Instructables Pro Accounts Have Launched

The initial version of Instructables Pro Accounts is now live! Sign up to create private Instructables, send digital patches to other members you admire, and to proudly display your Pro Badge. Check out the homepage's "New Pro Members" leaderboard to see the latest pro members.

There are more pro features on the way! Come check out the pro forum to have your say about which features we should develop next, or which bug you really can't stand (we can barely stand it either).

As I previously wrote here, if you registered prior to now, you'll get at least 3 months of free access to the features we are turning pro. During that time I hope we can convince you that going pro is worth it.

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I "went Pro" a year ago, never even used the site, actually stopped getting the emails for some reason, and then today I got a notice from my bank account that Instructables was trying to get money for another year through Paypal. I changed banks between then and now, so they didn't get the $$ but I can't find where to go to get out of this mess. If someone could help me get back to peasant status, I would be grateful.
You need to contact HQ at service[at]instructables[dot]com.

You should get a quick response there.
Rotten1945 years ago
I really think this is a bad idea. Every other site I've become a member on had/ got a membership feature. And every time the same thing happens. Suddenly, because of the special forums, privileges, etc., If you don't/cant pay for membership, its not really as fun anymore. All the older members who are more devoted to the either can buy membership or have it donated by adoring fans, so all the "cool people" get membership. Then all the new people decide the best way for them to get started and be recognized is to buy membership, because that's what all the older members have. So the members forum gets spammed up with stupid people (NOTE: I didn't say "new people" here, as most new members to Instructables actually have a neuron to fire. But the ones who feel they really need to buy membership to get people to recognize them are usually the dumb ones) who cant post their bug topics or "AMAZING AIM CONVO !!1!!" to the "mere mortals" section, and the members forum begins to get annoying. At the same time, the other forums are full of people who want membership begging for it however they can, complaining about it, etc., because they all think that its awesome to be pro. Of course, none of the pro users will admit that its starting to suck, so people finally get it from someone so that they will finally stop begging or break down and BUY it, get access, and after a few hours, agree with the other pro members. Of course, now they can brag and act godly around normal members because they have a stupid badge/colored name/other member benefits. I'm not saying that this will happen to Instructables necessarily, as the membership comes with other benefits besides forum access. But it will have side effects, just look at all the protesters already. Instead, I would just have a donate button (With some thing like a badge, but no real benefits. Most people would donate just to keep this site running.), coupled with new merchandise in the store and more advertising for the store. You can order wristbands printed with custom words and images to sell, hold design and product contests, sell "Instructables" kits with the parts for popular Instructables (giving a cut to the authors, of course). All said, I don't think this pro thing is a good idea. It might work, but its too much of a deterrent (in my humble opionion), when you charge for half of a free show and tell.

"I do not like the change, therefore I am going to presume they will fail. I will then sit back and watch what happens. If it fails, I already have my "told you so" post written, and if it works I will simply pretend I was not so negative in the first place.

The site was paid for through advertising, but the adverts are drying up.

Without advertising revenue, the choice is pro members or no members.
Or creating a FREE Instructables Community on LiveJournal. No need to stay here.
I had a quick look, I can't see one...

I wonder why?
(removed by author or community request)
Ad hominem attacks again? How...passe.


Must we go through this every time?

The only tool and pathetic wannabe I see around here is you.

Kiteman has not be hypocritical in the least, as you imply. He's actively made known the parts of pro he does not like, in public. He is also a valued member of the community by any measure, and personal attacks don't help your point at all. They only make people want to poke you with sharp pointy things. :S
Agreed. I've attempted to give ideas, tossing something out there. Sensoryhouse has been throwing digital punches. Kiteman hasn't done much better because he's letting himself be provoked into fighting back. Will you 2 children give up, go to your respective corners, and talk it out there?! I'm trying to predict the future of instructables, and all I see is fighting. That in mind, I'm starting to see a definite split already between Pro and Non-pro members. And within the Non-Pro are another 3 way split: Pro-unable, indifferent, and Anti-Pro. And would someone please explain to me this 'ad hominem' thing?
And would someone please explain to me this 'ad hominem' thing?

Google is your friend, as is Wikipedia. Try them, you might like them.
Thanks for the advice. learned a lot from Wikipedia.
It's not unreasonable to respond to his allegations when they're as ridiculous as they are.

There need be no split. I firmly believe this is temporary.

