Instructables

Patches, rewards, badges and social engineering

Love the site. I wanted to suggest that in the social engineering area of the site, a badge system similar to CNN iReport's might be more motivating then patches. The iReport site awards badges (see attached pic) automatically based on stats - a badge for your first post, 10th post, first vetted post, a certain number of comments, 100th post, first time featured on CNN TV, etc. The badges are coveted and they show very quickly who's good at what and what they've done. Perhaps you could do patches for your first instructable, your 10th, your first one with 10 comments, featured ones, etc. until if you get enough badges, you get a pro account?

Picture of Patches, rewards, badges and social engineering
Kiteman2 years ago
That could probably be done quite easily, but IMO it's a bad idea - rewarding members for quantity rather than quality would encourage some members to post comment after worthless comment, and post carelessly-completed projects with little actual "Maker" content.

The current system, rewarding quality rather than quantity by giving pro accounts for featured projects, and by members sending personalised patches, encourages a much more constructive, positive atmosphere.

Although putting the emphasis on quantity is not unprecedented. The intent of the Weekly/Monthly Challenges is to generate as many Instructables as possible within a short amount of time.

Of course, quality is criteria for choosing winners, but if there were a solitary awesome entry, it wouldn't win anything, so it would be worth it to generate a few more not-as-good ones so that a prize would be awarded.

However, even with such a direct benefit to generating numbers, it appears that most entries are still of good quality (granted, several of mine have been rushed).

I think I am just trying to say that while I am generally not a proponent of focusing on quantity, I doubt it would impact quality to a great degree...at least in this crowd : )
I misunderstood, I thought he was talking about views, not actual projects. I have to agree with you and mikeasaurus on the quantity versus quality issue.

I think the current system is more than generous in giving out pro memberships and though you don't get a patch for it, you do get the little symbol next to your username. In terms of patches though I would love to see more of them awarded for placing in contests and so on.
I agree with the patches thing, but I think it's fairly low down the list of jobs that need doing - they have the occasional splurge when somebody remembers to.
calebjc (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
I understand your points about quality. Maybe what I was looking for are ways the encourage the best producers to produced more and you guys are all ready on it. As a very occasional user, the patches didn't grab me though but I have no idea if they are working for others. I love the Pro account upgrades.

Perhaps a system that has one more rating scale for how much you learned? Then if you get rated by a lot of people for learning a lot, you get a "super teacher" or the like badge. I was looking for a way to publicly celebrate quality, and also the numbers like views, followers, and comments that are displayed anyway. People see these and notice what they are at. But markers are a quicker way to see.
Kiteman calebjc2 years ago
I think I grok what you mean, and it would probably work, but the HQ staff is quite small, and the administration of this idea would just be too big a job.
calebjc (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
> staff is quite small,

Same where I work! Thanks for your attentiveness to the idea though.
Haha true, it is low on the list but still something that would be awesome :)
I like the idea, but think the 'award' should be for things beyond easily obtained metrics (quantity).
User Jayefuu started a group where patches were given out for view milestones like you're explaining. The group can be found at: http://www.instructables.com/group/totalviews/
Thanks. I quite like the idea of giving them out for every X instructables too. Might think about writing that in soon.... if I can get someone to do me some nice artwork for them.
I'd be happy to do some artwork. :D - That is what I do for a living, and unfortunately the "economic downturn" has affected how much work I have to do... so let me know if you'd like some help. :)