Positions available at Instructables (updated May 12, 2016)

Community Manager

Instructables is looking for an awesome person to join our team of Community Managers!

Our ideal candidate feels at home with our community, has a strong customer service-oriented mindset, exceptional communication skills, and the ability to work efficiently and independently.  This position is currently a contract position, and thanks to the Internet, you can live just about anywhere in the world.

Responsibilities include:
  • Curating incoming content
  • Moderating and assisting in the administration of contests
  • Engaging with authors and users of the site
  • Helping authors improve the quality of their content
  • Helping resolve minor site-related issues for users
  • Setting expectations and tone for the community through your own high-quality content and positive interactions with other members

Candidates should be passionate about the Instructables community, so be sure to mention your username when you apply.

This is a constantly evolving environment that is fun, and exciting. This position also requires a high level of adaptability, flexibility, and an embodiment of the site’s “be nice” policy at all times. Do you think you’d be a good fit with our team? We’d love to chat with you!

Please send a resume, cover letter, and any other useful information to auctoramentum at instructables dot com. Make the subject of your email is robot-related, and if possible, witty.


We don't have internships available now, but we love meeting people who love making. Be bold! Propose a project, and we'll get back to you.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what happens behind the scenes here at HQ, here’s your chance! We want passionate people who can use our amazing workspace to help them realize their maker dreams, and help us manage the best community on the Internet. These paid positions are located at the Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco.

The strongest applicants will have an Instructables account with a history of well documented projects which show off your amazing skills. Send an email to auctoramentum at instructables dot com with a fun, robot-related subject line. What are you waiting for? Blow us away with your creative portfolio and tell us what projects you want to make when you’re here!

Artists in Residence

The Pier 9 Artists in Residence (AIR) program gives artists, makers, and fabricators a chance to work with us in our digital fabrication workshops at Autodesk. Our artists explore, create, and document cutting-edge projects, and share them with the DIY community. See the Autodesk AIR website for more information and instructions to apply.

Volunteer Intern/Apprentices - orphans preferred

The illustrious Tim Anderson, one of Instructables most prolific authors, is also seeking interns, orphans preferred. See his posting here.

About Instructables

Instructables is the most popular Do It Yourself community on the Internet. With currently over 29 million monthly active users, you will join a team that is having a meaningful impact on the world. Started in August 2005, Instructables provides accessible tools and publishing instructions to enable passionate, creative people to share their most innovative projects, recipes, ideas, and hacks. The site is currently home to over 100,000 projects covering such diverse areas as crafts, art, kids, electronics, pets, bikes, cars, robotics, green projects, and cooking.  In 2011, we were acquired by Autodesk.  Our benefits are now super-charged!  

We're located at Pier 9 in San Francisco in the world's most advanced workshop directly on the bay with gorgeous natural light and unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge. In our shop, we have CNC everything, a 5-axis waterjet, an 11-axis mill, the largest collection of high-end 3D printers, a woodshop, a metal shop, an enormous test kitchen, industrial sewing machines, and a fully stocked electronics lab. See this Machine Catalog Instructable for a peek. 

If you want to work remotely
Click here for more information about helping out around the Instructables website.

This is the most recent and up to date job listing for Instructables despite the posting date.

Picture of Positions available at Instructables (updated May 12, 2016)
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seamster1 month ago

We've got a Community Manager position open. Who's interested? :)

(Please apply as indicated above!)

I am interested

So, apply!

Where to apply?

All the instructions you need are in the main post.

i am also interested.

Same advice - if you are interested, apply.

ossum seamster1 month ago

Are Community Managers precluded from winning competitions? I presume so :-/

seamster ossum1 month ago

Yes, once a person becomes an employee they can no longer win contests.

ossum seamster1 month ago

Thanks seamster, I guessed as much. I guess I shall have to wait until I have achieved my long-term goal of winning a 3D printer.... so it could be a while ;-)

I still can't believe that you posted this comment 2 days ago, And don't have 10,000 replies...

Commenting on the thread isn't part of the application process, so perhaps they have. ; )

Yes... I know...