People hate change. They go through a few basic stages when reacting to change - they get angry and upset about it. Then they doubt it and resist it. They go on to experience discomfort and anxiety. At this point, they either go on to realize that it's not the end of the world, start to see good in the change, and move on to accepting and maybe even liking the change - or they go back to the first stage. Let's don't get bogged down here. Let's move on to seeing the good in this change, instead of going back to the beginning negative reaction. That doesn't mean we have to go along with any part of it - we can disagree with parts of it, and politely and respectfully make that known, and suggest alternatives, without getting bogged down in overly emotional reactions and irrational flaming.

As for ad hominem, please just google it.
Can you just give up already? Sensoryhouse has brought up valid points to the discussion, as have almost everyone in this thread before it turned into a boxing match. He, and many others, don't feel that paying for more features is worth it or fair, and is entitled to that opinion. however, apparently some people haven't realized THAT ITS OVER. Obviously Eric and the staff don't give one anymore, as is shown by the fact that none of them have commented here in over a month. All that's left is two or three people throwing punches over an argument that essentially ended weeks ago. Could you in least start a new chain so I don't get all these email's? :(
I'm sorry, but I'm going to defend my friends when they're insulted and respond to others saying the community is irreplaceably broken - whether you like it or not.

Has it ever occurred to you that Eric and the staff have lives of their own? That instructables is not the only thing they've got going on right now? That they might be busy with other things? Eric has extensively responded to postings by various members on the subject. Just because you don't get a reply from the CEO every 10 minutes doesn't mean it's wrong to keep discussing.
I was not only directing my reply at you, more at Kiteman as well, and SH. Why resurrect this? Its DEAD. Let it DIE. If someone bumps it, and this applies to everyone, please just ignore it! My original post no longer applies, I have already expressed that I now how switched sides and support Pro accounts, yet you, SH and Kiteman continue to tussle over it! It doesn't matter anymore, only a select few members are still against Pro accounts,m most have seen the light and see that they care about Instructables enough that paying some money is worth this site, and those that don't have every right to. Also, apparently Kiteman making Ad hominem arguments against me is OK, but SensoryHouse replying with them is not?
I am sorry if you thought I was attacking you, but I was actually referring to your comment.

I don't see the split as being between pro and non-pro, but between those who accept the need for pro, and those who still think they should get something for nothing.

As for the Admins not posting, in addition to what Lira said, they do read as much of this as they can, and there is an awful lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that most members (including most pros) are not party to.

(I'll stop now)
Thanks for a sensible and non-angry reply. :)
I'm not a "wannabe", I am a member of the Feature Team.

Ad hominem attacks and anonymous moans will not give your arguments much credence, especially when your insults are inaccurate - you seem to have missed my various comments regarding the negative side of the pro-implementation.

If you read what I actually posted, you will see that I (unlike you) have not attacked individuals. What I have responded to are ill-informed moans that appear to say that all members deserve something for nothing. My comments clearly weren't so bad as you imply, because none of them have been flagged (go on, feel free to trawl back through my archive and flag a few, just to prove me wrong). Just because it's on the internet does not mean it's free.

Giving pro status to all active members is problematic (define "active"?) and bad business - the idea is to raise money to keep the site going. Everybody who is pro has paid for it, even payroll staff.

Nobody is forced to go pro.

If you want to access the core content of the site, the bit that has value, then you can do that even without a membership. OK, so it isn't quite as convenient as it used to be, but the site has existed without "all-steps" for than it has existed with all-steps. The site grew just as quickly then as now.

If you don't want to go pro, that's fine, but the site still costs money to run - is it too much to ask for people to see a few adverts?
Please read my reply to Keith-Kid: I understand that the money for Instructables is drying up, and that's why they need the Pro members. I can read, thanks very much. My point is that it targets certain members with the money to buy pro and makes them more important than normal members. My post was simply suggesting alternatives so that Instructables could lower the price at least. Paying 30something dollars for a virtual membership is hard in these times, but I'm saving to donate because I don't want Instructables to die. As for the translation, the heck? I was suggesting alternatives. I don't really care if I'm right or wrong, why should you assume that?
Read randofo's comment

This is not a matter of Instructables getting some more pocket money, its a matter of Instructables continuing to exist in these dire economic times.

