Now that Stack Exchange sites can have a blog associated with them, is it time for an Home Improvement blog?
I think a blog would be fun. Heaven knows I got lots of horror stories of situations I have encountered over the years that might be entertaining or perfect examples of what not to do! I would love to see projects being done and success stories. This also could be a good place to have informal info sessions that single specific questions on the site can't do justice to.
I think it would be an excellent fit for this site, and I updated the blog post to include a specific example that I believe will work well for DIY:
Tell us an interesting story. Did you go on an incredible cycling trip? Play a really interesting game? Read a great book on math? All it takes to get started is a set of pictures or screenshots you can share with some narrative stitching it together. So long as it’s topical and you’re excited about it, others in the community would probably enjoy sharing your experience!
A photoblog of your latest home improvement exploits with some commentary would be very interesting, I think, and pretty easy on the writing side (which is the hard part for most folks).
I probably won't have time to blog, but in the spirit of brainstorming:
I think the perfect Home Improvement blog post would be a how-to guide with pictures of videos that show how to accomplish a particular task that requires some skill. Examples:
- How to caulk around a bathtub
- How to tape and finish drywall joints
- How to sand a wood floor
- How to apply polyurethane
- How to repack a sillcock
Such blog posts would be less specific than regular questions and answers: a blog post about finishing drywall would show the whole process from start to finish, with tips along he way, and with pictures and/or video to show what the work should look like when done with some skill. Whereas the questions on the Q&A site are about a question or encountered during a particular step. The blog posts would primarily be of value to readers that have never hung drywall before, nor seen it done. The reader would learn what is involved, and would have a reference point for whether he's on the right track when trying it himself.
On the other hand, the Internet may contain hundreds of how-to guides for these topics already. Is there any reason to believe that blog posts from our user community would be better than what exists already?
I too think a blog for Home Improvement would be awesome! When I work on my home improvement projects, I am always looking for general pictures/video/details on how a particular task is completed but also then some of the things to watch out for. For instance, when I remodeled my bathroom I replaced the linoleum floor with a tile floor but had to figure out how much to build up the floor (or in my case, how much NOT to build up the floor) so that I did not have an issue with the threshold (which I didn't want to replace). There were plenty of How-To articles which showed the same basic stuff but no one gave info on the gotchas to watch out for (which is what I really wanted to read about). I guess these would also make good questions on the Home Improvement Stack Exchange site but I also would love to share what I learned in a blog post.
Anyway, I can volunteer a blog post every 3 months or so. The next project I pick up around my house, I will take pictures and notes and write it up for the blog (should be in about 2-3 weeks).
One of the things we did on a forum site (non-diy) was to promote certain posts to the blog and add those authors to the stable that had "blog privileges". Unless you have two or three passionate bloggers, you have to have a huge base of potential entries to keep a blog going. Creating the pool might help us find those rare natural bloggers.
Along those lines, can we hijack meta and throw some proto-blog stories up? I assume the mods can fold them all into one question or delete them after the blog is up and running successfully. If we can get 10-12 great stories going, that might be enough to seed the blog and set a tone. Once it's in place, hopefully more people will notice and submit theirs.
Here's some questions that I though might have good stories / how-to's behind them:
@MikeB should have a bunch of stories if he's followed up on all his questions - we need to track him down.
@Jay Bazuzi has a ton of great stuff going on too