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Combining the buying power of over 5,000 Ace Hardware stores with an online home improvement destination, OurHouse.com was born. The cooperative venture sold hardware, decorating supplies, and services in an effort to compete with larger brick-and-mortar retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's.

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Advice Sharing
I was contracted to manage OurHouse.com's vast home improvement advice forums. Averaging 300-400 new posts per week, this discussion forum-based section was heavily marketed as a place to get answers to home improvement questions. The website's association with Ace Hardware established instant credibility. To handle the demand for qualified answers, I recruited several volunteer "Home Coaches" to offer suggestions and tips based on their own successful experiences.

Celebrity Management
My role also involved managing certain "celebrity" spokespersons for OurHouse.com. For example, home improvement expert Lou Manfredini, known as "Mr. Fix-It", was already a published author, weekly contributor to NBC's The Today Show, and the host of a syndicated radio program.

OurHouse.com's advertising agreements with these personalities provided the company with verbal mentions during public appearances, along with the promise that experts would be available in the website's advice sections to personally answer questions. Much of my time involved funneling questions to these experts. I discussed answers with them and published the responses in a timely manner.

Navigation Enhancement
Additionally, I was asked to provide user experience improvement ideas for the interactive areas of the website. Previous redesigns had hampered navigation efforts and substantially increased page load time. My strategic observations were provided to the website development staff to refine the next iteration of the online destination.