A very important suggestion for Instructables Answered
I'm a researcher interested in wiki-based problem/solution management (Instructables is exactly an example). I have found a big problem with such sites and how to solve it:
Problem base (PB) wikis already exist, such as WikiHow and WikiAnswers. But I think they're not well-organized enough. For example, WikiHow has a category called "Air Conditioning" which collects solutions related to air conditioning:
As you see, there are no subcategories in this category. All solutions are just listed in A-Z order. A person must scan these solutions one by one to find a solution that matches his problem.
What's the ideal PB in my mind? Under a topic like "Air Conditioning", the PB should further categorize problems in three ways:
1. By symptom ("What's wrong?")
2. By task ("What do you want to do?")
3. By component ("What component is your problem in?")
Each of the above can walk a user down several levels of subcategories until actual problems come into sight. This is what I call "well-organized".
"By symptom" and "by task" are actually approaches that categorize objects (here, objects are problems) by function, while "by component" is an approach that categorizes objects by structure.
(Visit https://plus.google.com/u/0/102291835965130378165/posts/V6pMGuQcBuJ for my original post on this.)