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What is the penalty for voting for yourself in an Instructables Contest? Answered

So I noticed the rules state that you can't vote for yourself in contests. If you do, does the vote get excluded or is the Instructable disqualified? I am trying to figure out what I need to do to make my Instructables better and this is something I've been doing incorrectly. Thanks.



Best Answer 1 year ago

If you vote for yourself, that vote is simply ignored.

Likewise, the admins have clever and subtle ways of identifying sock-puppet accounts, and they get deleted.

However, it is perfectly acceptable for you to persuade all your friends and family to join and then vote for you. Just be aware that they might vote for other people as well...

The rules do state that they have the right to disqualify the entrant. Are you saying that on a practical level they hardly, if ever, actually go through with that?

Persistent offenders get properly punished - if you just didn't realise, then you're fine.

Okay cool. That means my problem is with my Instructables quality. Cool. Time to make my Instructables better

I posted the project in The Clinic along with my RoboDawg Instructable. I did not get a review unfortunately.

Persuade your friends and family to vote for you? That means they have to open their own accounts, which might be mistaken for fake votes by scammers, right?

Only if *all* they do is vote.

If they use the account properly, they'll be fine.

Makes sense. If they post their own Instructables, comment, like and all of those other things, they can't be called fake :)

I know you asked about voting but I take it you would like to know how to improve your Instructables. This is a checklist on what to do to improve your Instructables. I would add a couple pieces of advice to the featured checklist.

I am blind and I write in word; when I am ready to publish, I copy and paste in the Instructables editor.

Word spellcheck can miss errors like angle and angel, and so can you when you edit. Use the accessibility programs to read your Instructable back to you to find these errors back to you.

Do not rush to publish, walkaway from the Instructable and read it tomorrow, and then fix what needs to be fixed.

I have a tripod and my camera has auto focus and a timer, I use all three to take good clear pictures. If you move when you take a photo the picture will come out fuzzy.

Clean up your photographs in a photo program like Serif PhotoPlus.

Draw in paint or some other art program; sketches on paper do not look good.

Instructables Featured Checklist.

General checklist for any
featured project:

- title fits and explains the project

- intro step explains reason/motivation for the project

- intro image is informative

- intro image is clear and in-focus

- project is detailed enough to be repeatable

- project is broken into enough steps

- every step has at least one paragraph of text

- every step has at least one useful picture

- most steps have multiple pictures

- pictures use image notes as needed

- spelling and grammar don't distract

- parts/materials/ingredients list included, with links to sources as needed

- tools list included, with links to sources as needed

- includes links to references as needed

Bonus checklist: (for
Homepage and Category features)

- excellent intro picture

- the author tells a story through the Instructable

- the project is interesting to someone not already familiar with the subject

Channel feature:the Instructable meets at least 10 of
the 14 general checklist items. The remaining 4 are either partially met, don't
apply, or don't distract from an otherwise well-done project.

Category feature:Instructable meets at least 13 of the
14 general checklist items, plus the bonus checklist. The remaining items are
partially met, don't apply, or don't distract from an otherwise very good

Homepage feature:Instructable meets all of the 14
general checklist items, plus nails the bonus checklist.

The bonus checklist covers some of the things that we think really make
Instructables. The ability for an author to tell a story through his/her
Instructable is unique - it's a direct conversation, and you learn about the
author as you're learning about the project. A strong author voice usually
means a better, more compelling Instructable that's worthy of a category or
homepage feature. This personal storytelling aspect also increases the chance
an Instructable will be interesting to someone not already familiar with the
subject. While some topics are more generally interesting by their nature, a
high-quality, detailed, awesome project will grab almost anyone's attention.
These are the sorts of things that really earn a feature to categories and the

Thanks for the awesome comment. I've been trying to hit these points more consistently as of late. I think I've been doing okay. I need to work on more aesthetically pleasing designs (ditching the breadboard pics). I also ordered a light box to start taking better pictures.

You might be interested in this sight 123D Circuits.


You can screen capture the circuits you build and they look very good. The site even lets you build and program Arduino circuits in the simulator.

123D circuits.png

I've looked into 123D Circuits before and I really like it. My circuits are relatively complex and may be pretty daunting to look at on a program like that. Maybe I need to figure out a way to use the software better.

To be honest I never use circuit simulator programs.

Half the circuits I design work in the real world but don't work in a circuit simulator. However they do make nice picks of bread boards.

I design my circuits in my head, sketch them in paint from a template, and build them in the real world.

Yeah same here. I like using simulators for filter circuits just so I don't have to do the math myself. Lol.


1 year ago

You have a multiple topic question, one part of which is based on an incorrect presumption. Interesting.


noun: penalty; plural noun: penalties

1. a punishment imposed for breaking a law, rule, or contract.

"the charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years' imprisonment"


punishment, sanction, punitive action, retribution;

Are you under a contract agreement when entering a contest? Yes, but only if you win. Voting for yourself just doesn't count.

The rules are in many ways more restrictive on the sponsors of the contest than they are on the entrants. The sponsor has made a legally binding commitment to anyone who enters. An entrant just submits an instructable and hopes to be considered.

Voting is totally irrelevant in relation to improving the quality of your instructable.

