Friday Forum: Ask an Editor (pre-Maker Faire edition)

Hi guys. My name is Wade, and I run the editorial team at Instructables. I'll be answering community questions posed on this thread on Friday, May 16th from 1-4PM PST.
All questions asked and answered for today. Feel free to ask more questions, though, and we'll probably run another one of these in a week or two.

If you've been curious about the site, here's a chance to get the inside scoop on what actually goes on at Instructables.
  • how to get featured
  • how we choose featured authors
  • the best time to enter a contest
  • how much meat do Eric and Christy actually consume?
  • how we decide what prizes to give away
  • ...and whatever else you're curious about

Thanks to everyone who participated. Especially Ben, whose interrogative greed was beneficial for everyone who lurked without posing a question.

For the next Friday Forum on May 30th:

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gstegman3 years ago

I'm wondering how you find an old posting. I saw a posting last year about generating electricity using coolers somehow and have been trying to find it. Are things only on for a period of time? Do they get archived somewhere and if so how would I look for that?

Thank you

wilgubeast (author)  gstegman3 years ago

If you're looking for an Instructable (an actual project), then I recommend using Google to perform a site search on Instructables for the keywords you're seeking. We're working on a better internal search option, but this is the temporary workaround that the editors use to build collections and stuff.

" cooler electricity generator"

sunshiine3 years ago

It is Friday Wade! Yeah I know today is not the day but after giving this some careful thought I decided to post my questions in case I can't be here for the next forum. I have had some questions for a long time. If I post them here perhaps others will follow and you will have a jump start on what to expect in the next forum.

1. When is the best time to enter contest.

2. Sometimes I have needed a picture that was impossible for me to take and I have no artist skills. Is there a totally free link for any purpose (pictures) without breaking the rules and may we use them here?

3. Are there any restrictions for sharing a link that supports an instructable and if so how do we find out if it is? I recently posted an instructable and needed to support my comment.

4. I have recently needed to use the cut and paste selection but it does not work anymore. I understand the purpose of this but many times I will write up my instructable in an email and paste it in my instructable. I have lost some hard work because I did not have a back up. Is there a code I may use?

I know I have more questions but off hand these top the list. I wish to thank you for this forum, I believe it is a great idea that will save you and the team members a lot of time and save us some frustrations. Thank you all for your hard work and . . . . all the great changes to this wonderful site. I love the new spell corrector and the pixlr editor! Good going! I hope your weekend shines!


wilgubeast (author)  sunshiine3 years ago

1) Enter a contest as early as possible. That gives you the best chance of accumulating pageviews and votes for the duration of the competition.


3) There are no restrictions on links in comments provided you're within the confines of the "be nice" policy.

4) You should probably use your browser or keyboard shortcuts to perform copy-paste actions. I imagine you're talking about the options built into the editor's toolbar, which is the least robust copy-paste tool at your disposal. CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+V to paste. (If I totally missed the mark on your question, please follow up with me via comment or PM so I can get it right.)

5) ...and Jessy is answering questions on May 30th if you have anything special to ask her. :D

Thanks Wade. I have used the control cut and paste option and it won't paste into the instructable, comments, or email on instructables but I have no problems with it elsewhere. Perhaps it is a bug? I have posted this in the bug section and have not received any replies. The links I was referring to is in the body of any instructable. I ask this because I suspect it may be a problem because I have used links in the past in an instructable that I thought was good but it did not get featured. I know not all of anyones work will be featured but  knowledge is power and I like to understand the rules. I have been working very hard publishing good quality instructables that will interest the community. I just like to follow the guidelines and often I am confused about some of the requirements on social networking about posting information from other places. I understand I can use 500 words in some however, I don't usually do that because of copy write however I do like to give a link to add more information to my instructables. Awesome about Jessy answering more questions on Friday! I have already been using some of her techniques in my instructables which has been very helpful.  I hope to be there in this one. Thanks for the heads up! I am sure everyone here is very happy that you guys are giving us some insight into the instructable website.
Have a great day! sunshiine
wilgubeast (author)  sunshiine3 years ago

There is no set number or guideline for an appropriate amount of links. If they're informational and relevant to the project, use them. If you're trying to hustle some extra money by sending people to other websites, then they're not okay. If your project was not featured and happened to have more links than usual, I'd say that was coincidence more than policy.

We'll try to replicate your copy-paste bug. If it's still giving you trouble in a week, write in to for help. (We're updating the site code this week, and peripheral bugs have been known to disappear with changes to seemingly unrelated chunks of code.)

Thanks Wade, I usually only use one or two links so that gives me some insight. Don't know how to hustle money LOL. Have a beautiful day!


when are the winners of the outdoor survival contest reviled

wilgubeast (author)  printrbot9323 years ago

Judging for the 2014 Outdoor Survival Contest closes on May 25th. Winners should be revealed the next day. (Contest winners are almost always announced a week after the contest closes for entries.)

We won't be reviling winners, because it is very hard to do so nicely and constructively in accordance with the site's "be nice" policy.

Awesome! This made me laugh a lot harder than it probably should have!!

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