Kristin Appenbrink: Editor at RealSimple.com

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  • Hi Pinners! For our very first interview of the new year, I spoke with Kristin Appenbrink, editor at RealSimple.com. Kristin creates pinboards for Real Simple Magazine. Read on about what it’s like to work at Real Simple and how Pinterest has helped her and her sister get better Christmas gifts.

    Hi Kristen! Why don’t you start by telling me a bit about yourself and what you do.

    I’m currently an editor for RealSimple.com, the web site for Real Simple magazine. I’ll soon be celebrating my 4-year anniversary with Real Simple, but I’ve only been working for the web site for about 9 months. One of my primary responsibilities for Real Simple is being the voice of our social media. So when you see tweets from @RealSimple or @RealSimpleFood, or posts on our newly launched Simple Tip of the Day blog that’s all coming from me. (PS, please come say hi! I love hearing from readers.)

    I also edit our Daily Finds, write our weekly Keep It Together Checklist Newsletter, and choose the Daily Thought. In addition to that I recently started representing Real Simple on TV. That has been a really fun skill to learn, and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m not crazy nervous every time I have to do a segment.

    What do you like most about your job at Real Simple?

    The social aspect of my job is probably the best part. I get to interact directly with our readers on a day-to-day basis via Facebook and Twitter, as well as on Simply Stated, our blog channel. It’s exciting to see how much people love Real Simple; when the new issue comes out we get tons of tweets about how excited people are to read the magazine. And, of course, they’re equally vocal when we do something they don’t like. It’s really important that we are there talking to our readers and letting them know that we’re listening to their opinions.

    How do you use Pinterest day to day?

    I think the better question is how DON’T I use Pinterest. I manage my own account, and I’ve also started an account for Real Simple. For the RS account, I’ve added our daily finds, the titles we’ve read in our No-Obligation Book Club, and I’ve started boards for some of the different decorating stories we’ve done. I’d love to know what people want to see from us on Pinterest as well. So if you have suggestions, let me know in the comments.

    On a personal level, I’ve started using Pinterest instead of any other bookmarking site. I’m a huge Google Reader user—I subscribe to upwards of 160 blogs, and I’m adding more all the time. It’s so hard to find individual posts that I’ve saved for later. Now, I just pin the photo and add to one of my boards (35 and counting).

    My sister and I both used Pinterest to make our Christmas lists this year. We always send links to our mom to make shopping easier for her, but this year we were able to just send her the link to our pin-boards instead. I am also a compulsive recipe pinner. (That’s what we’re called, right? I’m pretty sure my vote was for “pinstress.”) I have a general “recipes to try” board, a desserts board, and one dedicated to ice cream recipes since I bought an ice-cream maker last summer. I also use Pinterest to gather ideas and products for blog posts on Simply Stated. Both my cake stands board and my 2011 Calendars board became product round up blog posts.

    What is one thing you’d like us to add to the site to make it better?

    I think because I use Pinterest to organize products for future blog posts, it would be fantastic to be able to download a composed image of a board. That way I could use one image for my blog post and list the links below. It would save me a lot of time with images. Plus, I’m sure it would look great given that the Pinterest interface is already so fantastic.

    Are there any people you’re dying to have us interview?

    I would love to see interviews from Amy Feezor of M-Dashing. She has such an amazing eye for design, and always finds products that I immediately add to my wish list.

    Will from Bright.Bazaar is another one I would love to read. He finds the absolute best interiors shots. I could browse his boards for hours. And finally, I’ll second Katie’s request for an interview with Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind.

    Thanks Ben for giving me a chance to share, and thanks to the lovely Katie Evans for nominating me.