I'm still surprised that no-one replied because there are so many people that didn't read the "Please send a resume, cover letter, portfolio, and any other useful information to iwannawork at instructables dot com, and be sure to specify that you are applying for the Community Manager position. Make the subject of your email robot-related, and if possible, witty." part.

And as you, And several others said below "Instructions for applying to work at Instructables are given in the post. Commenting is not part of the process."

also tell me the advantages and disadvantages on contests of instructables after applying for this post

If you're hired, you won't be able to win contests. If you're not hired, there should be no effect.

Can i get the details of salary for this post

Check your inbox.

Can i be able to work from home for instructables ?

"This position is currently a contract position, and thanks to the Internet, you can live just about anywhere in the world."

BrittLiv19 hours ago

This sounds like an absolute dream.

VaGirl200421 hours ago

Applying! Thanks!

ohoilett4 days ago

What's the weekly time commitment like?

This is a full time M - F, 40-hour position.

Ah got it. Thanks.

its interesting to work for the things you love!

i am pretty much interested.

Do you have a minimum word count for the required application e-mail as this is not stated in the application notes.

kasper4lyf4 days ago

Someone should write an instructable on how to apply for this position. It seems people are having issues following the directions on the post. :)

jefaire4 days ago

Hope bennethaselton took Kiteman advice to bring his thoughts before the folks at service@instructables. I agreed with him.

JimmyS564 days ago

I'm impressed & excited about this community. I like the metal/wood shops.

Keep me posted. I have to admit that I'm pretty busy so please excuse my absence from time to time. I'll be back to get an in depth look around.

Kaycee158 days ago

Hi There has this vacancy been filled. I would like to apply for this post as a community Manager. Please advise details. Thanks Kindly, Keith Coelho

You'll need to apply per the instructions in the post if you want to be considered.



You'll need to apply per the instructions in the post if you want to be considered.

I am Interested (Very)

You'll need to apply per the instructions in the post if you want to be considered.

NMullan28 days ago

I would be happy to participate for instructing people and at events. I am a retired electrical contractor With limits on my abilities to walk or travel very far. I have hobbies that i can guide people in and they include painting "oil" I do modeling in paper some wood working. and make ships in bottles. Don't know if I can be of any use in organizing but some tutoring is not out of my reach...Grampa

as-WIN-th1 month ago

Is there any work from home option in Instructables.

Because I live in India and I would love to be a part Of Instructables

The Community Manager post currently advertised* is "remote".

If you are able to maintain California working hours (you'd be working permanent night shift in India), and have a decent internet connection, the worst they can do is say "no".

(*typing on 27/5/16)

mollisgu3 months ago

could i get a job working for this website

Instructions for applying to work at Instructables are given in the post. Commenting is not part of the process.

mchau25 months ago

i am so extremely excited to applied for internship! I am still writing up my application!! Gonna send it this weekend i hope!

Izzypup5 months ago

Kiteman - you are, in my humble opinion, eligible for sainthood! I so admire your patience, particularly with Bennethazelton. He must suffer from terribly low self esteem to try so desperately to force you to admit he's right. I question his maturity level as well. In my college classes in Early Childhood Education I learned that children learn best and feel most comfortable with repetition. Bennethazelton's multiple, almost word-for-word repetitions of the same argument - well, it makes me wonder.

My approach each tutorial is, if it interests me, I read it. If I want to attempt it, I read it more carefully to be sure I understand the process. If there's something I don't understand, I ask the author.

If there's a tutorial that I find fascinating but requires a skill set I don't come close to possessing, I compliment the author, expressing my jealousy - and move on to the next lesson.

Put simply, if I'm a 'newby' regarding any tutorial, I may take steps to learn the individual skills necessary to eventually be successful following the original tutorial. Otherwise, I'll not touch it with a 10 foot pole! Hopefully, most 'newbies' have that much common sense! If so, the newby situation is self-policing.

Now I have to apologize for placing my comment here. I do understand that this is the appropriate place ONLY for questions regarding the position(s) advertised, (questions regarding items that can't be found in the position description - do people not READ it? The answer to every question I read was included there!) Anyway, this was the only place I knew to comment.

