should I give up on entering contests/posting detailed unique ideas? Answered
Disheartened by contest results, I really feel like pulling some of my instructables and not publishing any further ones (I am taking some time right now to work on another project I was documenting for instructables but I feel like there isn't a point to the extra time involved in pausing to take pictures of every little thing). It probably seems silly, but I did end up shoving a whole bunch of my priorities aside to make sure it was in before the deadline. My original idea was not among the top 5%, some of which were things I could buy derivatives of in a store or have definitely seen before. I guess I am just looking for affirmation that this is a pretty commonplace occurrence, and as a first time contest entrant that eventually something will pan out and I'll wind up with a tshirt (I mean that's pretty much all I want out of the deal, the prizes are nice but the tshirts are cooler. not that anyone would really ask about them, but maybe when I visit geek-saturated areas...) if I keep trying.
Perhaps I was too confident and it takes way more than 50 hours to make a winning instructable (through all my trials and errors, it might have been more than 50)
You could tell me that my pictures or use of language were not as good as the others, but I am pretty sure I have a decent command of the English language and most of my photos were ok, with the exception of having a few from a cellphone, in the dimly lit space I had to work in. Granted, those steps were so self-explanatory others would've just added them as a sentence i.e. "Cut the chain". I also went through the other entries, also from last year, and was pretty certain I'd place.
Could ascribing it as "NoDerivs" possibly have anything to do with how the sponsor judged it? I just don't want someone using their modified idea for an NGO without considering consulting me, I am only partially employed and am looking for that kind of employment, even being consulted without pay would be a CV boost at this point. I could care less how many people make it for themselves or other groups in their backyards, as long as they aren't selling the idea or trying to one-up me. Perhaps I should consider a different license attribute and just write in plain text what I mean by it?
How does everyone else network to get people to vote for their entries?
When your instructable is complicated, how do you shorten it enough to make sure people of all levels can understand?
Do a few cellphone pictures in an instructable of many photos ruin it (I don't always have a camera on hand and until super recently I didn't have an SLR as mine was stolen in Peru - I had to borrow one for some of my photos)? Not as many people seem to like my most complicated instructable, so I wonder if length or complexity factors in...
Do you think length factors into contest decisions? Because my next project is also long, as unique ideas often are. And I don't want to skip describing details and just say "put the capacitor in" or "build a rectifier circuit" when, since I started building circuits this Fall (partially thanks to instructables), I would have wanted to know details like to bend legs of a capacitor if I was following an instructable, and I was super confused by an instructable (a featured one at that) that said simply "build a rectifier circuit".
Sigh, I guess I am just bitter that I won't get one of those awesome tshirts.
should I post the next idea on instructables once it is completed or not? Or are ideas like that generally not appreciated in this community? (hint: it is similar to the light up swing powered by a bicycle dynamo I posted, but implements another piece of playground equipment instead). Perhaps I should just keep them to myself until I've built them beyond working prototypes?
Sorry for all the questions and being a Debbie Downer, I am just reflecting on what could have factored into my entry not having been selected as one of the top 25. I was pretty sure it was at least in the top 10 or so. If I am going to improve on future projects, I want to know what I should consider focusing on, and if complex projects don't really belong here (or if others have good ideas on how to shorten them). Thanks all.