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NO for PRO Answered

I have to be honest i dont like the idea of instructables pro, like i under stand how money is nice and everything but for some people we cant exactly pay for things over the internet or want to pay for somthing that we used to be able to do for free. like looking at a fourum like come on i used to love reading things people had to say. but i just tryed to look at a forum and it said i have to pay to look at somthing that could possible be a small sentence about how stupid bannana bread is.i dont wanna keep this to long but in short all the pro is , is a easy way to make some cash and i cant beleive peple are paying for this it not only offers very very very little but you have to constantly pay for it. thats all i have to say but please please discuss this and tell me what you think and who knows someone might agree up at instructables and take it down -aceLED

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minime12358 (author)2010-02-11

Im actually a little confuse about pro... could someone help me? It says that with a free account you cant download/customize pdfs... but i can. Is this because ive been with instructables a good while?

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pyroelfears2 (author)minime123582010-02-18

you are just like me. i can go to all steps in one page, view pdfs, favorite, even though i am not a pro. that is because we joined before they started the pro setting. they let old members keep their settings though they arn't pro. nice.

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guyfrom7up (author)2009-06-15

I kinda agree with you (don't get me wrong, instructables is great and totally deserves the money), but I think they went about the wrong way of doing it. I think a simple, easy to find "donation" button would have sufficed. Taking away features and giving them to only the people that pay is a bad idea. I think they should have kept those features open to everybody, and throw in some nice, but not necessary features from "pro" members, like... i don't even know. Anywho, I'm probably never going to be a pro member, just because... I don't feel like it? If they set up a donation button, i might donate, but... instructables now just kinda feels cheap. if I was the owner(s) of the site, I would definiteley want the money to better fund the site, and our lives (this website is probably their fulltime jobs). I just don't like the idea of pro. Also, I'm not an as active user as I use to be, so I guess that adds upon not wanting to pay for instructables.

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Schober (author)guyfrom7up2009-12-07

If Instructables really needs money that bad they should create a store. People love Instructables. I can bet there are very few users who would have to think twice before buying something like an Instructables flash drive, or a t-shirt, or almost anything with the instructrables logo or robot on it. Heck, they could publish a few more "The Best of Instructables" books. If they need money this is a lame way of getting it.

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Kiteman (author)Schober2009-12-07

There used to be a store - useful income; practically zero.

This is a Maker site - if anybody wants something with Robot on it, they simply make it.  There's even a dedicated guide.

As for publishing more books, we (not "they", this is a community) certainly have enough material to fill a whole shelf, but publishing a book costs money up-front, and the income stream is slow (unless you find yourself with a Makers' Harry Potter?).

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Yerboogieman (author)Kiteman2010-02-11

You can even talk to someone with the nickname robot.

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Schober (author)Kiteman2009-12-07
Sorry, didn't think about the cost of printing books, better consider everything before making sugestions. But there are those of us (like me) that don't have the experience, finances and/or tools to create things like t-shirts, labeled flash drives and other licensed merchandise. I agree with 'guyfrom7up' ; that the fact that they are charging for basic features that used to be available to all users makes them seem cheap. But I also feel that I was somehow not a complete person (all humor intended) until I found this fantastic resource and will continue to use Instructables regardless of whether or not they give these features back to everyone.

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canida (author)Schober2009-12-07

Everything Kiteman says is true.  And we've made sure all the content on the site is freely available - only the formats with fewer ads have become pro features.

In the meantime, win a contest - pro memberships are part of the prize package. 

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kelseymh (author)Schober2009-12-07

I highly encourage you to read some of the postings from Eric Wilhelm (founder and CEO).  These folks are not amateurs.  They have done substantial experimentation and analysis of where their money comes from and where more money could come from.  What follows is not directed just at you; it's more of a "teachable moment" for other people reading this discussion.

Creating reliable and stable cash flow in the long term is quite difficult.  If you have small business experience, then you already know this.  If you don't have that experience, and don't believe it, then you should go and read case studies to convince yourself otherwise.

The advertising revenue has dropped nearly in half in the past year, with no indication that it is recovering.  In any event, blindly waiting for it to recover without having alternatives in place would be both foolish and irresponsible.

The store, as Kiteman says, has never generated any useful income.

Production of books for sale is much more expensive than you might think.

The corporation is for profit, so "donations" are forbidden.  If you want to "donate" to support the site, buy a paid membership, and think of it as the equivalent.

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Redneck2 (author)2009-06-26

I think that we should start a non pro group for people who are against paying to get the same options.

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Biopyro (author)Redneck22009-08-05

+1. Taking away all steps on one page is too much. You used to be cool.

