Affirmation without Featured Status
It is always nice when an Instructable of yours is featured, but it does not always happen. So, what really counts? I have noticed there is some intangible factor of cool in the minds of editors that may attract viewers to the site and gets an Instructable featured, but has little connection to any real practical value of an Instructable. Ultimately, the site is about drawing viewers and keeping advertising dollars flowing.
It means a lot to me when people refer my Instructable to others. It is meaningful when people who can make use of the Instructable view it. When someone marks my Instructable as a favorite that is even better. I really like it when someone makes what I made based on my Instructable. I do not care if that person modified what I did. We do not have the same tools, nor do we have the same skills or needs or materials. What really makes my day is when someone comments or sends a private message to say my Instructable solved a problem. Also very good is when someone searches the Internet for a solution to a problem, and joins Instructables because he or she found my Instructable and it helped with what was needed.
Recently, Instructables published a printed collection of Instructables. Several of mine were chosen to appear in that book. Guess what! Most of those chosen were not featured, yet they were included in the book! That is a very positive affirmation about the real value of those Instructables.
I have also had the experience that my Instructable was not featured initially, but months, even years, later an editor took a second look and featured it.
In summary, getting featured is nice, but there are other metrics that really are much more meaningful.