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Contest Moderation Ideas Answered

Hi guys. I want to talk about contests.

Contests have an age limit that prevents I'bles that are over a month old from entering. The age limit is there because of a valid issue, but in my opinion, it's not our best solution.

If there were no limits at all, people would try to enter all of their Instructables into every contest, which is no good. The one month age limit encourages people to create new Instructables for specific contests. Which is great. It's what we want. The contests are here to encourage us to make new I'bles and grow the site. That's not always what happens though.

It's tempting to try to enter every new Instructable into every current contest. Most of the time this tactic doesn't work, but sometimes it works better than it should. Actually, it's seeming to me like the first potential contest entry always seems to get accepted, no matter how irrelevant it is. What's up with that?

Maybe we need a new set of guidelines to follow when deciding whether an Instructable should enter a contest. Something like this:
1.  Instructables can only enter, say, 7 contests.
2.  Instructables cannot win more than one contest.
3.  Instructables cannot try to enter more than, say, 15 contests.

This way a user must consider whether a certain contest is really the right contest to enter. Contests become a limited resource; something to choose between wisely. The age limit may encourage the creation of many new I'bles, but the alternative system I have proposed gives people the incentive to make wiser choices, which in turn helps moderate the contests. While the number of new Instructables might drop a little, this alternative system could keep our wonderful website in better order.

What about you guys? Do you have any ideas for better contest moderation systems? Do you agree or disagree with my idea? It's just an idea, but maybe it'll spark a discussion that could lead to some good.



5 years ago

We actually do have a limit for number of contests entered - one instructable can only go into three contests max. :)

We've yet to put a limit on how many contests an instructable can win, though, because one project winning Grand Prize in multiple contests is rare!

Best case is that it's amazing and it wins three contests! (I only know of one time this happened, actually) But more often than not an instructable is really ONLY super relevant to one contest theme and squeaks by for entry into the other two, which won't make it a real contender for a prize in those other contests.

Also, as of right now, we keep all contests (except for Halloween) set up so that an instructable must be published during the time the contest is open to be eligible. Halloween is the only contest that allows earlier instructables to enter. We're likely to keep it that way forever, because I build the contest schedule to encourage new and exciting content. That's what we love to see! :D


Reply 5 years ago

Thanks for responding! A lot of my info was incorrect.. sorry. I didn't realize there was already a maximum number of contests an i'ble can enter.. I must have missed that. I also didn't realize that an instructable's eligibility time limit was tied to the contests. I still wish there was a way to keep those i'bles that don't really belong from squeaking by. If there's already a limit on how many contests an i'ble can enter, my method won't do any good.

One i'ble winning three contests is pretty amazing. Do you know which one won??


Reply 5 years ago

No worries! Much of the info is in the fine print, so it's easy to miss. We've got lots of legalese floating around and I don't blame you for not reading it. I know I don't enjoy writing it! ;)

We try to go easy on the ones that sneak by and let them in since entering a contest can help garner more views for an author and being able to participate makes people happy. Plus, we've got a super small team here, so being lenient is easier than policing like crazy! I know sometimes it's not ideal, but we do try our best to deny entries that are not at all relevant to the theme.

Jaguar K is the author that one three contests with one ible - he posted these electric orbit wheels (

https://www.instructables.com/id/Electric-Orbit-Wheels-Laterally-Propelled-Hub-les/ )

and completely dominated the contests last summer. :D


Reply 5 years ago

Inappropriate entries are kind of policed by the members anyway - if entries don't fit the contest very well, they'll get fewer votes, and not reach the final.


Reply 5 years ago

I fully agree with Jessy for going easy in accepting contest entries. It encourages the authors with more views, comments and suggestions for improvement etc..