Why is Instructables so great?

Hi my name’s Padraig and I’m doing an online ethnography project for one of my modules in college. I’m a member of this site and I’m curious as to whether or not everybody else agrees that the site facilities this kind of D.I.Y. activity far better than traditional person-to-person social groups, oh and also, of course, why you enjoy using instructables and that sort of thing.

Like I said I’m a student, I’m not some sleazy market researcher, I’m really interested in instructables as a community and would hugely appreciate any replies to my questions. Answer whatever you like and feel free to add anything you think is worth mentioning.

1 - What is you age, gender, general location?

2 - How often would you say you visit the site?

3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion?

4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand?

5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline?

6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why?

7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum?

8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)?

9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion?

10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals?

11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities?

Cheers.  

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I'm guessing you did not go through the IRB process, and I would highly recommend it if only for experience. For a study such as this, you should be able to fill out a very simple form and get it approved in 1-7 days. Your university/college may also require you to go through the IRB for this study since this is not an observational study or an oral history. The experience and approval will serve to your advantage in one form or another.
Bearch (author) 7 years ago
Just like to say thanks for a the replies it be a big help for understanding the community. The questions were phrased strangely, that's my bad, but I wanted them to be informal.
1 - What is you age, gender, general location?

Male 40 central florida

2 - How often would you say you visit the site?

hourly

3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion?

meh, not as often as others, more than some.

4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand?

No, I rarely make other peoples projects. maybe 3 total over the years

5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline?

I've more people see it, but I've always built things.

6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why?



7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum?

Just one, me and Trebuchet at a Panera, years ago.

8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)?

Rarely

9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion?

I only compete against myself.

10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals?

I'm kinda not sure, to me "support network" is something for when you have cancer or your wife leaves you, not DIY.

11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities?

Since I have no idea who they are, no ;-)  But there does seem to be a cult of kiteman.
Bearch (author)  Tool Using Animal7 years ago
Good point about the "support network", I maybe phrased that question a little oddly.
1 – 64, male, Minnesota (USA)

2 – Often Daily (to see what’s new)

3 – I read the discussions often, add something if I can, and learn from all.

4 – Absolutely, also, one can connect with the poster and glean new information or troubleshoot a project, seriously of value.

5 – Not sure, as I’m as crazy off-line as on, (just the way I am.)

6 – Human perversity and experience.

7 – Haven’t had the chance…yet.

8 – See number seven.

9 – Be it a competitive set, or that laid back thing, this site allows for both, and is one of its strengths.

10 - Yes

11 – Of course, also they are guides and proof of the possibilities. Decent role models if you will.
1 - 19, male, southeast michigan

2 - Multiple times a day

3 - Occasionally, I'm usually in the IRC chat room though.

4 - Possibly, I was making things for as long as I can remember, but instructables has definitely helped me build some skills

5 - Absolutely

6 - The internet is a great way of providing a proverbial level playing field

7 - I would if I found any near me.

8 - Yes, frequently(does IRC count?)

9 - It provides an atmosphere of both, differing in the amount at times, and it is a good thing IMO

10 - Yes, very much so

11 - Yes, but I'm more in the technical side of the site so I don't see their stuff much
lemonie7 years ago

The machine will give you better stat's than a few answers, see here:
http://www.quantcast.com/instructables.com

L
Kiteman7 years ago
I’m curious as to whether or not everybody else agrees that the site facilities this kind of D.I.Y. activity far better than traditional person-to-person social groups
This kind of group simply does not exist in the UK.

If anybody gets into Making over here, it is often "at their father's knee".

I was not a Maker until I found Instructables. The site made a maker of me.
Couldn't agree more. Here in Belgium this sort of movement doesn't excist either. Hell I'm still trying to locate a workshop that has tools I can rent so I don't have to buy them but I haven't yet. I learned much from my father and I'm still learning today but I didn't begin seriously building and creating stuff untill I found this site. It really has changed my life, for the better :)
PKM7 years ago
1- Male, 24, southern UK

2- Roughly once or twice a day (less at weekends)

3- Yes, I try to give constructive answers or helpful suggestions to questions (and enjoy the works of the pun squad)

4- Perhaps not directly, but it definitely inspires/motivates me to make more complex things

5- No, but it does allow to me express myself to a greater extent than any other online community I've come across

6- Good question... probably because the site is about people- you can't help but let a little of your personality show through the way you write an Instructable, for instance.

7- Yes (but infrequently)

8- Yes, mostly because of gmjhowe's efforts

9- The only competition I have experienced is in competitions :)  Seeing impressive things others have made doesn't make me jealous, it just motivates me to improve the quality of what I make

10- It offers a support network in that I know where to come when I have specific questions about a few topics.  See TUA's answer about a "social" support network- I consider making friends through the site to be more to do with the people involved than the site itself.

11- I'm not sure about the phrase "cult of celebrities".  There are recognisable faces who acquire some degree of notability, but I wouldn't use the words cult or celebrity.   (The possible exception would be the "Guide to Kiteman" et al :) )
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