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A new appreciation for the Instructables site Answered

I have posted a couple of questions at another site where people can help each other with technical information. I got a response from a user with quite a large number of posts there. The response did not deal with the substance of my question, but was a hostile and sarcastic personal attack. I gave him three opportunities to respond to the substance of my inquiry, but each time there was another personal attack. So, before the third response I decided I would block his posts if the third response was another personal attack. It so happens he is a moderator and the site does not allow blocking him. So, I found a button that would allow me to report his post to the editorial board for the site. I had already checked the offensive person's profile and learned his personal first name. After reporting the offensive posts to the editorial board, which I assumed involved several people other than this moderator, I got a personal e-mail from someone with the same personal first name as the offensive poster. He said he had examined the posts of concern and found the moderator to be 100 percent free of fault. On the other hand, he found me to be offensive and argumentative. The tone of the message was exactly that in the personal attacks. I responded to the e-mail and said I noticed the personal name of both parties was exactly the same. I asked if he was exonerating himself. I just got a response in which he shamed me for trying to get him in trouble and threatened to ban me from the site. His comment about trying to get him in trouble does not even make sense unless he is the same person as the offensive moderator.

After this experience, I really appreciate the "be nice" policy at Instructables. I also appreciate that Instructables is not a "one-man shop" where the person who resolves a complaint might be the same person as the one involved in the complaint. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 


Wow, that's scary!
That someone in charge is the one sending out nasty messages!
I agree with Goodhart/Yoda as well....

I am developing a theory about the fellow who is both moderator and nasty poster. As I mentioned, the name of his site is only a couple of characters different from another very similar site where things run much better. (For example, if the name of the legitimate site were broccoli-forums.com, his site is broccoliforum.com.) My theory is that he has some expertise in the area and once participated at the other site, but acted badly and got banned from the site. So, his large ego required him to set up a rival site with a similar name where he could be a big fish, even if in a much smaller pond. After he made the mistake of responding to one of my communications with his Yahoo account, which gave away his name and helped know know his first name was the same as the offensive poster; he switched to respond to me through a different e-mail account that did not identify his personal name.

I'm a very argumentative person by nature, but for the last few years - since I post a lot of comments - I have tried to apply the 'be nice' policy to my personal life. I often think before speaking and pretend I am posting a comment on Instructables. I ask myself if I am being nice, if it wouldn't hurt to not prove I am right but just instead be nice. Very simple idea, like the one my mom told me - if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, then sit next to me. Just kidding, but really, I do try, harder than I used to.

I really was just being facecious...I am sorry.

I know! I just couldn't think up anything funny in response, I still can't. But it's not from lack of trying.

;-) I have a reply to myself then :

Nicer? You want to see nicer? Here, take this anvil from me and carry it over that that mud pile.... >:-D

That's good, I had been thinking on the lines of "this is my first fill-in-the-blank, please be nice to me"....

Are you trying to pick a fight ? Claiming to be nicer than I am LOL

PLEASE don't take offense....I really AM just kidding ;-)  I know you wouldn't.   

LOL! You got a chip on your shoulders! Let's go to O'Halloran's and start a fight with the bikers! ;-)

I might end with an "Irish kiss"! (a black eye for those that don't understand the reference). ;-)

Nowadays it might end in a gun fight with me not being able to shoot back...

I'm sure that you stopped using that site. I used for many years unmoderated newsgroups and it is awful the lack of civility of some people. You deal with the worst of what humans can say. I also appreciate this site. The people are awesome, respectful and knowledgeable. I have to confess that I am addicted to this site and my own knowledge has grown exponentially.

I did cease using the site. My last e-mail to the offensive moderator whom I believe to be the same person as the offensive poster gave him permission to remove me as a user of that site by whatever means he chose, even if that is banning me. Oddly, I landed on that site because of the browser's auto fill feature. I had registered for a similar site with a very similar name, but had not bookmarked it. I was pleased when the auto fill "remembered" for me, but did not realize the mistake. The names of the two sites vary by a hyphen and the letter "s" included in the name of the site I wanted, but missing from the name of the site I did not want. When my login information did not work at the wrong site I just assumed my password had been reset because I had not visited for quite a long time.

Several times I came to Instructables seeking the solution to a problem but did not find one. I had to develop the solution myself. Then I posted it for others, who seem to appreciate it very much. An example of that was fixing an electronic fly swatter which stopped working.

I do appreciate that Instructables lets me publish anything I choose to submit without someone telling me no one is interested in that and it will not be published. Of course, some things I thought would be helpful to a larger number of people go largely unnoticed. Still, someone who needs it may find it later. That is always good.

You might be surprised of how many people find your instructables useful. Think of all the referrals on your Stats tab and also there is no way to know who and how many times your projects have been downloaded as pdf files. I'm sure that many people appreciate what you have done even if they do not take the time to comment.

