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Some Featured Instructables are not worthy of Featuring

Instructables is great. I frequently view Featured entries.
However, I have reviewed the criteria in a number of staff posts regarding what gets a members Instructable featured, I think the idea is good but the implementation is flawed.
Some of the featured Instructables might meet those criteria but the Instructable itself may not be worthy, one recently had to be removed by staff for plagiarism after it was featured! The breech of Instructables Guidlines was clearly indicated in comments prior to the featuring.
Instructables, please remember that just because an Instructable gets lots of views or comments, these may be for all the wrong reasons and each Featured Instructable and its comments should be reviewed before featuring.
Thanks, and I really do think Instructables makes the world a better place :-)



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Kiteman1 year ago

Typically, featuring happens before the views roll in, and a front-page feature will actually be the driver of those views.

It is also likely that the project you mention (a link would have been nice) was featured before the comment was made - the featuring process takes a while to show up on the public version of the site. Plus, the people who feature projects are only human, and have not read the entire internet, or even the entire site (even I, who have been here for years, and spend far more time here than I should, am not familiar with every one of the 150,000+ projects posted so far!), so mistakes can happen.

However, if you think that a project is not worthy of featuring, or is plagiarised, then please make a (polite) comment along those lines on the project, and flag your own comment as inappropriate - admins will read your comment, and take such action as is necessary (which may be "none").

mad_mat (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Hi Kiteman, Thanks for your response.

Typically, featuring happens before the views roll in, and a front-page feature will actually be the driver of those views.
Of course, that's why they get featured, I don't disagree.

It is also likely that the project you mention (a link would have been nice)
The Instructable was pulled while, I am unable to link to it.

was featured before the comment was made
I noted that I don't think this was the case, but I cant confirm.

Plus, the people who feature projects are only human,
Which makes my point nicely for me. Instructables have the opportunity to review the Instructable before Featuring.

and have not read the entire internet, or even the entire site (even I, who have been here for years, and spend far more time here than I should, am not familiar with every one of the 150,000+ projects posted so far!),
Relevance? If you are part of the featuring process then your experience should lend itself nicely to identifying inappropriate Instructables.

so mistakes can happen.
Of course, but it sounds like you're making excuses. I think there needs to be a process in place to capture the mistake of featuring an Instructable that is not appropriate.

My post here is not because one instructable that was almost good enough just slipped through, we're talking about a conscious effort on Instructables behalf to positively identify an Instructable and promote it as 'Better than average' when clearly it was not, and required Removal until fixed. The featuring process needs to at least try and ensure Instructables are 'Better than average' before featuring.

please make a (polite) comment along those lines on the project, and flag your own comment as inappropriate - admins will read your comment,

I sure will! Thanks for the tip :-)

What you're describing sounds like the community in action to me - something went wrong, it got corrected.

"If you are part of the featuring process then your experience should lend itself nicely to identifying inappropriate Instructables."

That is an unrealistic expectation - yes, judgements can be made on the quality of what is presented, but the internet has been around for longer than most people using the site (including the staff), and before that there were hundreds of years of "how to" books and magazines being published across the world - you cannot, ever, expect one small team of human beings to be able to spot every plagiarised project.

I am not "making excuses" here, I am stating facts.

"I think there needs to be a process in place to capture the mistake of featuring an Instructable that is not appropriate."

There is, and you just described it in action.

Most of the people capable of featuring projects are volunteers, working on the site in their own time. So, yes, without any hint of an excuse, things sometimes go wrong. That is why we have the comments sections, that is why we have the flagging process, that is why you can email the site - the community polices itself.

It is a truism, though, that the best way to set standards is to demonstrate them in action, by being an active member of the site, posting Instructables of a style and quality that you would like to see from other authors.

mad_mat (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Hi Kiteman,

The Featured content that prompted me to post here was 'Choosing the right Arduino Board', one part of my original post was this:

"The breech of Instructables Guidlines was clearly indicated in comments prior to the featuring." [and subsequent removal until edited]

Are you able to review the Instructable and its comments prior to removal? The only document I can find is the Google cached version which does not have original comments:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cac...

If the identification of plagiarism was really only made after featuring then I accept your points and will work on posting Instructables of the standard I believe in :-)

If the plagiarism was identified before the Instructable was featured then my point is valid and it is far from unrealistic to expect a staff member to read the Instructables and its comments prior to featuring.

That version of the page has no way of showing when the project was featured, or by whom, but there are no comments on it about plagiarism, so I think it is safe to assume that the accusation was made after the Feature.

Now, perhaps you would like to explain how, just by reading the project, somebody could recognise that it was not original?

mad_mat (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Why? My original post stated that I thought the plagiarism notifications were made before it was featured. Why would you assume no comments about plagiarism were made before featuring based on that page? Its simply a snap-shot of the page made by a search engine robots doing it's thing. There is no indication either way, I simply gave you the link for clarity of the particular Instructable I was referring to.

But, since you wanted to put such a fine point on it, I just searched the first paragraph (exact phrase) in google and got plenty of results showing the same exact phrase, mostly from DIYhacking. One page even included the same header image, and it took approx 15 seconds.
Now I'm not saying that just because the same phrase get results in google that its definitely plagiarism, but I do say its grounds for more than a 15 second search before it gets featured.

"Why would you assume no comments about plagiarism were made before
featuring based on that page? Its simply a snap-shot of the page made by
a search engine robots doing it's thing."

Quite simply, because it is a snapshot - the page saved in a single moment of time. In that moment, the page had already been featured, but no comments had been made about plagiarism.

A mistake was made, yes, but it was corrected so quickly that the project was gone before you managed to complain about it.

It has already been pointed out to you that the staff have a much larger commitment than just monitoring the project feed, and you have not actually answered my question, but I have a counter-question:

Why are you so obsessed with the "failings" of a community to which you have yet to contribute?

mad_mat (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

The question was answered, I googled the text and found the original source in 15 seconds.

Obsessed and failings are words you used which do not accurately describe my state of mind or opinion.

However, it is clear there is little desire nor any intent to ensure an instructable is appropriate of featuring before featuring, therefore there it is pointless to continue this discussion.

I appreciate the efforts on your behalf to make Instructables what they are, and I respectfully acknowledge your experience and contributions to the site over a long time. Kudos Mate.

Back-of-an-envelope calculations show that your "just 15 seconds" actually works out to over 13 years of full-time work.

I would suggest your efforts would be better directed to producing some content for the site you gave been consuming for free for the last six years...

The staff members that feature ibles have a lot more on their plate than just featuring. It's unreasonable to expect them to google every ible they want to feature. You're trying to prove there's a problem with the system with this one possible misstep. If you had tons of examples of plagiarized features, then maybe you'd have more grounds for alarm.

On another point, you haven't created any instructables. Until you understand what goes into creating one, perhaps you shouldn't complain about the recognition given to those that have taken the time to create content for you.

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