Ibles isn't the only place this is gonna happen. Sadly these next few years will be filled with similar events.
I realize that Instructables needs more money, and i appreciate that. I'm just saying that there might be other ways to get the money or in least reduce the price as to make it easier for members to contribute. I'm planning on buying Pro once I have enough money anyways. Its not the best move, and I've seen other sites get messed up from it, but Instructables can probably weather it, especially with the 3-month trial thing. But most users wont be buying for the features anyways, but to donate, like you said.
This is so sad. People making money off of other people efforts. This was a great resource for people, and DIY. But not anymore. They are taking away what this whole DIY thing is about.
Did you actually read anything in this thread before reposting the same tired comment?
Maybe everyone is saying the 'same tired comment" cause you know...its the truth?
So you didn't actually read anything. Good to know; thanks!
Grah! I'm so tired of hearing this response! That's utter bunk. The site is still a great resource for people and DIY. They did not take away what "this whole DIY thing" is about. Last I checked, DIY meant Do-it-yourself, not Everything-is-free-to-me.
I know not everything is for free, in fact, Im a paying member to one of the nets largest paintball forums (MCB). This on the other hand is a bit different.

""The site is still a great resource for people and DIY"
So part of DIY is not resourcing for parts? Alright.

Well thanks so much to everyone that contributed to this site, I have had so much fun making many of these projects, that you took YOUR time and money to teach me, and the rest of the internet. Your great.

How is this different? Why do you object to paying for this but will pay for a forum? Do you imagine the forum takes more time, money, and effort to run that instructables (I guarantee it doesn't)? >So part of DIY is not resourcing for parts? Alright. I confess to not being entirely sure what you mean...
Yay! All images are back! :D I'll consider getting pro now if I can convince my dad to stop being cheap :D
bylerfamily5 years ago
Who likes my new photo?
To each their own.
Everyone has their own preference. I like my Upside Down Pro logo. Your new Give Back my Allsteps logo works as well.
I like my new pic better...
(removed by author or community request)
I have seen many a forum die because of money for membership. Eventually they lose they're domain name (which is snached up by domain sharks) and they are forgotten forever. I do not want to see this happen to Instructables.
Agreed! I've seen 2 die from membership costs, and it sucks. The worst part is that either they're lost and forgotten forever, or, worse, they keep running but they're so torn up by the paid members that there's no scraps of the original site left.
I can't help noticing that none of the sites that people have "seen die" have never been named, nor linked to. FOAF? "Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi" ?
Can't tell the language, help me out.
It's Irish Gaelic.
While I know a touch, I can't figure it out. I think the most I was able to grasp while 'learning' it was goodbye.
Roughly, it's "a woman told a woman" - it's the same as FOAF.
Well I'm unfamiliar with FOAF too.
Friend of a friend.
(smacks self on forehead)
Don't feel bad: I don't keep up on my acronyms.
no, but Google helps a lot here ;-) that's how I learn them ;-)
Google doesn't list 'I' as an acronym. What's it mean?
it doesn't stand alone as an acronym, but does have many meanings:

some are here

Kiteman: I've seen and also Runescape die due to membership. While I don't believe this will be an issue on instructables, as all the original features are still free.
runescape died because somewhere in the order of 75% of their users were mid teen age and younger....the demographic that doesn't have expendable cash to pay on the internet or even credit cards to pay for things on the internet (most places don't take cash) when they went to paid...which by the way was always in their was free for a predefined period with the expectation clearly stated in their user agreement that at the end of that period of time the entire process would go to a paid was free for however long so that they could get people hooked...and they hoped that people would stay and pay to play....but once runescape took off...there were an inordinate amount of clones that stayed free (or had the same plans to go paid untill runescape bit the dust) it's hardly a relevant connection to this site that (apart from the knex crap) has an older demographic
That isn't at all how Runescape died. Runescape died due to crappy updates and forcing people to pay to get a better gameplay experience, and then, after they found bugs with the experience that people were getting, they decided to take it away. So now there's no point in playing free, or playing member.
Hey, when they die (years ago) I forget them, kinda erase them from memory if you will. I no longer have a reason to remember them so I just forget them. kinda vague now whatever they were. Forums I believe, electronics ones.
I see that I have a follower with the upside-down Pro logo... Drat! I should have patented it or something, that way I could get a quarter every time someone used it. Oh well, it's out there now, but maybe for the best that it's free for all to use.
I have jumped on this exceedingly fast bandwagon. Slow down! I almost broke my leg! :P
I just hope that I didn't start something that will soon get out of hand.
Did you see that I shall maintain it as an oxymoron when I go pro? Yes, I'll go pro if it to save the land where Ible-bots roam free.
Me, if I go pro, and that's a big if, I'm going back to my unsolved photo-cube.
I think it may be more of a confusing of cause and effect type reasoning fallacy, making them link failure to having to pay for a service....
Plus, the dead sites mentioned have all been forums - you can chat anywhere, so it's easy to lose people elsewhere, and not just because of money - I was part of a mass exodus from the BBC when they decided to dumb-down their science forums.
Yes, and it is not always money as you say, because one of the biggest chat rooms ever, ChatPlanet, was shut down one day with only a few hours of forewarning, because of incessant cracking and other mischief. I lost a lot of acquaintance type-friends that day, however there were 3 that I managed to get email addies from and am still in infrequent contact with them.
The two I've seen die no longer are in existance. One became lost to the paid members and then destroyed by hackers, the other merely faded and became lost to the domain sharks. As they were 4 years ago, and I never thought I'd need the names again, both have been truly forgotten.
It's not just you - several members have "seen two websites go down".
Ah. Me, I can't link one (it was hacked and who knows what would happen), and the other no longer truly exists short of as a wandering board.
lemonie5 years ago
(Another vanishing comment) Here we go again: The front page is showing recent Pro-sign ups, that is people who have recently paid for a Pro account. Why? They're all clickable but if you were to click them you'd get very little. I used to live with a guy who did marketing for a living and without asking him I know what he'd say about that. Why not filter this field for recent sign-ups that have been here for at least 12 months? After all we're all "recent". L
ewilhelm (author)  lemonie5 years ago
That's an interesting idea. The new pro members list on the homepage is just a rolling leaderboard by date.
If this is to serve a useful purpose, I would guess it's to be positive about signing up Pro. Showing users with pictures and some published content may be "manipulating" the data in this field, but for selling the idea it should work better. L
Kiteman lemonie5 years ago
It should also have avatars - the silhouettes make it look like they are all noobs who don't know how to add avatars.
lemonie Kiteman5 years ago
My point: they are "noobs". It should show recent Pro-signups who have done so with the experience of having used the site for at least 6 months.