And, as far as my applying for any position, I'm afraid the only one I'm qualified for would be Token Newby!

Elgato19718 months ago

Hi i send some information about me in this e mail, but not working what I do wrong please help me thanks

auctoramentum at instructables dot com


is that what you used?

is there any option to do work from india

EcoExpatMike10 months ago

What you really need is a Environmental Health & Safety guy with training and building experience. Like me...

Moem EcoExpatMike10 months ago

Sounds to me like you should apply! The posting tells you how to do this.

ALNADZ10 months ago

hi! guys.. please follow me.. i need friends for learn together!

I'm indonesian, and i'm study in VHS 8 Malang, from Mechatronical

Have good day! :)

sohelranapw10 months ago

Instructables is the best DIY website with community support.

Testicus11 months ago

you guys need me. i'm qualified for 87.6% of what you've posted. and the remaining parts i can learn in a negligible amount of time. i'm in Livermore, so making it over to sanfran is not much more than an hour hop on the BART.

Moem Testicus11 months ago

Sounds to me like you should apply!

Kiteman Moem11 months ago


Read the actual posting for the application process (Hint: it doesn't involve leaving a comment...)

geoslim1311 months ago

I live in WV and was wondering if there are any openings for work-from-home jobs. I want to note that while I do have a GED, I do not have a college degree. I need a job to earn money to get car insurance so I can return to school.

Kiteman geoslim1311 months ago

Keep an eye on the topic for "remote" positions.

how old do you have to be


Here's my resume for the video editor position

This isn't the place for that unless you just want to show it off.

"Please send a resume, demo reel, and a 1 minute video cover letter that tells the story of why you'd be great for this position to auctoramentum at instructables dot com.
Make the subject of your email robot-related, and, if possible, witty."

Would you be interested in hiring someone who is located in TN (and wants to stay here) as an individual who can "spell check" your site? Typo's and misspelled words are every where. If so contact me, I'm your girl!

umm "every where" is spelled everywhere

If you see mistakes in an instructable, you need to contact the author directly.

Delighted to meet you. I work with children (and grownups that enjoy imagination) and find this community to be very inspiring. I hope to help a few girls (and boys) consider STEM and embrace the possibilities of design, production, and sharing at both a local and global level.

Lukhman1 year ago


Instructable provides us the most inspiring ideas on this virtual internet word! The most worked as well DIY innovation that individually created by geniuous contributors!

I like instructables !!!

I like instructables too, Very informative things I am learning here

Hi! I'm interested in doing something creative!

I'm interested in creating a project for Instructables and would like to know if Instructables would be interested. It's something that no other "how-to" site has and which I think would be extremely valuable to readers.

I have a passion for instructions that have been thoroughly tested on beginners, and revised with input from beginners, until the average beginner can breeze through the instructions with no points of confusion at all. Unfortunately most instructions (including a lot on Instructables -- sorry!) leave out something that beginners would need in order to follow the steps, or have a step that is simply wrong where an experienced user would know what to do instead, but a newbie would not. You could call it "salted water syndrome", after all the recipes that begin by saying "Take a pot of salted water" -- which is confusing to complete beginners (how much salt dissolved into how much water?) when it would have taken almost no effort for the author to specify these things.

So, my idea would be an instructions-beta-testing project that could be used to produce "gold standard" Instructables for beginners. Essentially, an Instructable would start by being released in a "beta" section, to users who are self-described beginners in a given field, who have signed up to test beta instructions. The beginners go through the instructions independently, each one submitting feedback on points of ambiguity or missing steps, and the feedback is incorporated to clarify the instructions and incrementally reduce the rate of "bug reports", until you reach the point where (say) 10 beta testers have gotten through the instructions with no points of confusion at all. At that point, the Instructable gets moved out of the beta-testing period and into the "gold standard" section, indicating that most beginning users should be able to get through it without hitting any stumbling blocks.