Sorry, not really trying to give you attitude. There has been a lot said in other questions about the entire process of voting. You can do a search for that topic and it will help answer your questions. Fact is getting votes or not getting votes does not guarantee being made a finalist. Sometimes late entries that get in just before the deadline will get very few votes, but if they are good enough they still might be finalists.

If I were to give you advise on writing a good instructable the first thing I would tell you is be happy and enjoy what you are writing about. They say you can hear someone smile on the phone. The same is true about your writing. Enjoy what you are writing and people will generally enjoy reading it. People don't usually enjoy reading tech manuals that come with stuff you buy. Make your writing feel more like a review than a how to manual. Of course I could be wrong. But then--- my latest instructable is a finalist in one contest so far, maybe 2 to go. It was sent out in the newsletter Sunday. In only 36 hours it got more than 60,000 views. A number of people have said its the best instructable they have ever read. But then maybe they haven't read many of them. I don't know, I wasn't sure it was that good when I hit the publish button. But then I often feel that way about my stuff.

There is such a wide variety of people in instructables members that it is not usually possible to appeal to them all. Somebody is always going to hate your stuff. Don't worry about it and just enjoy what you write and just write to people in a conversational way. Write like you would talk to them in person, and smile.

Thanks for the response. Trust me, I LOVE INSTRUCTABLES. I tell all my friends and family about the site and I brag about continuously. I was hoping to step my Instructables up in quality. It appears that my contest drought may be an indication that I can improve some things and that's what this question was to help me get to the bottom of. In fairness, my last 4 Instructables have all been Featured and one of them was sent out in the newsletter as well as posted on the Instructables Facebook and Twitter. If that's any indication, maybe my quality is on an upward trend already.

They hold the right, at their discretion, to disqualify the entry or the entrant themselves.

"Voting Period. Prior to the Deadline and for three (3) days after the Deadline, registered members of the Sponsor Site may vote for their favorite entry (the "Voting Period"). There is no limit to the number of eligible entries for which a registered member can vote. All votes must be voluntary and uncompensated. Votes may not be cast by any automated method. Entrants may not vote for their own entries, may not compensate anyone in exchange for votes, or otherwise obtain votes through fraud, coercion, or other unfair means. Sponsor reserves the right to exclude any votes that have been obtained in violation of these Rules."

However, "Disqualification: The Judges have the right to disqualify any entry that is not in compliance with these Rules. In the event that a winning entry is disqualified, the next-highest scoring entry will be selected as the alternate winner. In the event that one or more of the identified Judges is unavailable, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute Judges of comparable qualification, to be determined by Sponsor in its discretion."

And "Misconduct. Sponsor reserves the right, in its discretion, to disqualify any entrant who: (a) tampers with the entry or voting process, the operation of the Contest, the Sponsor Site, or affiliated websites; (b) acts in an unsporting or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy or harass another person; or (c) is otherwise in violation of these Rules, the Policies, or any applicable laws."

I know that they hold the right to disqualify the entrant, but I am asking about what they actually case by case.

I think everyone has the "vote for yourself" thing pretty well covered (It's does nothing so might as well take the chance) so instead a piece of advice for making your entries better. After flipping through a couple of your more popular posts I noticed a common weakness that is probably the #1 downfall of most projects: photos.

In general you don't have enough, every step should have a photo, even if it's just a screenshot of your arduino IDE with your code. Also your cover photo's, the first one on the first step that populates as the thumbnail, don't really grab your attention or inform the viewer in any way, and they're generally not very aesthetically pleasing.

I'm guessing that most voters don't click through to most projects and instead vote solely based on the thumbnail and title. Those are your first impression, use them wisely.

Ah thanks for the heads up. I can see what you're saying, my thumbnails in my earlier Instructables were pretty lacking and uninformative. I think I have remedied that problem in my latest Instructables which have been rewarded with Features. Would you agree? My latest 'ibles have photos at every step, but I can work on getting more and better photos as well.

You mean you tried to make your Instructables better by voting for them in a contest?
I guess I got it wrong though...

Not quite. I have been thinking about how I can make my Instructables better because I have never been selected as a finalist for any contest. I realized that I have been voting for myself (I thought this was expected), but then read in the rules that voting for your own Instructable is not acceptable.

Me neither :-(

A big part is in many cases the contest finalists are often very complex and involved builds. At a level few amateurs can aspire to.

As always the best way to improve is to study the past winners, analyse what and why and then incorporate those principles in your work - after all that you cross your fingers.

I feel like I have had some pretty decent entries. What's even more strange is when I compare my Instructable with one from a finalist --- sometimes much better quality, much better idea, more views, and more favorites. Hmmm.... still trying to figure this out.

So now I'm wondering if I vote for myself, does that disqualify my Instructable from a contest all together? Maybe this would explain my contest drought. I think I've published pretty decent Instructables. Or does my single vote get excluded? Which would lead me to think that there are other parts of my Instructables that need improving to be competitive for contests.

Anyone can vote for anything. You may even vote for yourself.

The voting does not determine a winner only the finalists moderated by the HQ people...

Actually you can't vote for yourself according to the official rules. "Entrants may not vote for their own entries..." Under "SECTION B - ADDITIONAL TERMS FOR THIS CONTEST" subsection "Voting Period."