Jayefuu lemonie5 years ago
Despite being one of these 'noobs' and despite having added an avatar.... I do agree with you. Having the long timers with millions of views and dozens of ibles there would add credence to the pro-ness. Though I think to improve on what you said, it shouldn't be just a fixed 10 members. That would make it seem tooooo elitist. A selected group of 50 members cycling through that bar would be better imo.
lemonie Jayefuu5 years ago
Yes, you see it like I do. The suggestion was a filter on new users with long(ish) service. Being ordered as recent gives a changing selection, but it looked like they went with filtering on "with images", which was an improvement. L
=SMART= lemonie5 years ago
yea good thinking !!
Kiteman lemonie5 years ago
OK, agreed.
It DOES show avatars- most are new people.
WHAT A SLAP IN THE FACE TO THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED MAKE INSTRUCTABLES WHAT IT IS. At first I thought Pro accounts were going to be cool.........until I found out that you simply have to buy one. WTF. Talk about a great idea executed in the worst possible fashion. Pro accounts should be for users who contribute the most, for those who generate traffic, to those who create the content for this site - not for those who can afford to buy one. And for what? To access once free features such as PDF downloads, or new features that nobody cares about such as PATCHES THAT YOU BUY AND DON'T EARN. THIS IS THE SADEST DAY IN INSTRUCTABLES HISTORY. Signed, Disappointed
I have gotten some emails regarding the pro accounts. People want to post there opinions but are afraid of being attacked. Like I was by Kiteman (a total tool and pathetic instructables paid staffer wannabe). Here is one of many: "i thought I would send you a pm and not respond in that thread, as people tend to hold a grudge around here. You could have taken the words right out of my mouth with that responce. What I don't think most of the crowd here gets is that we would be happy to buy a pro account if we were not forced to. I think they hsould have given all current members whom contribute pro status then worked on new members. what I cant gather is that if I dont go pro can I not see my own secondary pics? LOL... funny as... have a good day dude." I guess I'm not the only one that thinks the Pro feature was implemented in the worst possible fashion.
Ads aren't bringing in enough money, a store has proven itself to not be lucrative enough. What would you suggest?
Well the store isn't wxactly advertised well, the link is at the bottom of the page! and it only sells T-shirts.
There's a store? I never look at the bottom of the page. I initially thought a "pro" was one that had a certain number of instructables (with a certain rating) or won a contest or something. Now anyone can be a "Pro" Why not call them "enthusiasts" or something that shows their support and not inflects talent. I agree with others. Leave the pre-pro functionality, specifically secondary images and basic PDF downloads, add new enhanced features for "supporters" and think of new features to increase revenue. I like robbtoberfest's idea of downloadable versions.
Purchase individual instructables prepared in a downloadable ready format for the Kindle, Ebook format, or even a smart phone (Iphone or Google phone.) Like buying a music file with credit and maybe a percentage to the author.
I like that idea a lot. I'm not familiar with how the kindle works, would it be easy to upload? It wouldn't be enough to support the site, but it could definitely give them some extra spending money.
I think to view an Instructable should be free (which it is so that was a pointless bit of sentence) but to download as a PDF should be some-what like iTunes. I think that would be a good idea, because one can easily just copy and paste the instructions if they wish but it's easier and helps Instructables to just pay.
Agreed on this! First, viewing an instructable should stay free. You change this, 90% of the people disappear immediately. Second, they could just write a code to block out Copy/Paste so you have the options of: 1: print out 90 million pages of which you need 30. 2: Download and pay $ for your copy that you can use in any method you want. 3: type it all out yourself and print. Third: They should put the PDF file in a folder (for reference, let's call it Downloads) so that once you've paid for it, you've always got it. How many have had a computer crash after paying for something and completely losing it? I'm still waking up (10 in the morning here), but another idea would be to offer a book of the 100 Greatest Instructables, or a series of books (Best Robotics, Rubber Band Warriors, etc) that people could buy to have a hard copy for those times they're working on a project or need inspiration and don't want to spend 8 hours sifting through a million Knex RBG's trying to find 2 or 3 good ones. While I know Instructables is "For Profit," offer a button similar to Donations, but use it as income. I know people who would support Instructables but who wouldn't want Pro stamped all over their accounts. In fact, while I don't know them, NachoMahma has mentioned this at least once in this thread. (Note: Forum Admin with some forum slang still rattling around) The best solutions are sometimes the hardest to make, because they require the most conscious of thought and the most justified path to make people agree on it. And not everyone will agree.
Very well written, I agree but I think they should at least let copy and paste if the author is happy for that.