This would probably be more of a game-changer than the simple description makes it sound. Right now there is nowhere that a person can go to read directions on a general topic, with the confidence of knowing that they're not going to hit a point where something in the directions is missing, or wrong. You can, at best, hope that if you try about three different recipes, about one of them will come out as the author intended. As you gain more cooking experience, you learn to identify the parts of the recipes that are missing or wrong, and so your batting average goes up. But that doesn't mean we can't just fix the parts of the recipe that are missing, or wrong, to raise the batting average for beginners too.

So -- would Instructables be interested in creating a project like this and a position to help run it?

Are you suggesting the creation of a team to recreate every instructable as they are published?

Not every single one. There are lots of ways you could select the Instructables to be revised through beta testing. The authors could nominate their own (not every author would want to do this, since it is work, after all, to incorporate feedback from everyone until your 10 beta testers in a row are able to breeze through your directions with no problem). Or the company could select some that look the most promising.

However you select the Instructables, the idea is to get them to the point where 10 newbie users in a row can get through them with no problem, so that then they can be released to everybody else. And everyone else would know that these Instrucables stamped with this sort of "Instrucables Gold" seal of approval, are the ones that you can breeze through without running into any points of ambiguity.

Hmm, not a flier, IMO, it would need too big investment in staffing to get any observable increase in quality, and the turnaround time would cut the views authors might get.

If people have problems following an instructable, they can ask for help in the comments.

I'm not talking about having the Instructables staff review and beta-test the instructions, I'm saying the site could recruit from regular users who want to beta-test the instructions and provide feedback.

Instructables users are already reading and following instructions without knowing whether they'll run into an impassable problem. At least in the beta-testing program, they'll have the satisfaction of knowing that if they hit a problem, they can submit feedback and help other users avoid that problem :)

The problem with the comments section is that while occasionally an incorrect part of the instructions will be corrected in the comments, there is also lots of wrong information posted in comments as well.

You're correct that there's no obvious benefit to *authors*, since it would take a lot more work to produce an Instructable that gets through the beta-testing process. (Right now, an author can release an Instructable to the world in first-draft form, no requirement at all that they have to verify anyone is able to actually follow it :) ) However, if there were a separate "Instructables Gold" section for only thoroughly-beta-tested directions, and it was easily findable through the main site and there were enough readers who were interested, then at first there would be far fewer directions posted in "Instructables Gold" and they would receive a disproportionate amount of attention. This gives writers extra incentive to write for that section. And that incentive continues to draw more people to write for "Gold", until you reach an equilibrium where there have been enough Instructables posted in Gold that they individual ones no longer receive as much attention as they used to. They would still proportionally receive *more* attention than the "regular" Instructables (because there are fewer Instructables in Gold, and because readers know they're more useful), but not enough to offset the extra work to create them. But by the time you reach equilibrium, you've still got a ton of them posted under Gold, ready for people to use them.

Such a team already exists, the Community Team.

We help authors behind the scenes to get their work to as high a quality as possible, and feature the "gold" stuff to the front page. Beyond that, the "pure gold" gets included in the newsletter, an event which, typically, gains an author 10-20,000 extra views in just a day or two.

We don't usually make the projects, but we are all experienced Makers, so we can still ensure the level of quality you are talking about.


Overall, the level of quality of the site is self-policing. Good projects get featured by the CT, and shared by the general membership. They get physical, cash-value rewards for quality by winning contests, something that is only possible for high-quality authorship.

This sets aspirational standards that authors try and meet, in much the same way as the "be nice" policy prevents the sorts of trolling and flaming that happens on sites like YouTube, Facebook or Tw



Sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to this before now.

But, I appreciate the fact that experts do review the instructions; however I'm talking about reviewing the instructions to make sure they're usable by newbies, don't leave anything out just because it would be "obvious" to an expert, etc. The people in the best position to review instructions for that purpose, would be actual newbies, who could leave feedback on whether it worked.

More generally, I think a lot of these assumptions -- that if a set of instructions has been reviewed and approved by experts in the field, then it must be usable to newbies -- are just that, *assumptions*. They may be true or partially true, but they would require evidence. (A few self-described newbies who post comments saying "Hey, neat!" doesn't necessarily count, because for every one who posts a comment there may be 10 who tried and couldn't get it to work.)

