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Hey, I was wondering if you could bring back more formatting for us non pro users.
Bulleting would be really nice, and make me make better 'ibles. As a long time member and contributer, since September '06, racking in 65,000+ views, I feel that I had earned those features, and having them taken away is kind of a let down...

Don't get me wrong, I do not want to sound ungrateful, instructables is one of my favorite websites, perhaps you could add a few other features instead of taking others away?

For example:
A new features feed, alongside featured and popular, PRO activity. A quick glance at the recent feed shows that they are less common than featured... I'd pay for some extra publicity!

Higher quality resolution images uploads

Stock images: Pictures of common items maybe? Would save you some bandwidth as well. I'm thinking tea kettles, pots, pans, soldering irons, sewing needles, etc. Pro members could submit their own photos(, and if they pass through moderation,) every say, 10 images nets them another patch to give out! This makes it easier to make instructables, eliminating alot of the materials step potentially, and letting users access good, clear images with greater ease.

These are just a few ideas, and replacing the standard features to the every day member.

One more thing, God forbid, you take these ideas while retaining the standard features: I may just quit :P

All in all, I am an instructables lover, just these new changes are slightly irksome.

-- Jeremy


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SFHandyman (author)2010-01-11

I agree about the removal of the formatting. That just doesn't make any sense at all to me.

I've had 350,000+ views for my Instructables. One of my Instructables from a couple of years ago just got another mention in Lifehacker and racked up 4,500 more views in a couple of days. I wouldn't be able to make that Instructable today. 

I understand the need to keep the site profitable and would hate to see it go away but to tie the hands of someone like me, who has created one of the highest rated Instructables, and one that topped one of the holiday lists this year, just doesn't make sense.

I'd be paying to make my Instructables more attractive to get hits. I don't need hits, I just want to share the knowledge. They need hits. If they want hits from my work, give me the tools I need to do that work and I'll keep trying to produce hits for you.

I try to be really good and responsive to everyone who writes comments on my Instructables. It feels like I'm being unappreciated.

Seems like they could give the people who makes the top ten on the ratings and views lists a free pro upgrade. That gives me a goal to make some great work.

Right now you can't earn pro access you can only buy it.


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Doctor What (author)SFHandyman2010-01-11

It isn't that you aren't unappreciated, it is that they can't support the content you provide without money.

You see, servers, employees, domains, etc.  cost money.

If they go about handing free pro memberships to everyone who makes an instructable, they wouldn't be able to keep it up.

And they would lack money.

And then the site would go down.

And then your projects would cease to exist.

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vanpaun (author)Doctor What2010-01-11

By making the top ten views list, you actually bring them a fair bit of money.

Lets say thay get .1 cents per view. That is $00.001. I have produced 66 dollars in revenue for them!

Handy man, closer to350 , That is not free, that is 'paid'. I say that loosely.



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SFHandyman (author)vanpaun2010-01-12

I'm not top ten in views. There are more than 200 Instructables with more views than my most viewed Instructable. The number was all my Instructables added together.

I am Top Ten in Ratings.

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Doctor What (author)SFHandyman2010-01-11

You can't earn pro access?

I disagree.

It can be won through contests.

AKA, if your instructable is good enough for one of the designated contests, you earn a pro membership.

For instance, look at the prizes in the https://www.instructables.com/contest/cocktailsvsmocktails/.

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SFHandyman (author)Doctor What2010-01-12

I didn't know they were awarding them as prizes. I haven't had any ideas that fit the recent contests.

I really just want Advanced Formatting. I've got several in process and needed headers and indents but couldn't do them. I explain everything in detail so anyone can make what I'm demonstrating. It ends up being way to much text to understand without the headers.

Being wordy is a problem for me everywhere :-)

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vanpaun (author)SFHandyman2010-01-11

+7

You have captured the essence of my argument.

