Instructables Alternative Revenue Strategies

At least once a month, we do an internal brainstorming session where we think up new things for Instructables. The focus of today's session is "alternative revenue strategies." Currently, Instructables is supported by a mix of brand and contextual advertising. If the economy goes into a state where fewer people are willing to spend money advertising on Instructables, how should we pay the bills? Would you pay for a "pro-account" that had reduced advertising, or other features? What features are worth how much? How about if you could leave a tip when someone answered a question really well? Are you interested in kits or deals on supplies for projects? If so, where do you currently go looking for kits or supplies? Also, in case you're worried, we're in good shape right now, and already have a plan B (and even a plan C!). Here, I'm hoping to tap into the community for some new ideas, and hopefully come up with some new things we haven't thought of before.

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Derin8 years ago
I don't want Instructables to be like CP.In CP,whenever I click "buy" on a clothing item,I get a message saying "Become a Member to access this feature!"But Member sounds worse,as the rest get labeled non-member and they limit access to some party stuff to members!
How about just ramping the ads up? More per page, maybe bigger ones. Sponsored flash games with corporate characters/themes and liberally sprinkled video ads? I've seen other sites do it with phenomenal success (others, not so much). I play flash games fairly often on other sites, I'd totally play a Craftsman game. See how many of Kiteman's shed you can fix using Craftsman tools! How about mash the spacebar to hammer nails! Or something. High scores for the week/month get patches. Or just space invaders or pacman clones all prettied up and with sponsor messages? It could work.
It would also make me not want to be on ibles... I hate teh_adz..
Derin bumpus8 years ago
*cough* adblock *cough*
The games too?
I hate those things.. "Shoot 654981355546 birds, win an iPod, and rope your friends into the pyramid scam!"
Hahaha, it wouldn't be like that-more like the sponsored ones on, say, (yeah, I go there sometimes. Deal with it. :P).
I like the games! Like "How many ways can kiteman kill eric, presented by Craftsman".
XD That would be hilarious.
I'm against the pro account because it inherently separates people into two classes. Once you remove the equality, it feels just like every other site where you have to pay to do the coolest things, and the free account doesn't get you all that far. I am all for helping support the site, but I'm very against this way of doing it. Previously we've given people non-quantitative, more qualitative rewards such as respect, as well as more tangible ones like ratings and contest prizes, and most recently, patches. I like that the only way to get these things is to earn them-you can't pay your way to the feature team, or to get your ible on the front page, or for patches. Once you can pay to be a higher ranking member, it becomes a situation where money, rather than pure merit, is rewarded. I suspect the site would go slowly downhill from there, into an impersonal money making machine. I think that goes against the basic ethos of the site, which is do-it-yourself. This way isn't doing it yourself, it's paying your way to the top. I've always thought that one of the greatest things about the site was that we (mostly) geeky people ruled it-not the rich kids.
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