Standards for being featured dropped?

This is anecdotal, since obviously I don't review every single featured Instructable. I just happened to notice two recently that have some nice photos but otherwise seem kind of "incomplete". Absolutely no offense meant to the authors, I'm sure they put a lot of effort into these projects, but the documentation seems lacking and not up to the standards of "someone should be able to reproduce the work":

https://www.instructables.com/id/Colorful-LED-Christmas-tree-automaticlly-flashing/

https://www.instructables.com/id/Functional-Nintendo-Controller-Coffee-Table/

The latter especially has nice photos of what is obviously a really nice build, but totally lacks a materials list, wiring diagram, cut instructions for the wood - all information that's essential to actually do the build. There are a couple (nice) comments pointing this out.

Just wanted to point this out - not sure if there's someone new on the community team who might be featuring things just because they have nice photos, without checking the text, or if there's been a change in the standards for featuring that I'm unaware of.


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I thought I was the only one that was seeing this. There have been some really unattractive primary images lately that have had me wondering why some ibles were featured. The images turned me off so much that I didn't view them, so I can't attest to the content.

I strive to create content that is feature worthy because that has been a level of distinction anyone can attain with some hard work and ingenuity. It isn't a competition with a few winners. I hope the standards remain high so that those who visit the site will see our best foot put forward and those who have their ibles featured can continue to feel proud of a job well done.

Ben Finio (author)  Brooklyntonia2 years ago

Glad it's not just me. I'm trying my best not to sound like a crotchety old man with "back in my day, all the Instructables were better..." (especially since I've been on the site less than 2 years). I absolutely understand that there will be some borderline cases that are mostly a matter of opinion depending on who decides to feature it. But, I have seen several recently that do not remotely meet the featuring criteria, primarily:

Project is detailed enough to be repeatable

Every step has sufficient explanatory text

Parts/materials/ingredients/tools list included, with links to sources as needed

Granted, that post still has criteria for photo and video Instructables, which no longer exist. So, if photo Instructables (which had much less stringent criteria) have sort of been merged with regular ones as acceptable...maybe it would help for them to update/clarify the criteria in the official post?

shimself2 years ago

Anti Rape Gloves (aka offensive weapons) surely they contravene the site standards?

Ben Finio (author)  shimself2 years ago

I think that's a different conversation - whether a project is dangerous, offensive or whatever (not offering an opinion either way in this case) vs. whether it is well-written and well-documented. It looks like there are plenty of other projects on taser gloves:

https://www.instructables.com/howto/taser+gloves/

And I remember a fuss a while ago about a DIY-tattoo project that tons of people commented was medically unsafe because of risk of infection or something. You could also argue that projects like this are certainly NSFW and don't really fit the generally kid-friendly theme of the site:

https://www.instructables.com/howto/taser+gloves/

But, like I said - I think that's a separate conversation for another day, not what I originally intended to talk about here.

You're right, it is a conversation for elsewhere/elsewhen, but just a small correction: the site aims to be family friendly - families have members of all ages.

It seems the opposite may be true now. I'm happy to see that featuring to channel is back, but now there's hardly any new stuff on the homepage each day. One of the ibles near the bottom was posted three days ago. There's got to be enough great content to fill the homepage each day for those of us that check it regularly.

Over the last two days, only two ibles have been featured to the homepage. I'm all for high standards, but there has to be more homepage quality content.

Ben Finio (author)  Brooklyntonia2 years ago

Huh. I've been kind of busy so haven't been checking out the home page as much. Maybe they over-corrected the problem and will find a good middle ground eventually...

shimself2 years ago

Anti Rape Gloves (aka offensive weapons) surely they contravene the site standards?

The important thing to remember here is that featuring projects is NEVER a bad thing. We are giving those authors an extra chance to be seen, and we're rewarding their hard work. Featuring a project makes an author feel awesome and that means they have a higher chance of sticking around, publishing more things, and becoming part of the community.

Some of our biggest authors started out making pretty janky instructables, you know? There's a definite learning curve here, but encouraging authors means they could stick around to figure it out. :D

The reason we have so many people on staff (and volunteers, too!) that feature things is so we get a diverse mix of projects on the front page. Everyone on staff has a slightly different idea of what should be featured, and so does our community. And that's a good thing!

As of right now we are featuring more instructables than ever before, and we're featuring things that maybe might not have made the cut before, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I've always thought instructables is just as much about inspiration as it is about learning how to do something. Both of the projects you linked to are well documented enough that someone could base their own project off them, and that's just what we want to see. :)

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