Year-to-Data, March 2014

tl;dr: Check out this pie chart that shows the distribution of projects published in 2014 by category. The outer ring shows the channel within the category that had the highest volume of entries, along with the year to date project count.

Pie Chart

Do you ever wonder how the projects on Instructables are distributed across categories? I did, too. In a tenuous-at-best connection to the Pi Day Pie Contest, we made a pie chart showing where all the newly-published projects have been categorized since the start of 2014. That outside ring shows the most popular channels within the category, along with a project count for each.

Some quick observations:

(1) There isn’t as much food as I would have thought. It seems like people are posting food ALL THE TIME, but apparently the overall project volume is coming in via other channels. I guess we’re just getting a lot of good food entries that are being featured more often. The quality of authors’ food photography is getting very good, and the featuring team may be featuring projects under the influence of hunger.

(2) Contests drive some (but not all) project builds. Since the start of the year, we’ve run paracord, organization, electronics, and crafting contests. And, wouldn’t you know it, those are the channels receiving the bulk of new projects. Even without a special contest, the Toys channel received an outsized number of projects, so we’ll see what happens later this year when we run a few contests around toys. (Pro-tip: Start stockpiling LEGO and KNEX pieces.)

(3) Technology and Living make up just over half of the site’s new content. Sure, the robot has a strong preference for electronics projects, but we’re seeing a lot of great craft projects coming in as well. Either way, an army of hot-tool wielding* makers are creating some really cool stuff.

(4) This community may be a little paranoid, but we’re prepared. Paracord and survival projects account for almost all of the outdoor projects we’ve seen so far this year. If I’m stuck in a rural farmhouse surrounded by zombies, I want some of you all right there with me. If you’re worried about the imminent collapse of civilization and are concerned that Instructables won't be around to help with the power out, you can buy a book of some of our best homesteading projects. You’ll be sitting pretty with a chicken coop and some rain barrels while everyone else gets punched over a can of soup. (Don't get punched over a can of soup.)

(5) Did you notice anything interesting? Sound off in the comments. I've got some 3 month pro memberships to give away to insightful commenters. :D

*or hot, tool-wielding authors.

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mh76dk2 years ago

This is a really nice breakdown. I am not sure there is much to say on the numbers (i had not given it any thought till now, to be honest).

It is nice to know that you can in some way steer the site by carefully planning contests. something that could be used to increase interrest in (or at the very least, more exposure of) less popular crafts. Things like LEGO and Knex will never really lack users/exposure but there are many skills or crafts most of us have never heard of, i love seeing those "obscure" posts. I hope instructables will try to steer the community into more varied areas (because despite loving bacon, there is not all that much in it to see the 10th "how to cook bacon" ible. - though i did enjoy the one recently about water/oven cooking bacon - "scientifically")

I dont want any pro membership in case some looney at instructibles actually consider this insightfull :-)

wilgubeast (author)  mh76dk2 years ago

This loony is hooking you up regardless. Enjoy.

I assume I can pass the code on? because i do not use the PRO features. (and if so, can I just private message the code i got to another user and it will work?)
wilgubeast (author)  mh76dk2 years ago

Absolutely. That code will tack a 3-month pro membership onto the account of the person who redeems it.

And is there an expiry date?

wilgubeast (author)  mh76dk2 years ago

Nope. Use it whenever.

Kiteman2 years ago

("hot, tool-wielding authors"? Are there plans for a 2015 calendar??)

wilgubeast (author)  Kiteman2 years ago

There weren't any until just now. Got any high-res photos of you making something and looking hot? We've got a few months to make this happen for 2015...

Does being on fire count?

wilgubeast (author)  thematthatter2 years ago

I was leaning more towards that so-sweaty-it-ruins-sandpaper kind of hot. Soldering indoors without AC in the Sahara hot. Fire definitely counts, though I'd prefer that no authors immolate themselves for a goofy vaporware calendar.

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