"And not everyone will agree."
People seem to lose sight of this, because no matter what, you cannot please every body. Some people think that their idea is best and will satisfy the needs of every one, but sadly this is not so and never will be.
I keep the "Not everyone will agree" in mind while writing. While those who are content with viewing ads and carrying a netbook to the work area for info. viewing, wouldn't want to pay, say $0.50 to load an instructable directly to the computer with no ads, could still do so, there's also something good for those who would spend $8 a month on downloaded instructables (the Downloaded folder). My goal is not to please everyone, but to get a fair compromise between all the options. The Downloaded folder is so that once you've bought and paid for your PDF of the instructable of choice, you aren't stuck worrying about your system crashing. However, I'm also keeping the theoretical prices low for 2 reasons: it's 8:15 where I live and I'm still waking up, and so that possibly more would buy the PDF for convenience of having a concise, 15 page booklet of information without ads and wasted ink.
I just do that whether or not I'm awake.
Maybe donations, for example you could have people contribute a small fee if they liked an instructable as a choice. or you could charge a small fee to enter competition. A sort of pay what you want. i don't like this pro feature thing. it going to break up the awesomely nice and friendly community
Donations can't support a business. They have salaries, rent, equipment, supplies, etc to pay. There might be a spike at the beginning, but there would not be a stead stream of income.
Donations can prop it up though. I am a member of a site that often sees 50-100 dollar donations, and has about the same member base as Instructables.
Donations have been suggested, but:

  • they will not cover Instructables's expenses (I bet the other sites you mention did not have memberships in the hundreds of thousands).
  • Instructables is not a charity - allowing donations to the site could well be illegal.
How would allowing donations be illegal? I've seen many websites with a little
"Do you like this website? Donate now!"
and it appears to work...
Most websites are not also for-profit companies.

I think (having read other peoples' comments) illegal may be stretching the idea, but it certainly makes life complicated, and if your IRS are anything like our evquivalent, "complicated" can land people in deep doodoo.
Ahh I see, thanks.
I don't whether it's legal or not, but the difference would be that those sites are usually run by people in their spare time, and not actual companies.
First point: I never said they would, I just said they would help out Second point: OK, you got me there.
It wont be illegal to get donations
How do you know? Can you cite IRS code to support your position? Goodhart has already provided a counterexample; his is based on state law, but state tax laws are necessarily broadly consistent with each other and with Federal code.
I found this answer to a similar question elsewhere concerning a for profit and a non-profit partnership:

I'm not sure what role you intend your for-profit company to play in this. If you plan for the for-profit company to receive "donations," directly, it will be income to the company. You can label it donations if you wish (assuming that such a label is not misleading), but for tax purposes, it will be income to the company and it will not be deductible to the "donor".

Your mileage may vary however, as this is Indiana based law...
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