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joelandos (author)2010-01-05

and make download free.
i want it really

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Doctor What (author)joelandos2010-01-11

Pay the 40 bucks (for 2 years), and they are!  :)

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vanpaun (author)Doctor What2010-01-11

I don't think downloads are as important, just print em like the old days!

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Doctor What (author)vanpaun2010-01-11

 Agree.  They are more for the users on the go, who aren't able to access the internet (for instance, outside), but want a digital copy for reference.  

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SFHandyman (author)Doctor What2010-01-12

If you make your own PDF and post it else where with a link in your Instructable would that be ok? I have a papercraft one that isn't finished and really needs to be printed from a PDF to get proper sizing of the parts.

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Kiteman (author)SFHandyman2010-01-12

Adding your own PDF of a printable pattern isn't just OK, it is highly desirable.  Just treat it like an image file to attack it to a step. (See step 1)

I also sometimes add the PDF of the whole project to the final step, if I think it would be useful (See step 7).

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SFHandyman (author)Kiteman2010-01-12

Cool. That's what I thought. The changes just confused me. I should search for forums on going Pro. This was the only post that came up when I searched for Advanced Formatting.

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Doctor What (author)Kiteman2010-01-12

 I've used PDFs in an ible before.  I forgot about it until now!

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Doctor What (author)SFHandyman2010-01-12

 That would be one way to avoid the system.  Post on like rapidshare or megaupload, and link to the download.   Or put it on your own personal website.

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Rock Soldier (author)2010-01-11

I wouldn't mind bullet points, but I also have no problem going,
1)
2)
3)

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vanpaun (author)Rock Soldier2010-01-11

This is true, but other formatting, like larger font, and editing html? very useful.

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Rock Soldier (author)vanpaun2010-01-11

I don't think larger font is that important, unless if your blind. If so, please fill out these small font forms.

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SFHandyman (author)Rock Soldier2010-01-12

Honestly I can't read small text without magnification. I'm over 40 so that is common :-(

To make sense of my long Instructables headers are important. When I wrote them more advanced formatting could only be done by hand coding so they could be better with even more formatting.

I didn't try to hand code. Maybe I still can hand code. Is the advanced formatting offered for pros just an easy to use menu? As long as I can still hand code it that is great.

I wonder what happens to your formatting if your membership expires, or if you never had one. What happens if I edit one of my existing Instructables? Does the formatting go away? I have several Instructables that I started before pro memberships and they already have some formatting.

I'll have to do some experimenting. Maybe I can even format it in a word processor and paste in the pre formatted text. That would be good enough for me.

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Rock Soldier (author)SFHandyman2010-01-12

Have you tried to zoom function on your browser?
Also, I don't think they'd let you copy formatted text on the website. If they did, you'd basically have free pro, just no patches or PDFs.

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SFHandyman (author)Rock Soldier2010-01-12

Yes, I use the zoom a lot. I set my mouse to zoom text and images with the wheel. I used the Image Zoom extension to Firefox. Scroll wheel zoom is an option. I hold down the right button then the scroll wheel resizes the text and/or graphics. I just looked and I'm not finding Text zoom as an option. That is where the wheel Image zoom is coming from. I'm not sure how I made it zoom from the mouse. I set it up years ago.

I also have 3 different strength pairs of reading glasses. Hahaha It isn't as bad as it sounds. It used to be worse before I had Lasik. At least now I can see everything from 5' to infinity (well not that powerful). I used to be only able to see clearly to about 1 inch from my nose.

You can also set a minimum font size for your browser.

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Rock Soldier (author)2010-01-11

Pro memberships are available as prizes - try and win one.
Lol. If you were in it just for the pro, unless if you had all of the items you needed for the project, it'd probably be cheaper to just buy pro.
(Unless if it was an ice cube making contest. )

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SFHandyman (author)Rock Soldier2010-01-12

I don't need the Pro tag and the badges are cool and fun, but I don't need them either. I've never used a pdf download, but I could see myself printing out one of my projects to send to my Dad, or my older Aunts and Uncles that aren't on the internet. I really just want the formatting.

