Overly Featured Authors

I'm happy to see the ladies on the front page and their work is fantastic, but I'm on the site every day and it seems that 75% of the time I am seeing giannyl (published in March) and 25% of the time jessyratfink (published in May).  I haven't see the April dude on the front page once.  Did you have a "Sexy Bunny vs. Guy Who Dresses Very French" focus group? How exactly it this rotation determined and why does it rotate back to one person?  Is it based on views? Regardless, perhaps it could be changed up a bit to allow other authors some front page time?

And just a quick aside on the 50s era wording "much more than a pretty face"...Will you please continue to reference how authors look in future features?  I would love to see "For a handsome dude, this guy sure knows a lot of math!" or  "This moderately attractive author has created some gorgeous pieces" or even "At least his soldering iron is hot."

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randofo6 years ago
The short answer is that the new homepage was finished before the May Featured Author guide was posted. The development team stuck in the author with the most views as a placeholder, as they figured this would look the best on the homepage. In terms of selecting an author, it is done algorithmically and I don't think any preference is given to any particular author.
Phil B6 years ago
I responded to AngryRedhead to agree with her about overly featured authors. Now it is time for me to eat crow. In the last six and one-half weeks I have had five Instructables featured on the main page. No one is more surprised than I am. I did sweat blood over most of them. Some of them took a week or more to produce and edit and then edit again and again and again. It is nice to be featured on the front page, but even better is knowing there is more probability that someone who really needs and can benefit from my Instructable will see it. I figure it is not about me. (My theory is that people do not pay that much attention to who did any given Instructable, but they look at what they think will be the value of the content.) For me, it is about someone benefiting from something I published at Instructables, whether I know about that person benefiting or not.
This isn't the kind of featuring that's being complained about, however. It's the "featured author" thing, not authors with featured instructables.
I misunderstood.
I like to think of them as "fully featured", though I do think more time should be spent looking for the hidden gems. Perhaps an algorithm that looks for spelling/misspelling ratios categorized by total word count? Maybe something that checks photo count and quality?
lemonie6 years ago

It's all done by "a giant computer" and statistics. Kiteman has answered this for you.

I'd like to know (from a psychological point of view) what exactly the problem is that motivated you to create the topic?

I know of one woman on this site who's complained about people ignoring her projects and discussing how hot she is.  On one of my Instructables, a lot of people made comments about my model, and I would have avoided using a model for that reason except modeling the choker added good photographic context.  It's still depressing though because putting together that tutorial was a lot of work, and the design is sound and attractive.  I think the point the OP was getting at is that there's a little too much comment on attractive women.  There's no comment on unattractive women or men in general which makes it sexist.

And then lately I've noticed a lot of post-feminist language being used by staff members which is incredibly disappointing to me.  It goes beyond the featured author stuff.

The OP is surprisingly honest, and I think it's worthwhile to consider that there might be some serious resentment (and potential retaliation) held against authors who are placed on the front page too long.  It's a fiddly thing to give praise because it can easily be too little (for the recipient) or too much (for the audience).  I would say 1-2 weeks is a good amount of time to feature an author.
Dear Red,

I agree with a lot of what you write. I have long felt pretend playthings that have no real purpose or benefit and that high school kids think are "cool" get too much acclaim at Instructables, while something that took effort and ingenuity, solves a real-life problem, and can save someone buckets of money may get only a yawn here and there. I have watched giannyl's Instructables submissions but seldom open them. She is trading on her looks, but she does also get around with a scissors and a thread very proficiently. About the time I mutter to myself about someone being featured again for something that does not really amount to much, one of my Instructables is featured and I decide to keep quiet. Your model for the choker Instructable is very pretty. I thought perhaps it was you. I was disappointed to learn it was not. Oh, well.
That's another gripe of mine, but I think it's a result of people not really knowing much about one subject or another when it comes to DIY.  Something can look SUPER FANTASTIC, but in reality, it's a piece of junk or will fall apart instantly or fails in the design or is overly complicated and could be simplified heavily or all of the above.  Something can look quite mundane, but in reality, it's simple, efficient, and clever.  I tend to lean towards efficiency more than the "cool factor" although not religiously.  If I lean towards the "cool", I keep it cheap and quick cos I can't be bothered to maintain stuff that's going to gather dust, become neglected, and eventually get ruined, and that's the reality of most "cool" things which is quite a shame and also wasteful.  At the same time, I do want to be cool.  I think my stuff is cool, but it requires too many words to explain why it IS, in fact, cool.  I've seen some incredibly smart, well-designed sewing projects get almost no views, and I've seen sewing abominations get loads of views.  I can only think it's because sewing is undervalued and "cool" automatically wins.  To do well with views with a sewing project, it HAS to be cool or else no one cares.  This isn't true of just Instructables though.  Most views come from links on various websites, so if you want a lot of views, you need a link on a major website with a large viewing audience.

Why are you disappointed to learn the model wasn't me?
Why are you disappointed to learn the model wasn't me?

When someone uses a profile image that is not an actual photograph of himself or herself, I am always curious about that person's actual facial features. A face sometimes gives a clue to who the person is, although not always. It is more about the person's substance than about his or her attractiveness. I am curious to know if your photo looks "angry." And, in the past you have commented on at least one of my Instructables.

My wife is a very good seamstress. I do not understand a lot about sewing, other than what I have absorbed by osmosis from her over the years. She is about to go for a 5-day couture sewing workshop based on Coco Chanel. I know there are classy ways to do things and tacky ways.

Dare I say I no longer enter the contests at Instructables? I generally agree that the very top winners deserve to win. The remaining winners were sometimes deserving, but too often excellent entries deserving of a prize received no notice while trite and goofy things took high honors.

I have decided simply to let the number of views, the number of viewer ratings, the comments, and the number of referrals to other web sites serve as sufficient feedback on how I am doing.  
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