On the other hand, with a protocol something like what I described, no assumptions are being made -- *by definition*, only after an instructable has gotten feedback from a high enough percentage of actual newbies saying that they got it to work, does it get the stamp of approval saying "Actual newbies can get this to work."

If you doubt that Instructables can have hidden pitfalls that are invisible to "experts" but which will trip up newbies, try this: What is an example of an Instructable -- just one, in any category -- that you think will work with no problem in the hands of a newbie? I can try it out for you (I'm a newbie at almost everything "crafty"). Only conditions are that it has to have a well-defined result, so we can tell if it worked (not a general skill like "welding") and can't require too specialized equipment (like your spanner bracelet one -- I don't have a vice grip :) ).

Pick any of my instructables - I try and write them all for readers new to the skills involved.

(I ought to point out, it doesn't matter whether or not you persuade me about this idea, I'm not responsible for staffing or recruitment.)

(Don't worry, you didn't mislead me, I didn't think you worked for Instructables -- if I did, I would answer your messages sooner :) )

Anyway, I don't have the equipment to try out the wrench-brancelet Instructable, so I looked at the next one, the "Remote Match". As a complete newbie to the subject, here are the parts where I would get confused trying to build a working solution:

- You said to make the thin wire, you took multi-core electrical wire, then, "I stripped it, and pulled out individual strands a few centimeters long." How do you make a ten-foot length of wire from that? Did you take all of the 10-centimeter pieces of wire and twist them together at the ends to make one longer length, or what? How am I supposed to make a 10-foot length of wire no thicker than a single strand of multi-core electrical wire?

- For that matter, if I go to the store looking for electrical wire, aren't there going to be different thicknesses, and other variations between the different kinds? How should I know what to buy? If I'm stripping the wire and using just a single *strand* from the multi-core wire, does that mean the wire thickness doesn't matter, because all I care about is the thickness of a single strand?

- You said you have to avoid shorting the wire. So if I have two lengths of single-strand exposed wire strand running from a power supply 10 feet away, to the match head, and back, does that mean the two lines should be buried/hidden with some distance between them, to make sure they don't touch?

- Regarding the multitude of choices between a laboratory power pack, a car/motorcycle battery, or a car/motorcycle battery charger -- having a multitude of choices is helpful if you have enough expertise to know which is best, but as a newbie, it just means I have no idea which of those options I'm supposed to pick. The cheapest options for "car battery charger" on Amazon are almost $100, and car batteries themselves are over $50. If I search instead for "laboratory power pack", apparently that's not what those devices are actually called in the product listings, so I don't know which ones would meet the requirements.

Bottom line, as a newbie I would prefer for the instructions to simply recommend one power supply option that is good enough in 90% of situations -- where if none of the "unusual conditions" apply to them, they can just pick that off-the-shelf option and be done with it. Or explanations that anybody can understand, for which to use in different situations: "If you need the trick to work without access to a power supply, get a car battery. If you want to save money, get this specific laboratory power supply." etc. If Instructables allows it, I would link to specific products on Amazon, especially since I don't know what kind of "laboratory power pack" to get.

- Speaking of which, you mention that when you set it up, you had to have an extension cord running back to a power supply. I assume that means that if you go with the "laboratory power pack" option, you need access to a power socket? Do they make "lab power packs" that are battery-powered and don't need a socket, or do you need to use a car battery in that case if you're trying to pull off the trick without access to a power supply?

- The picture in step 5 shows wire with the yellow plastic coating still around it. I thought you built your wire out of individual strands from multi-core wire that had been stripped?

- You mention "fuel from a model steam engine" at one point. If I'm supposed to follow in your footsteps, I have no idea how to get that kind of fuel or what it is -- again I would link to a specific product on Amazon, if it's important to have exactly the right thing, and if Instructables will let you.

Anyway, none of this is to take away from the contribution that you made by writing these directions up. What I'm saying is that if you took these existing directions (call them Version A), and then you took a revised version of the directions that had these ambiguities smoothed out (call it Version B), and then you took 50 newbies and randomly divided them into two groups where one group tried to follow Version A and one group tried to follow version B, I'll bet you would get a *measurable* difference in the percentage of users who are able to follow the directions to the end without getting stuck. And eventually, through the revision process, you'd reach the point where almost any newbie can go through the directions without hitting any stumbling blocks at all.

