Instructables

Two "Bugs" Monte....For Lack Of A Better Title

Not sure this will reach the correct, interested parties:  Is it just me...why does it take so long to moderate the contest entries?  Instructables guidelines states up to 48 hrs...I am trying to enter the gardening contests and it's been over 5 days in at least one example.  It appears Instructables is failing the community, at least for this member, again!  Frustrating to spend considerable time and effort on this end only to have it end in frustrating neglect on your (staff's) end.  I detect discrimination, but am not sure exactly how to classify it, or even that it needs classifying...discrimination is discrimination!  A second point:  This is actually a bug report; on this issue, at least. I have received 4 or more notifications that one of my instructables (how to make mulch rings/mats) has been  rated as popular, without ever having been featured. So that is two errors of commission alone.  Another frustration, and all those months of free membership?  Not likely, would appreciate if your de-buggers can illuminate or eliminate these issues. Thank You. Cman

caitlinsdad4 years ago
flowchart.jpg
Ha Ha. Just the usual suspects.
:-) Is that Goodhart sitting at the table?
 No.  He is elsewhere.
cfox3 years ago
I'm new here, so I can't speak to systemic problems, but it is unexpected and discouraging to have a contest entry moderated for days, enough so that I went searching for whether this is a common complaint. (I'm sad enough to engage in long-winded explanations, and no more.)

A contest here got my husband's attention, and he poked me and said "hey, you have a project that would make a strong entry here" so I wrote up my first instructable. I spent a week writing it up, and posted it late Friday night for the Sunday deadline, figuring that getting it some views would be good to flush out obvious problems. Because the contest closes today, even after I saw the "moderation may take up to 48 hours" warning, I thought that had to be a gross exaggeration designed to get fidgety users to back off.

My expectations of service stem from being a sysadmin professionally, in an academic environment. Do I work all weekend or all hours? Heck no, I've got little kids and need to wrangle them on the weekend and get to bed on time the rest of the week. But, I glance at my email a few times a day, every day, long enough to triage anything that seems urgent.

More importantly, though, when I make changes and set expectations, I take into account the usual consequences of all parties deadling-pushing. A software change is better not made on the weekend, lest you have a crisis occur at 9am on Monday when the user arrives and flushes out problems - Monday or Tuesday evening is saner; a deliverable milestone, is best set for a Thursday or Friday, so if you can't make it, you note the slip, rather than working all weekend to make a Monday deadline. And when you think that your outage can be done in 15min, you schedule an hour's downtime with the client.

So, if releasing contest entries from moderation isn't something someone gets to while eating breakfast at home, why not set service expectations accordingly? Tell us up front that contest moderation happens on weekday mornings, period, and put the contest deadline mid-week.

Contests are a way of getting new users involved... but it works better if you hold up your end of the bargain.
I had an Instructable spend quite a bit of time on the Popular list without ever being featured, largely due to a whole lot of external sites linking to it. Perhaps yours is the same kind of situation.
As for the other thing, it's quite a leap from "slower response time than I expected" to "I'm being discriminated against", don't you think? You seem to be missing a couple of steps in that progression.
Kiteman4 years ago
What is it with you and contests?
Discrimination against what? Are you a member of a protected class? Or you just think staff is out to get you personally for some odd reason?

You either tripped the filters (which can take awhile to go through and seem to be tripped by many things other than the obvious "naughty words"), so you could be stuck in regular filters AND contest filters or are simply stuck in the moderating queue, which also takes awhile. There's only a couple (or maybe just one, I don't recall) of guys to go through all this stuff manually. Also, it's not Friday, so some of those days have been weekends - which Robot takes off. Accusing the staff of something hinky just makes you look silly.

Just send staff a PM: "Hey, I just wanted to know what's going on with my contest entry, it's been about 5 days and I just need to make sure it didn't get overlooked. Here's a link. Thanks!" How hard is that to do?

You don't have to be featured to be popular.

Also, you seem to be desperately confused as to the definition of "commission". At worst, a failure to enter your entry would be a failure of omission.

Jayefuu4 years ago
An instructable doesn't have to be featured to be popular. And if it's popular it doesn't mean it will appear on the front page, it can be popular within it's category.
lemonie Jayefuu4 years ago
Can you run the script for a %Featured ratio? This looks like disproportionate whinging to me. A person can't expect everything they do to be Featured.

L
Jayefuu lemonie4 years ago
The script doesn't detect channel/category features, just front page features. Don't think HQ have fixed channel features to give them banners yet. But here's the run...

Creativeman
Instructables: 71
Forum Topics: 5
Subscribers: 313
Answers: 6
Best Answers: 1
Answers Ratio: 16.66%
Total Views: 593,885
Comments: 512
Featured Ratio: 47.88%
Date Joined: Dec 20, 2008

That's a pretty high percentage as they go. I've seen a few around 55% and one over 60.
lemonie Jayefuu4 years ago
So that's doing well for Featured. I thought so, thanks

L
Jayefuu Jayefuu4 years ago
e.g. http://www.instructables.com/living/gardening/?sort=POPULAR
gmjhowe4 years ago
 With all due respect, the staff members work very hard at what they do. As a result, sometimes they do miss things. If you look at all the contests they run, if they are slower on some of the moderation then that's ok.

As Jayefuu explained in his comment. Featured is determined by the Feature Team members.

Popular is 'activated' if an instructable reaches a certain number of views in a certain time.

More than often, an instructable may become popular due to a great idea, a good title, and a good leading thumbnail, but upon further investigation, the instructions may not be up to scratch, or the instructable may not be fully complete, or a whole host of other reasons. 

If you want another further explaination, then I would be more than happy for you to drop me, or one of the other Feature Team members/Staff members a Private Message.