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Schober (author)Biopyro2009-12-07

Agreed, and it's not fair that we're not allowed to download PDF's either. That was the feature I used to use most often. My friend doesn't have Internet so I used it to get Instructables to him without having to waste my paper and ink printing them out. You'd think Instructables would encourage their users to go green and avoid printing.
(P.S. I'm not a tree-hugger)

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lemonie (author)Biopyro2009-08-05
How about?:

  • You stop whinging (it won't change anything).
  • Or scrape some $ together.

L

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Biopyro (author)lemonie2009-12-06

Looks like all that "whinging" did change something after all.

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lemonie (author)Biopyro2009-12-06

Having signed up you'd have to remind me what they gave-in on and granted you (I am interested)

L

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Biopyro (author)lemonie2009-12-06

Originally the plan was to only let pro members see all steps on one page. This is now not the case and I am once again able to happily use instructables.

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lemonie (author)Biopyro2009-12-06

Oh super, a lot of people will be glad of that.

L

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Doctor What (author)lemonie2009-12-06

If I remember correctly, the only thing they changed back to regular was the secondary image viewing.

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Gjdj3 (author)lemonie2009-08-05

Quick, call the Waaaaambulance! Biopyro is in danger of combusting due to high levels of whining. Call whine-one-one!

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kelseymh (author)lemonie2009-08-11

Ummm...dumb question about Limey spelling. I thought it was "whingeing" (leaving the silent "e" in place). Am I wrong?

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lemonie (author)kelseymh2009-08-11

You may be right, my dictionary only has whinge and whingingly.

L

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locofocos (author)2009-08-05

I can understand instructables needing money, but they could have just asked us for donations instead of taking away much needed features from the majority of the community. In all honesty I don't know how much I'm gonna use this site now that i takes probably twice as much time to read an instructable with the Allsteps page taken away. I can understand not wanting to give out the free pdfs, but instructables just doesnt seem the same any more. It used to seem like a place where the DIY community could come together but now it just seems like a way for the people who own instructables to make some quick cash. I'm just disappointed that it would have to come to this.

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kelseymh (author)locofocos2009-08-05

"asked us for donations": You might do a search of forum comments for the word "donations." Or better yet, do some research. California and federal tax law prohibit (that means "does not allow") for-profit entities from accepting donations.

"make some quick cash": What a wonderfully ignorant statement. Have you ever tried to run a business or a household? Or are your parents still supporting you with the illusion of "everything is free"?

You might actually read the postings from the staff and owner for the past year. Their income from advertising is reduced substantially (something like 1/3 to 1/2) and doesn't come close to covering the cost of running the site. Forget about profit (that means "make money") -- if you don't have enough income to cover expenses, eventually you close.

If you really, really don't like the site, why don't you delete all three of your instructables, all zero of your forum topics (the forums are where the DIY community here comes together), and go back to watching your free TV (where you can whine about the ads interrupting your programs).

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2009-08-05

You know, I really hope that when I've raised concerns in the past I haven't sounded like this. I mean, it's one thing to disagree with what the site is doing or how they are going about it, but this goes way beyond that. People are now saying they have a problem with pro on principle because the site owes them this service for free even if they are losing money on the deal. It's ridiculous. I'm ready to put my head through a brick wall after the millionth topic saying HOW DARE THEY GO PRO THEY SHOULD GIVE US EVERYTHING FOR FREEEEEEE!!ONEONEEXCLAMATION POINT.

>Breathes<

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I have a question-- why are they taking features away from the original experience and putting them into a PRO account feature? such as pdf download, and one page view? or were they on trial for all this time?

By no means am I against pro features, but look at DA for example...  they give advantages to the premium users- attractive advantages, but they do not create any disadvantage to the non-premium users. That's the whole point isn't it? 
I know servers and everything need money, but  its getting kind of weird;;;
can you explain that to me....(?u?)?

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kelseymh (author)Rock Soldier2009-08-11

Oh, I forgot to mention...

Eleven is bigger than ten.

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kelseymh (author)Rock Soldier2009-08-11

It only needs one to get three for five.

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kelseymh (author)Rock Soldier2009-08-11

I just made it up, in parallel with your own comment. Nice avatar, by the way. Doesn't the poor little guy need sunglasses?

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Rock Soldier (author)kelseymh2009-08-11

He'll be fine...Er, well...As fine as he can be. Thanks by the way.

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locofocos (author)kelseymh2009-08-06

I would think there is some legal way for me to give a few dollars to instructables. I would rather let me dictate the amount I want to donate I guess. I don't know much about the operation of Instructables so I never thought there were that many costs besides hosting, nor did I ever realize that it was a business. I was seriously under the impression it was a nonprofit organization of some sort.