I'm sorry, but you are sounding very arrogant almost, Bennett, I agree with kiteman, and he does know his stuff! He's been here longer than most of us, so I advise listening to him. People shouldn't need help on their ible's unless they want it. If someone offers, great! If not, I'm happy with mine. Just go over your comments, and read through them a couple times. Evaluate the site and whether the service is necessary. Is it? Probably not. They don't need to spend more money on workers, and there are plent of good instructables. Thanks, and I don't mean to sound rude or harch.

Kiteman said his instructable could be followed by a newbie. I pointed out some places where there were steps missing that prevented it from being followed by a newbie.

As I said to Melia, if you think I'm wrong, then read the instructable at


look at the picture in step 5, and tell me where in the instructable it says how to attach the single-strand bare wire wrapped around the match heads, to the yellow plastic-coated wire leading away from the bundle.

If you can't tell me that, then the point stands: the instructable is missing steps, and the procedure I outlined in the original post, would have caught it.

If I answer your question, will you quit asking the same thing over and over?The bare wires in the final project are the stripped ends of the coated wire; they are not bits of wire connected to the coated wire. The short, stripped wires are simply for testing - note the clip leads that connect to them to a power source, simulating the long coated wire in the final project.

To anyone who has had even a basic electricity/electronics class, this is obvious; a complete newbie should not be connecting anything to a power supply of any sort.

As a technical writer, I agree that procedures should be tested, but they should be tested with your target audience, and someone w/o a basic knowledge of electricity/circuits is definitely not the target audience for this procedure.


I think you're right about electricity! This started because Kiteman wrote:

"Pick any of my instructables - I try and write them all for readers new to the skills involved."

"THIS started because SOMEONE wrote SOMETHING"... :-)

It may sound arrogant, but if you are not able to deal with those details for yourself, then maybe you shouldn't be attempting the project at all?

I don't know your background, but I do know that you have written not yet written any instructables yourself. When you are writing for an audience that is utterly unknowable, based in hundreds of countries, on every continent, living in conditions varying from comfortable luxury to absolute poverty, with every level and form of education, working in every major language, with an effectively infinite variation in the skills and materials available, it is an absolute impossibility to write a single set of instructions that will satisfy every firm of newbie.Instead, every author must assume that their readers have a level of skill, competence and flexibility that will allow them to achieve success using the instructable as a starting point within their personal context.

To go back to your original example of "how salty is water?" If you were to define it as "two tea spoons per cup", I've just looked in my kitchen, and I have three sizes of teaspoon and six sizes of cup. Which combination is correct? If you define it in terms of mass and volume, then you are expecting people to purchase accurate scales and glassware.

No, far easier, and far more inclusive to say "salty water".


Further, the scheme you propose would not work on any useful scale.Quite aside from the effort of finding fifty "newbies" on a site that attracts people already in possession of a certain level of ability, it is a major challenge organising strangers online. The way you suggest, you are looking at around three to six months per project. Plus, you would have to be on a constant recruitment drive for more and more newbies, both to make up the inevitable drop-outs, and because, after just a couple of cycles through your process, the newbies will develop too much skill to be called "newbie" any more.

Well you said, "I try and write them all for readers new to the skills involved." You don't have to write for newbies if you don't want to, but I asked for an example of something that would work in the hands of a newbie, and you said to pick one of yours.

Let's pick just one thing that was not explained in the instructable: You said you took multi-core wire, stripped it, and "pulled out strands that are just a few centimeters long". How, from that, did you get a single strand that was 10 feet long? Taking the 10 cm pieces and twisting the ends together to make one long piece?

Who exactly are you trying to convince here?

You need to learn exactly how unrealistic your expectations and plans actually are, and I think there is only one way for you to do it: write an instructable, then recruit yourself a team of reviewers and revisers to go through it.

