search Pinterest and re-pin things that other users have added.

Pinterest is also great for planning a trip. For instance, if you're planning a visit to Columbus in the spring, you can check out our boards , follow us, and re-pin on your own board images of the activities you want to do , restaurants you want to try and places you want to stay . The really nice thing about this is that you can very easily co-plan a trip with another person or a group. If you're finally taking that long-talked-about girls getaway or getting the family reunion organized, you can invite all the members of your travel party to pin to the same board so you're not all searching through email chains to agree on the plan for a day out.

Because Pinterest is gaining popularity quickly, you normally have to request an account and wait a few days for it to be activated. To make the process must quicker, Experience Columbus is happy to send you an invitation, which gets you in right away. To request and invitation, email me at jvargo@experiencecolumbus.com . Please make "Pinterest" the subject line of your email.

As you explore this new tool, let me know what you like and don't like about Experience Columbus' boards (http://pinterest.com/expcols .) What do you wish you could find, that we haven't covered yet?

Happy Pinning!