Finding Your Niche Online: How Social Media Can Help You Remodel Green

Mary Butler

Finding "community" has never been so easy, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites, which have revolutionized how people communicate.

Twitter in particular has become an incredible tool for connecting with people--complete strangers in most cases--with whom you share common interests. For green remodelers, it's just one more resource that can help you research your home improvement projects and even solve problems as you go about completing them.

How Twitter Works for Green Remodelers

If you haven't yet explored the world of microblogging, as Twittering is called, or even if you are already using Twitter, forget about the site's reputation as a as place for people to spout off in 140-character "tweets" about the mundane details of their lives. For information seekers, Twitter's search function is a godsend, as it allows you to mine the old house remodeling experiences of millions of users in seconds.

On a recent day, I entered the generic phrase "old house remodeling" and was introduced to an "OwnerBuilder" blog, the experiences of someone removing wallpaper and a posting for free kitchen cabinets. I entered the phrase "energy efficient" and in a click, I found "tweets" containing links to blogs, news stories and websites about smart grid technology, an "eco-pod" home, and five tips for buying an energy efficient appliance, among other information.

In a nutshell, Twitter allows you to connect with others who have information you're seeking. And new Twitter-based tools, such as Twellowhood.com (a "local Twitter people finder") allow you to find and follow old home remodelers who live near you.

Social Media Allows You to Give and Take Home Improvement Tips

While there's plenty to glean from Twitter postings, there's also plenty to give. You can use Twitter to quickly convey what projects you're working on, the problems you encounter, as well as the solutions you discover.

  • Be specific in your Twitter postings and use the "#" keyword function to flag your tweets for others to find
  • Create shorter links with TinyURL and Snurl
  • Re-tweet, or "RT" good information for others to benefit from
  • Use the search function to find and "follow" green remodelers who are involved in similar old house renovation projects. Most likely, they'll follow you back

Give it a try -- you might just find an online community.


About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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