When you've done that, come back and rub my nose it it if you want, but until you've proved yourself right for real, I'm done with you.

I don't have to "prove" anything -- you left out the step of how to take 10-centimeter pieces of wire, and from there, make a 10-foot strand of wire to carry the current :) (Take individual 10-cm pieces and twist the ends together? I still have no idea.) My *hypothesis* was that a group of volunteer beta testers could catch things like that -- and I did prove that, as a beta testing group of 1.

I'm starting to think that maybe the idea is not to build the *entire* circuit from a single strand of wire, but just to use single-strand wire for the part that wraps around the match heads, and then the rest of the circuit can be normal wire (which would explain the plastic coating around the wire in your picture). Then you still need a way to attach the single-strand wire segment to the regular multi-core wire that makes up the rest of the circuit. I recall from doing something similar that if you just hand-twist the wires together, that connection has too much resistance and doesn't work. I didn't have a soldering iron, so I got some plastic screws that were made for connecting wire endings with little resistance, and used those to screw the wires together and it made my circuit work. Is that the missing step?

part of the fun is making mistakes, learning from them, filling in the blanks, and coming up with your own solutions, not having your hand held the whole way through a project.

how annoying would it be to wait 3 weeks for a bunch of newbies (not experts) to critique your project? this shit isn't engraved in stone, it's easy to edit.

how can you write so much about this? it's off topic as well!

Well OK if the instructions are not supposed to actually work -- if the errors and omissions are deliberate in order for the reader to mentally work around them -- then that's different.

However, I think there is a definite need which can be filled by a site that provides instructions which actually work. (Perhaps in a separate section like Instructables Gold that I was proposing.)

In any case, I don't think anybody deliberately sets out to write instructions that have omissions and mistakes in them. I think they set out to write instructions that are accurate, and then when people point out the steps that are missing or wrong, they get defensive and say that OF COURSE they left that part out, because EVERYBODY knows THAT.

Take one of the omissions in Kiteman's instructions, which is that he said you can strip out 10-cm pieces of single-core wire, but then didn't specify how to make that into a 10-foot connection to a car battery. (Peering at the pictures, I finally *think* what he meant to say was to wrap one 10-cm piece around the match heads, and then connect that single 10-cm piece to the 10-foot pieces of regular un-stripped multi-core wire running back to to the battery. But how do you connect it? Hand-twisting wire ends together never worked for me, it introduces too much resistance in the connection. Soldering iron?) Do you think he left that out on purpose, to "challenge" the reader? Or that he just forgot to put it in, and then got defensive when it was pointed out?

And I don't know where you got "3 weeks" from. I submitted feedback on the missing steps right after reading the directions.

I have been building things and selling plans on how to build them since the 70's (yes I am old, but wise) long before this internet thing even existed and I have to side with Bennet on this.
There aught to at least be a badge or such telling folks that the instructables are reader tested for beginners or some other level of expertise be it cooking or how to build a gasifier wood stove. This is not hard to do. Either they're newbie friendly or they are not. Get off your high horse or hurt feelings or whatever and listen to the man. He DOES have a very valid point. Newbies should not be guessing between the lines and I don't care how many countries you write to. It just could be dangerous and lead to injury, death or simply lawsuits if you are proven negligent due to cavalier instructions that assume (your answers have been a bit dismissive and cavalier and he has pointed out many a valid flaw for you). It would be quite simple to "badge" the instructables, based upon feedback for example, as to skill level. No committee needed. I see Youtube vids all the time that are downright dangerous and there will be lawsuits when newbies burn down their houses or such. Take my word for it, it will happen. How salty the water is doesn't rate such scrutiny but it is still a point and apparently you are unaware that a "teaspoon" does not mean any old spoon in the drawer but is actually a unit of measure as is a "cup". That really set me off and I assure you I am not alone. Please take this as a "constructable" as it is intended.

As I understand it, on Instructables, authors hold the intellectual property rights and therefore any liability. It is not Instructables responsibility or mission to ensure that instructables are able to be followed by a newbie. Additionally, a good maker is a seeker of knowledge and a problem solver. If the instructions are not perfect or comprehensive, simply ask the author for clarification or seek out additional information.

