Do It Yourself

For their June issue, the editors of This Old House did something new: They all went to Aruba, or possibly Turks and Caicos, and instead of coming up with ways to waterproof a basement or lay a vinyl floor in less than 30 seconds, they turned their magazine over to their suburban readership. Thus was born "Your Old House" - from front to back, the entire issue was created by readers, online users and TV show viewers. Ideas, stories and photos were submitted via a Web site. Visitors were then allowed to vote on the cover image and even served as "expert" panelists offering advice on handling remodeling disasters. (Let's hope the editors of American Journal of Medicine don't get it into their heads to do something similar.)

Apparently, the only thing not written by the readers was the letter from the editor, J. Scott Omelianuk, in which he claims, "This is the best issue of This Old House I've ever read." Of course, that could be because he was reading it in a chaise lounge with a strawberry daiquiri in his hand, but advertisers seem to agree: Advertising for the June 2008 issue was up 3 percent from the previous year, with new advertisers like Mutual of Omaha, Planters Kettle nuts and Martha Stewart/Kmart. When do the ad sales guys get to go to Costa Rica for piña coladas?          
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