The Social Problems That Plague Instructables - A Discussion for Everyone

Disclaimer: Nothing I say relegates to any sort of EULA/terms of service instructables may have. This is strictly concerning a matter of taste and public interest. I don't really know anything about the "legal" matters here, in fact, I could care less - I'm just seeking a practical solution. Before I begin my ranting and raving, I'd like to begin with these few questions. I don't expect you to respond tit-for-tat in list answer form - these are broad questions that you may choose to answer in your response I suppose, but the purpose of them is to get you thinking a bit: 1. Do you feel as though the quality of an instructable is important? 2. Does it bother you when you read an instructable that is very sloppy and appears as though no effort was put into making it appealing to the reader? 3. Does it bother you when you see instructables that tell you how to create things that appear to be ostensibly simple, as if you are being instructed on doing some menial thing? 4. Do you ever feel as though people post instructables in order to gain attention and don't seem to care about the instructable itself? If so, does that bother you? It appears to me that many people feel as though the content of is crummy at times. It looks as though more often than not as of late, people are posting a lot of negative comments on certain instructables. The populace is simply becoming frustrated with the amount of poorly-written, lame duck, perhaps "half-assed" instructables that are popping up on the site. Allow me to purge a bit before I create a storm: I am a man who preaches "For each, his own." I usually fall towards a laissez-faire policymaking attitude and I seek to just "let it lie" if necessary. I find that things work better uninterrupted. This is why I think I have held back here for a while about my thoughts on Instructables I didn't appreciate. Usually I would just mark it with a "-", leave a comment about what could be improved, and flag it if it was inappropriate. The problem is, I started to do this too much over time. Maybe I just became too acquainted with the functions, but it feels to me as though it is the quality of the instructables that have waned. I am evidently not alone with this feeling. I have remained as reserved as I can, but I think it is time to speak out about something because other people are starting to shed light on it. Perhaps we should be a little more conscientious about what we post. As the site grows, I think it is important we keep it tidy and nifty looking. There will be tons of new instructables every day, but I think we should reduce the number of them that many of us find pretty crummy. Perhaps a more overt ranking system. Instructables is a really awesome site that has a very strong backbone - it was founded by people who really cared about it's potential. They actively upgrade the website to our whims and make it as best as they can make it. At the least, we owe it to these people to post our best and brighest works and make instructables look like a decent site. My personal opinion: I hate to sound like an elitist jerk, but there are a lot of trashy instructables... they're not worthy of being labelled as instructables. It seems like every day the number of atrocious posts increases. At times, it seems as though instructables is no longer treated as a decent site, rather, it's just a landfill for people to post their junk. I won't name anyone or any specific instructables, but honestly, there are some that are just there to garner attention and get our juices flowing. It's not fun. Tear this to shreds, gents. G'nite ;).

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gyromild10 years ago
*Okay..i'm taking note of what Frenchcrawler said: English Is Not My First Language. I've been spending hours, almost daily on this site for quite some time now, mostly project shopping. But havent contributed much to the community though.. I must say that there are a lot of instructables that are too simple. But that somehow causes people to say "Hey, i could do it a lot better than that" and come up with an even better instructables. Plus,I think quite a few people will actually be disheartened or shy-away (from contributing that is), if all the instructables they saw are on par with that "CO2 Laser Metal Cutter" thingy or that "Thai Iced Tea" (which are really cool, btw) Look at it one way, simple/menial instructable maybe a good thing.. But on the other hand, it could also lead to the knex-gun/pen-gun scenario, where someone comes up with a simple 20ft gun, then some guy try to outdo it with a gun that works the same way, but shoots 30ft. And it goes on and on.. Hmmm..
You know, you've just mentioned the best arguments I've read for "simple" instructables. Considering how they do in fact spur people to post something "a little better" I'm convinced of their place.
yes, yes yes, and yes
zachninme11 years ago
This may be crazy, but what if every Instructable was a collaboration, open to everybody? It would basically be an organized wiki...
Many misuse the Collaboration setting and publish as a collaboration, when in fact, there are no collaborators. Usually if I see "Collaboration," I immediately dismiss it as a kids ramblings and go on the the next Instructable. I learned, on the other hand that by making an unpublished Instructable into a collaboration, others can read it without joining and turn around and publish part of the idea as their own. Until Collaborations become a read and participate by invitation only, I will no longer use that feature.
The best Instructables require a strong voice. I find that wikis tend to average and sometime silence strong voices. Collaboration is intended to allow people to work together. That could even be very large numbers of people, but we still maintain the concept of a "lead author" or an owner of the project who is the only one that can add collaborators and publish.
Reminds me of a quote by David Coblitz--A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its' members.
FrenchCrawler11 years ago
Another suggestion (to add to your already large list):

I was just updating myslef on the new instructables and came across this one:
I personally don't mind if someone's second language is english and attempts to write up an instructable in english (as long as they include that fact in their into), but this got me to thinking about how many people would rather just spell and use grammer in whatever way they want then have to find and use a checker. One such example (in which trebuchet was trying to be nice):

So maybe another idea would be to place (or integrate) a spelling/grammer checker (perhaps even a translator) into the make an instructable section, so that members would be less likely to publish an instructable with bad grammer.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
It's grammar...
Thanks for the catch and fix...
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