Yes, I only have three instructables. No, they're not perfect and they might not be the best instructables ever posted, but I put out something I thought would be useful to somebody else. Instructables says that there are over 500,000 fans who receive the newsletter every week. This might be wrong, but as best as I can figure by looking at https://www.instructables.com/tag/type:id/?sort=RECENT , we have about 27,580 insructables. That means the average user on Instructables makes about 0.05516 of an Instructable. I have made three thus far, so I'm not exactly in a position to brag but I'm doing more than most people from what I can figure.

I do realize that it might be necessary and I can understand now that they have to do this. No, I haven't been reading the "postings from the staff and owner". I didn't even know there were any besides the newsletter, so I didn't know why they were doing this or what their motives were (which weren't explained on the pro signup page).

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kelseymh (author)locofocos2009-08-06

"I would think there is some legal way for me to give a few dollars to instructables. I would rather let me dictate the amount I want to donate I guess."

The easiest way for you do to that (both parts) would be to choose the month-by-month "pro" account subscription. It's $1.95 per month, so you can pay as much or as little as you want in $2 increments (half the cost of Starbucks).

"I don't know much about the operation of Instructables so I never thought there were that many costs besides hosting, nor did I ever realize that it was a business."

Maybe you want to read Eric's own Instructable about the company!

"Yes, I only have three instructables. No, they're not perfect and they might not be the best instructables ever posted, but I put out something I thought would be useful to somebody else."

That's the whole point of Instructables. It's why Eric created it in the first place, and why the rest of us participate. For the first five years of the company, they were able to operate purely on advertising revenue and VC investment. But it's become clear that ad revenue is not sufficient to cover costs or to provide a profit (return to the investors, not money in Eric's or any other staff's pocket). As a result, Eric is trying out other methods of generating income.

"No, I haven't been reading the "postings from the staff and owner". I didn't even know there were any besides the newsletter, so I didn't know why they were doing this or what their motives were"

Okay, so look at the forum topics Eric has written on the subject. I think you'll find them enlightening.

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Just a factual error - You can donate in increments of $8.85. If you pay 1.95/month, they bill you yearly. If you want to pay quarterly, it's 2.95 a month.

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locofocos (author)kelseymh2009-08-11

Wow, an intelligent person on the internet. I admire you.

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lemonie (author)locofocos2009-08-11

There's more than one around here. L

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lemonie (author)locofocos2009-08-06

The legal way is to sign up. If you were inclined to "donate" you would, it's one of those "let other people donate" things isn't it? Yeah, it costs money like your internet access, but I guess someone else is paying for that? Boring and tedious reality says that as this is a business, it needs to break-even at the least. This is one income-generation scheme being employed to that end. L

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D.L.H. (author)2009-08-11

Well I have been a long time viewer of the ibles and just recently and taken form a few of the comments that I read ibles went down allot and instead of going for a more pro-donation they went for private memberships that must be paid for which allot of use can't pay for. I'm not against it because many websites need some kind of money and they just seem this was the best idea at the time for them I just hope in best of ibles interest that it stays free for important features.

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kelseymh (author)D.L.H.2009-08-11

Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. Thank you! Instructables is meant to be a for-profit business (which means they cannot accept donations), and they're business model of revenue entirely from advertising stopped working in this current recession. The paid accounts (with added features) are designed to be a supplement to the reduced advertiing income.

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Matt21497 (author)2009-08-05

Add features dont take them away.

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The Jamalam (author)2009-06-27

We're in a recession. Would you rather have a limited instructables account or no instructables at all?

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Redneck2 (author)The Jamalam2009-06-27

I know right now its just all steps but who knows what they will take away from us next.

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trebuchet03 (author)Redneck22009-06-27

That can't seriously be an argument?

Why look ahead to what someone might take away while at the same time be unwilling to look ahead to plan financially?

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Redneck2 (author)trebuchet032009-06-27

Dude how can I plan finacialy Im 14

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trebuchet03 (author)Redneck22009-06-27

How are you able to predict future non financial scenarios, as only a 14 year old? It's not that I believe being 14 is the problem - just that claiming you're 14 and can't plan really negates your original post (that I responded to) indicating you were running future scenarios by yourself (which are the fundamentals of planning).

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Lithium Rain (author)trebuchet032009-06-27

I do think, however, that the general point is a valid one - members do wonder what will be taken away next, and what they'll be left with.

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trebuchet03 (author)Lithium Rain2009-06-27

'Tis pure speculation... that has resulted in rumor ;)

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