Well if you read this thread, I have asked the author, multiple times, what he would recommend for attaching the yellow-coated wires to the single-strand bare wires. That step is missing from the Instructable.

You're right, of course the existing framework does not make any representations that an Instructable can be followed by a newbie. That's why I proposed a *new* subset of Instructables where instructions could be beta-tested by newbies to ensure that they could be followed.

The fact that Kiteman's Instructable has won so many awards and likes, is, if anything, proof that the existing system is *not* enough quality control -- because you can have a crucial step missing, and still win all of those awards.

As I have said, over and over again, this topic is not the place for this conversation, and I am not the person you need to either convince or somehow prove "wrong".

If you genuinely think your plan has value, put your proposals together into a sensible format, and present them to the site owners via service@instructables.com, or start your own forum topic, but stop cluttering up this topic.

I would advise, though, that your comments and plans would be much more credible if it were not for the fact that the only activity on your profile was a suggestion that morphed into a series of personal attacks. You could start by publishing instructables of your own, and show us how to meet your exacting standards.

On both counts, I think the appropriate saying is "put your money where your mouth is".

I did already ask the same question in the comments for your instructable, and you refused to answer there, too :)

As I said, when I originally posted this, it was about optionally creating a new job to helm a new project.

All of the off-topic subsequent discussions were started by other people, claiming that the highest-rated Instructables discussions were *already* good enough to be followed by newbies. I'm just responding to those claims with counterexamples.

hi bennetthaselton, if you want to make a better instructable than what any author has posted, try "I made it!" button, then make your own version explaining what improvements you made to the existing one

Well first, I don't know what the missing step is, so I can't fill it in myself, and second, I don't think you're allowed to just copy another person's instructable wholesale and make changes to it without their permission.

But that's not really the point anyway; my point is that the existing system rewards instructables that "look cool" even if they have missing steps, without providing any rewards to people who create a better instructable that has the steps filled in. So even if I knew what the missing step was, and even if I were allowed to clone the original instructable and create a new version that had the missing step filled in, my new version would likely not even get 1/100th of the views of the old one, even though mine would be the one that was easier to follow.

*sigh* One last time, OK?

As I have said, over and over again,
this topic is not the place for this conversation, and I am not the
person you need to either convince or somehow prove "wrong".
you genuinely think your plan has value, put your proposals together
into a sensible format, and present them to the site owners via service@instructables.com
, or start your own forum topic, but stop cluttering up this topic.
would advise, though, that your comments and plans would be much more
credible if it were not for the fact that the only activity on your
profile was a suggestion that morphed into a series of personal attacks.
You could start by publishing instructables of your own, and show us how to meet your exacting standards.
On both counts, I think the appropriate saying is "put your money where your mouth is".


Sounds like you might be better off starting your own project site...

reading posts between you and bennetthaselton, itsounds like bennetthaselton (ben) has some kind of frustration based grudge against your work. I don't understsnd why ben is trying to disect your work and point out missteps. Bens whole proposal seems more like a sidestep, an indirect way to say he didnt like your instructions.

I proposed a system that would produce instructables which could be read and followed by a complete newbie. Kiteman said the system was unnecessary because his instructables could already be read and followed by a complete newbie. I pointed out a couple of places where there were steps missing, he said got defensive, and it went downhill from there.

Here's the instructable he was talking about:


Look at the picture in step 5 -- you can see the yellow plastic coated wire running to where the single-strand wire is wrapped around the match head. The missing step is that the instructable doesn't describe how to connect the yellow wire to the single-strand bare wire around the match. I assume the missing step is that you either solder it, or use one of those plastic twisty knobs I bought at radio shack that you can use to twist two wires together. (But these things are missing from the "material and tools" in step 1.)

If you think I'm wrong, then you tell me: (a) How do you connect the single-strand bare wire threads to the longer plastic-coated wire, and (b) where is that in the instructable?

Otherwise, the original point stands: (1) The instructable is missing multiple steps that prevent it from being followed by a newbie, and (2) the review system I proposed would have caught it (since I caught it on the first read-through).

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