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.
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.