I wonder if anyone uses the Pro Forums? I really like the fact that my projects are available to kids who are just now learning how to use the tools and make stuff. When I was a kid I would have been crazy in love with Instructables. I certainly wouldn't have been able to join. My allowance was $5 a MONTH. I used it mainly for models, kites, and balsa wood airplanes. :-) I liked the wood models most as I could customize them with my Dad's tools - he was a carpenter. Some of them were really cool. I wonder what happened to them? I remember making a really accurate covered wagon when I was about 9. Shoot got off on another track sorry.

I wouldn't want any of my tips, tricks, or links to events unavailable to folks who haven't paid.  I don't think I'd use the Pro Forums that much as I want the 13 year old kids who only have a small allowance like I was to be able to learn from me also.

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Rock Soldier (author)SFHandyman2010-01-12

Yeah, I see what you mean. I don't see the need of a pro only forum, especially since some of the threads look like they don't apply to just pro members. (Now if it has a title like, "Tips for (insert pro only option here)" That I could see.

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SFHandyman (author)Rock Soldier2010-01-12

That does make sense. If it was "How to make patches" it wouldn't be useful for other folks, but I bet there are folks who aren't Pro that would contribute their knowledge to the thread.

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SFHandyman (author)SFHandyman2010-01-12

I actually designed and built my Trebuchet for the little kids who don't have any money or tools.

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lemonie (author)2010-01-11

The stock image library sounds good, but would surely only be a substitute for Google images? Still an idea, if the site was interested in a shared photo portfolio.

L

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vanpaun (author)lemonie2010-01-11

It is against site policy to use google images I do beleive.

It would mainly be used for the materials page, anyhow.

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lemonie (author)vanpaun2010-01-11

Yes, that's right. Because people are supposed to take their own pictures. It would become against site policy to use the common image-library for the same reason.

L

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vanpaun (author)lemonie2010-01-11

The reason it is against site policy, is because of copyrights on the images, not because you are supposed to take your own.

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lemonie (author)vanpaun2010-01-12

You can use non-copyright images, the general rule is "take your own pictures", but the copyright bit is important within it.
I don't think it better to pick stock images of generic things than to just list them. But you remind me of a previous idea (forget from whom) - suggesting a materials / tools tag list, you're image library combined with a catalogue gives the option for a formallised parts list...

L

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killerjackalope (author)2010-01-05

The stock images idea takes away a little from the DIY aspect of 'ibles, though if it was implemented I'd contribute to them but not use any of them myself. Plus having stock images for common items could potentially kill a lot of originality when browsing through similar projects for something...

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vanpaun (author)killerjackalope2010-01-11

True, but if it were only of common items, it couldn't hurt.

So nothing like "Picture of a circut board that performs this function"
Instead, pictures of transistors, resistors, etc.

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SFHandyman (author)vanpaun2010-01-12

A public stock library shared by members would be really nice. I'm sure there are lots of folks who would contribute. There are some great photographers.

Some folks don't have access to cameras. I've seen some Instructables with cell phone photos and video.

I can't think of any stock video that would be useful. Since you could link to a YouTube video that isn't by you as long as the publisher allows outside links and most do. If you need a specific video and can't make it you could put a "call for help" in the forums and maybe someone would make one and upload it to YouTube for you to use.

I have to look in the terms of use and see if they allow links to photos other than your own. There are many Flickr users that allow public use of their photos. All mine are available for fair use and I wouldn't mind them used in an Instructable.

I'm SFHandyman over in Flickr also. If something applies feel free to use it.

It seems like there was a way to upload to a general library when I started years ago but I might be imagining that.

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SFHandyman (author)2010-01-11

I don't want a Pro Membership. I want Advanced Formatting to make the best Instructables I can. I stand by the suggrstion. Hits also make money. No hits, no ad revenue. I've had 1/3rd of a million. I'd think getting more would be beneficial for all of us.

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