Introduction: Forums! Private Messages! Comment Tracking!

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to learn …

There are so many new features it makes my head spin! We hope you like them. If you find anything wrong, see a bug crawling around, or want something new, drop us a note in the bugs section by contributing a bug (you can also use the drop down navigation menu by clicking the triangle next to “Contribute” under the orange logo bar and selecting “Submit Bug” from the menu that pops down). As always, feel free to email me.


Each group now has a forum. There is also a “main forum” that can be found at or from the main navigation under Explore or Groups. The main forum will show you both topics posted in the main forum and topics posted to groups.

Topics act similarly as Instructables: They can have pictures, files, and videos; and the comments are threaded and can also have pictures, files, and videos.

You’ve been asking for forums and it’s sure taken us long enough to listen, huh?!? Forums are the place for ideas, questions, discussion, requests for help, and all manner of other things that aren’t quite Instructables. Have a blast!

Comment Tracking

Track all your comments in one place! The new comment tracker,, keeps track of comments on your Instructables, your orangeboard, your forum topics, and direct replies to comments you make. We’ll even send you email to let you know there’s new stuff to check out.

Right now, we’ll send you email for each new orangeboard and private message, and one email per day for comments and replies. You can set your email preferences here: and change your email address here: The emails will come from, so make sure not to file them under spam!

What the heck is an orangeboard, anyway? An orangeboard is like a whiteboard – a place where you brainstorm, keep track of ideas, and leave notes and announcements – except it’s on your user homepage. It’s essentially comments on your user ID, and we send you email to let you know there are new comments.

Private Messaging

Send another user a private message by clicking the “Send Private Message” button right under the picture on their user page. For example, We’ll send that user an email to let them know they have a new private message.

A slight word of caution: With forums, we’ll be a bit stricter in our definition of an Instructable. Instructables should be instructive, have proper warnings if they involve any potentially dangerous activities, and have nice pictures. If a picture really doesn’t add anything and there’s lots of instruction in the text, that’s ok. Check the Human Readable Terms of Service for more thoughts on what makes an Instructable.

Also, be nice! If you don’t have something positive or constructive to say, don’t say anything! Mean-spirited and insulting comments will not be tolerated. If you don’t like something, it’s possible to express that in a constructive way. Users that habitually make nasty comments will be banned.