Insider Tips Regarding Featuring and the Makerspace Contest

Hello there! : )

My name is Sam and I work for Instructables as a Community Manager. I work directly with the admin team that does almost all of the featuring of content on the site, and I'm writing this forum topic to share a bit of inside information for participants in the Makerspace contest.

As you know, the Makerspace contest is different than all other contests on Instructables, in that the number of featured Instructables a team produces is directly tied to winning prizes.

Featuring is how we get fresh, interesting, well-documented projects out in front of other authors and visitors to the site. It's also how we say "thank you" to authors for sharing their time, effort, and creative talents with the Instructables community.

The Featuring Guidelines forum topic outlines the basic things we look for when deciding what to feature, and I encourage everyone to click and read through the topic.

In an effort to help teams and participants in the Makerspace contest avoid any frustrations as the contest enters the final month, here are a few additional thoughts related to the featuring of content shared from the perspective of the team that does the majority of featuring on the site:
  • The Community Managers are responsible for regulating the flow and variety of featured content that is presented to readers. The Featuring Guidelines linked above are not hard-fast rules or a strict checklist that if met, will always guarantee that an Instructable will be featured. 
  • For example, for the sake of site visitors and for the community as a whole we may sometimes pass on featuring items that we deem overly repetitive or highly similar in comparison to other recent content.
  • Authors should strive to make each and every Instructable they share unique and substantially different from their previous Instructables. For example, if we present readers with a featured list that includes multiple versions of the same basic project with only minor variations, this is not in the best interest of the community and we have the responsibility to avoid this.  
  • However, aside from the occasional need to pass on featuring repetitive or too-similar content, admittedly we tend to err on the side of featuring too much rather than too little. 
  • Last point: long-time authors know it's culturally taboo in this community to ask admins to feature their Instructables, but it's worth noting here: It's not cool to ask. Please refrain! 

Generally speaking, new Instructables will be reviewed within 24 hours of being published and receive consideration regarding featuring, even on weekends. If after 24 hours your Instructable is not appearing live in the recent feed, please contact us at service@instructables.com.

We sincerely love seeing what you're making and how you make it, and are looking forward to a lot of really awesome Instructables this month!

Wishing you a never-ending supply of creative mojo, 

Sam (seamster)

Instructables Community Manager

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alamtania4 days ago

As the date is coming closer, I don't know why my firneds arre actually losing interest rather than sending out entries more actively! I don't know how I can motivate them.

Having a similar problem. Last year nearly my entire team either stopped or never started. This year I put together a team of students and coworkers/friends so we could hopefully win things to put in our imaginary MakerSpace (aside from my half-built RepRaps) but now that school is out every one has been busy with other things. One positive about a 3 week summer vacation is that we go back to school a few days before the contest ends, so hopefully the students will be re-energized and have more ideas.

You could try remidning them that besides the team prizes, there are also 4 individual prizes up for grabs :)

Yeah. The only motivation for me right now. But the problem is they don't use Fusion 360. I'm the only one using it in the group.

I have the same problem. I guess one thing is the learning curve for fusion360 is not steep so they can learn it quickly. There's also Thingiverse and GrabCad where they can grab some models to play with and learn.

Let's say someone has an apple tree and wants to show all the different recipes he can make with apples. Apple cider, apple juice, apple sauce, apple pie, apple pancake. Then these are 5 non repetitive ibles.

If someone writes an ible about apple pie with red apples and apple pie with green apples, then yes these are repetitive.

Recently someone posted 3 ibles about infused oilve oil with herbs in the makerspace contest. I wouldn't really care that they were featured even with such a high similarity of each step and content. But each one of them is highly dangerous to the health of anyone who would try them out. Deadly dangerous. There is no warning about hygiene, no warning about contamination, no advice about preservation and no eat-by date at all. I commented in a polite manner to have her improve her ibles and gave informative links about the danger because of her setup (food must not be on the surface, EVER).

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs270/en...

https://www.fsai.ie/faq/botulism.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism

This setup will enable bacteria to produce the toxin botulin. The toxin is in Botox, that means 1 millionth of a milliliter of this poison is used to paralyse the muscles on your forehead for a whole year. It is easy to imagine that badly canned food can kill a whole family by paralysing hearts and lungs of everyone who consumes the food.

I posted my comment 6 days ago, there has been neither a reply nor any improvement of the 3 ibles at all. Instead she posted another 4 for the makerspace contest. They were featured, why care?

I got no replies when posting these comments on pallet cutting board I'bles. They were made from pallets. PALLETS!

TechMartian14 days ago

Hi Seamster,

I heard about this post from Nicole. I thought I should just add a general comment regarding this point: "Overly repetitive or highly similar in comparison to other recent content." This is certainly a very fair point, but I would like to add to not judge a book by it's cover. It's really hard to make any microcontroller-based projects look are appear different, even though they are unique.

Many project may use similar looking circuits, but the programming is largely different. For example, bluetooth control of a servo motor would look exactly the same as a non bluetooth controlled servo motor, but at the heart of the matter they are vastly different.

Furthermore, many boards look very similar, but their properties on the inside also vary a lot. For example, an ESP8266, ESP32, NodeMCU and Photon look almost identical. In fact, it is arguable that the ESP8266 and NodeMCU are pretty much the same, and the ESP32 and ESP8266 are virtually the same, until you try to fit it on a breadboard in real life, that is. I can even go further and say their programming are alike. But, one subtle variation makes the ESP32 vastly different and harder to use than it's predecessor the ESP8266 and NodeMCU, in that it doesn't support most Arduino Libraries. So the user has to build their own library which is a very challenging and tedious task even for advanced Arduino and ESP8266 Developers.

I know many Instructables get posted everyday and it's a daunting task to look at each one in detail, but I do ask and hope that the community managers take another look at the heart of the matter. And as community members and contributors, our task is to highlight the uniqueness and differences in our intro and whole post in general for both the community managers and the public.

This is a rather lengthy post, but I really want to hammer down the point, since I feel that my posts on the ESP32 is being watered down by all the other "similar" ones. It is a new micro controller board, less than a year old, with very limited resources on the web, and quite difficult to learn and use due to its lack of developer community building libraries, and I want to be a part (or rather the starter) of the movement to make it the de-facto IoT development board.

If you made it this far, Thanks for reading this lengthy post.

*Ahem*

Fidget spinners!

Also, I'd just like to add some examples to show my point and avoid confusion.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Interfacing-Servo...

This instructables looks similar on the outside, so by simply judging the metaphorical book by its cover, it gets classified as repetitive. But nothing about it is repetitive. The servo library of an Arduino cannot be used here nor can analogwrite(). It's a brand new board with less than 10 instructables posts about it, to date.

However, posts like this which are not necessarily repetitive like mine, gets featured, even if they are similar (driving an analogy with my posts), that is the uniqueness level is akin to my example and other posts,

https://www.instructables.com/id/Jalapeno-Infused-S...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Jalapeno-Lime-Infu...

These posts have a better chance of getting featured regardless if they are same level of uniqueness as mine which isn't featured because the image is "flashier" and easier to tell it's distinctiveness based on "judging by its cover", so to speak. Wheras uniqueness of microcontroler based posts are not seen because it is harder to appreciate for non-developers. Furthermore, to most people the pictures for microcntrolers simply look like some wires and components unlike food items. Thus, I believe some leniency should apply to create a balance.