This article was published on July 18, 2012

Up close with Hometalk: The growing community of home and DIY projects

Up close with Hometalk: The growing community of home and DIY projects
Harrison Weber
Story by

Harrison Weber

Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

If you’re a fan of improving where you live and piecing together DIY projects over the weekend, the odds are Pinterest’s lofty Home Decor section isn’t cutting it for you. There are certainly a few companies bent on helping you hack your home, like 500 Startup‘s BrightNest, but as for now, the community still feels a bit scattered.

This is where Hometalk comes in, the NY-based startup that lets homeowners and professionals share projects, tips, ideas, questions and answers. It may not have the hype of a Sean Parker-backed exit-ready sensation, but it fills an obvious gaping hole: a community for anyone that cares about where they live.

To learn more about this young company, TNW spoke with Matthew Shampine (VP of Business Development & Marketing), who also co-founded WeWork Labs and Onepager.

HW: Hometalk is clearly more than just Pinterest for your home/decor/diy needs, but the comparison comes to mind. Has Pinterest influenced Hometalk?

MS: We’ve certainly used Pinterest, but we didn’t use it as a template for the site.  Hometalk at its core is the result of working with professionals and contractors for years as Networx.  The idea was to help bring about transparency to everything related to the home by creating a community of homeowners and professionals that were connected by more than just a username online. At Hometalk people are able to see how others work, how they think and celebrate what they’ve created. Afterwards they can use this information to guide their future projects and get better results when they choose a professional to work with.

HW: How does Hometalk balance inspiration and Q&A?

MS: Hometalk is a great place for people who love their homes to connect with others who feel the same way. We start with a great experience for sharing problems and solutions, while helping to connect people with professionals who can help them online and offline.  Hometalk is a social platform powered by user generated content, and it is the best place on the Internet to discuss your home and DIY projects.

HW: What kind of users have emerged on the site so far?

MS: We’ve recently passed 100,000 registered members and have over 410,000 extremely active Facebook fans.  Hometalk has approximately twenty percent active users and have over 650,000 visitors a month and rapidly growing. Our user split approximately 70% homeowners and 30% professionals and contractors.  Users of Hometalk span all fifty states.

HW: Why should TNW readers use Hometalk? What’s your value proposition?

MS: Unlike many of the other options out there in the home and DIY space, we began with and focus on the community. By designing a place that people enjoy coming to and participating in, we’ve been able to create a community of people who not only are curious about their own home but also generously take the time to help others with their challenges. This leads to new ideas, connections and most importantly, trust and transparency among our members of homeowners and professionals.

Hometalk, a product of home improvement network Networx, has so far not received outside funding. Additionally, the company only just launched a mobile version of its site this week.

Hometalk certainly solves a clear problem, but would you actually use it? Check it out via the link below, and let us know what you think!

➤ Hometalk

Featured image by: Trint Williams

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