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Previously: Is it time for a Home Improvement blog?

The chat session yesterday discussed some projects people were working on and recent experiences, and then started talking about how we could store and share these experiences to build traffic. While many of us have our own blogs, flickr pages, and other sites, it's difficult to aggregate these in any meaningful way with the current structure of the site, and we may as well give people a place to post their own experiences if they don't have a blog of their own.

Per the "So how does my site get a community blog?" section at Blog Overflow, the second step is determining what the scope, organization, and purpose of the blog is. I'll take a shot at it in the answers below.

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Purpose: To share stories, experiences, projects, etc. of users of diy.stackexchange.com as they work on their own home improvement projects. Posts should be limited to things relating to home construction or improvement, and the posts should be written for a non-professional (layperson) audience.

(Secondary purpose: To build traffic to and attract users to diy.stackexchange.com ... because the more, the merrier!)

Scope: Posts describing:

  • projects that users are working on
  • how-To posts that detail precisely how to (and using what) complete a project that other users might be interested in
  • pictures and product information that professionals or other experienced people have encountered and think would be of help to other users

Organization: I think there should be different categories, possibly edited by different people as the site grows. A few ideas might be, "From the Pro Desk", "Long-Term Projects", "How To", "Weekend Projects" -- and then tag from there, with things like energy improvements, plumbing, electrical, etc.

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How useful should the blog be? It's understood that the main site is pretty serious and is where things get done. How silly do we want to be on the blog?

  • Disaster stories. I haven't seen a precedent for this on the other sites' blogs, but this is where the funny is.

  • Product reviews

  • Face-off feature. Try to complete the same task using two different brands of tools or two completely different kinds of tools. We had a question once before about screws vs nails, I think it could be a fun and useful blog post to build something small using screws or nails and then showing the benefits either way (fast vs sturdy). Copes vs miters. Cheap paint vs expensive paint, etc. Doesn't have to be physical, could be a research project like: on-demand water heater vs tank water heater.

  • Previous owner nightmares. @TheEvilGreebo sparked this one in chat. Also What are some of your previous owner nightmares you have inherited? Could be a fun story, or even a "Caption This" kind of feature (What were they thinking?)

  • If no one's noticed, I do enjoy being silly. I think that the editors should control the tone in cooperation with the diy.se moderators, but should allow for a modicum of tomfoolry as long as it's in good taste and doesn't interfere with the utility of the site to visitors. – Karl Katzke Sep 1 '11 at 23:20

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