How to honor the Curator’s Code on Pinterest

For weeks, everybody’s been talking about the Curator’s Code. Introduced by Maria Popova, editor of, the Code is essentially a nifty way to cite sources. And unlike, say, APA, it actually works with the internet, on the internet.

If you’ve been struggling with attributing photos, quotes, etc., these two unicode characters  ᔥ and ↬ should do the trick. The first is used in lieu of “via”, for direct sources. The second signifies “hat tip”—a term everyone from individual bloggers to New York Times writers all knew about way before I did. (Oddly, until reading the wikipedia article on hat-tipping just now, I never connected this term to a physical gesture made with a hat. I digress…)

So how do get those nifty little graphics to appear on your blog? And what the heck is “unicode”? Being wildly impulsive an early adopter, I didn’t think about either of those things when I signed the Curator’s Code pledge on March 9 about two seconds after skimming the Brain Pickings article introducing it.

Today I decided to figure this out. In theory, you can just use the bookmarklet (like unicode, a term I use, but don’t fully understand) from the Curator’s Code site by dragging it into your tool bar. This worked nicely for me in WordPress. Next download the nifty badges, which are so graphically delicious I want to tattoo them on my bicep. I just added mine to my footer using the WordPress image widget.

But that wasn’t enough. I signed a pledge, which means I have a duty to fulfill. Then it hit me. Where was the law and order of the Curator’s Code needed most? The Wild West of the World Wide Web—Pinterest.

Now you’re probably thinking, but Pinterest provides a link back to the site you pinned from… True. But if you’re pinning from, say, Apartment Therapy or Flickr, as I often do, Pinterest will put a generic link above your pin. And unless you click on the link, you’ll never know who is responsible for the lovely image in that pin. A shame since many of the creative types on these sites have blogs and websites that I want to help drive traffic to. (Tip: If you’re unsure who or what site will be credited with Pinterest’s auto-hyperlink, pin, then edit after to ensure the attribution you want.)

At least that’s my reasoning. Sadly, I couldn’t make the Curator’s Code bookmarklet work on Pinterest.

So… I decided to figure out what the devil unicode actually is and how to pin the heck out of those little characters. I knew Macbooks have neat keyboard shortcuts that let you do diacriticals, but I couldn’t find the command for either of these characters. So I looked at the HTML code (yet another term I bandy about like I know what it is) that appears in the bookmarklet and figured the unicode was probably in the string somewhere. And it was! A few Google searches later, I not only knew way more than I cared to learn about unicode, but also how to enable it on my Macbook so hundreds of symbols are a mere double-click away. You can find the Mac Support tutorial I used here.

By the way, if you don’t feel like falling down the rabbit hole of unicode, HTML and Mac character enabling, you can still curate and attribute using good old fashioned text: via, HT, h/t, or hat tip.

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ᔥ image, 

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I'm a smart, sassy, globally-mobile freelance writer, content creator, brand journalist and nonprofit storyteller. The world is my office. Email me to find out more.
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