So as many of you know, I've been assigned to help come up with ways to promote the site. As such, I'm going to list out all of the site promotion ideas that we've come up with either in chat or that me and my team have brainstormed. I'd really appreciate feedback from the community about all of our ideas!
Get a community blog. -- This is probably the one idea that is the most feasible...assuming that we get the commitment that we need to get the blog off of the ground. Until we do, I'd like for us to have a regular event in chat called Project Update Thursday, where we basically have users update the community about their projects, ask questions, and generally accomplish two goals: a regular blog-type commitment, and encourage more use of chat.
New User Contests -- I'd like to give top new users (like the top three) for the week/month some sort of prize for being awesome, answering questions, and the like. Right now I'm thinking maybe a set of screwdrivers and a DIY-specific hat, which we'd have to design and get made. If you have other suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em.
Promote Our Sites on Blogs -- I've been following some of the largest DIy/home reno blogs around, commenting and retweeting and generally communicating with them for three or four weeks now. A couple -- Young House Love and Make a House a Home -- are talking to me about possibly sponsoring a giveaway or a product review (aka of the site itself). Do you guys think this is a good strategy for us to be pursuing? Are there other blogs I should be looking into?
[UPDATE!] YHL featured us in a giveaway post! http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/08/fab-freebie-its-a-one-derful-life/
Ad Space on Specific Sites or Podcasts -- One of the sites I'm looking at buying adspace on is AskTheBuilder because it seems to be the kind of place for us to be. I'm also thinking about advertising on/with This Old House in some way. Are there other sites that we should consider buying ads on? Should we sponsor an episode of a certain podcast, or even try to be a guest on it? Are ads even the right thing for us to do?
Making Flyers and Cards for Distribution -- Gaming, in particular, has mentioned that they'd like flyers and cards and stuff that they can distribute to local stores and tack up on community boards to promote the site. Should we have something similar? The designs are sort of pre-existing and wouldn't require much time to produce. I know we have a template(ish) for business cards that are DIY specific.
Trade Show Presences -- I'm looking into potentially having DIY.SE have a presence at various trade shows for builders and professional renovators. Do you feel this is the right avenue to pursue? Are there specific trade shows you all feel we should be attending? Are there any geographic biases that you're worried would arise from this? Is this the right audience for our site?
Tool Reviews -- I mentioned this in the other post I made recently, but one thing I'm considering is sending our users some shiny new gadget for them to use, review, and ask/answer questions about its use and performance. We have a number of X vs Y questions on the site on topics ranging from siding to caulk. Would this be something valuable to the site? Is this even something our site really should be doing?
Something Else! -- If you have any other ideas, make an answer and tell me! This is your site and I want to do things that you all want me to do/pursue. Ultimately, I'm not the one who'll have to manage new users and answer questions. That's you guys! Silence isn't golden in this scenario; it's rusted aluminum siding circa 1970!
More importantly, it's important that us CHAOS people make sure you guys are always aware of what we're doing. If you ever have ANY questions about what I'm doing at any given time, just ping me in chat and I'll be more than happy to blather on about what I've accomplished...or whine about what I haven't. :D