Thank you. A few times I checked the statistical information on the origins of traffic for my Instructalbes. If I read it correctly, the bulk of it comes from Internet searches from outside the Instructables community. There can be a considerable time lapse between posting an Instructable and appearance in search results. I have heard from a couple of people who joined Instructables because they were searching the Internet for something and found one of my Instructables. Although it does not involve saving money, an Instructable I did on Making Marriage Last could have great benefit to many people and save them a lot of expense and personal pain. It is a distillation of all of the good things I learned about making a marriage work, even rescuing a marriage in trouble, after more than 40 years of being married to the same woman and a like time of talking with people in marital difficulty. Yet, it has gotten relatively little attention. Perhaps that means people who visit Instructables simply do not have stresses in their marriages, which is highly unlikely. But, I have seen some of my Instructables that were not particularly good or bad suddenly catch fire with someone and the number of views per day took off like a rocket for quite a while. For example, I did an unremarkable Instructable several years ago on making a 6 or 12 volt automobile battery trickle charger. It slowly gathered a few views and a few referrals. After about three years it was suddenly featured and it is now my 3rd most viewed Instructable at over 62,000 views.

I do appreciate that Instructables lets me publish anything I choose to submit without someone telling me no one is interested in that and it will not be published.

If nobody was interested, we wouldn't have The Laws!

(They must be nearly six years old now - by internet standards, that makes them ancient manuscripts!)

Some months ago I tried another spanish rhyme dictionary (I have one in www.rimar2000.com.ar). I discovered some flaws, and wrote a message to the webmaster warning him of them, in order to help the author to fix the program. The response was an incredible string of insults, really awesome. Internet is full of that type of persons. I think these are the last days, (2nd Timothy 3, RV 1960).

Many people confuse criticism with insult. Instead of assuming an objective attitude their ego feel threatened and they become defensive. I find that this flaw is very common between immature and insecure people.

Maybe, blkhawk, but that is pathological.

Not far from where I grew up there was a mental institution run by the State of Iowa. A man and his wife went to take a tour of the place. A friendly man approached them and offered to guide them through the facility. It was all very nice until they came to one particular door. The guide said, "The guy behind this door is really nuts! He thinks he is Napoleon!" Then the guide put his hand inside his shirt just like the portraits of Napoleon and said, "But, I AM Napoleon!"

(chuckles) Your story is a good reason to stay away from asylums! Sometimes I wonder if there are more out than in, the ones labeled "functional".

Yes, blkhawk, I think as you, but worse: ALL WE ARE CRAZY, each person have one o more type of madness.

The most dangerous madmen are those who do not usually appear.

¡De musico, poeta y loco; todos tenemos un poco!

PhilB offensive and argumentative? An implausible combination of words.

Glad to hear from you again Phil, and read the many supportive comments to your post.


Thank you. The guy with whom I interacted is a piece of work. He had a way of turning everything you write to be used as a weapon against you. I firmly believe people he knows personally are sizing him up and limiting their contact with him. That would be a difficult way for anyone to go through life.

My Instructables trigger finger is getting itchy. I just need a good idea of something to write and submit.

I believe a serious study, by a psychologist type, could be made on how some people react on internet sites. But I believe the best we can do is ignore the rude, insensitive, negative comments. Otherwise, we are just playing along and gratifying the posters. We can flag the offenders when things get bad.

I have an Instructable or two in progress.
- Woodworking tool sharpening
- How to design and build a shop modification: the example, a table saw fence.

I am anxious to see your new 'ibles!

Thanks, Blkhawk!

I like your instructables, and really like the quote from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
He presents an interesting concept: Mental state in terms of challenge level and skill level. I will have to spend some time with it, and study his Flow Model diadram.

yeah... the "be nice" is a great policy.. thumbsup!

There are too many websites without this policy that hs become a troll nest where frustrated people like to post their flames which they can't unleash in the real world for some reason..

Thanks instructible!

I've read Much of what you have posted PhilB. And I find it an unpallatable stretch to say the least that you are rude, beligerrent, abusive, argumentative, or any of that. Personally, I think you should post the name of the site and the Mod, so that those of us who would care to, could contact said mod, and repeat to him what I have just said.
I mean, I don't know you, maybe some people become other entities on other sites... but if history means anythig.... it seems like a real longshot, based on what I've read of yours. Lots!
Don't let the imbeciles of the world get to you.
Just keep up the work you do in the arenas in which you are appreciated.

Thank you. I have lived long enough to have put my foot into my mouth quite a few times. Eating crow afterwards was never much fun. If I named the site and the person, there could even be some legal crow to digest. I think I will refrain.

Thanks for writing this. We try very hard to make Instructables great. One of the things I tell the team most often is that we should make authors happy. I'm glad it comes through.

I was glad to write and post this.

Your hard work is much appreciated, I have been looking at various sites that attempt to imitate your site, but the community just is not the same. I mention that the "be nice" comment policy is by no means "troll-proof fence", but it makes a massive improvement to the community.

When a troll posts something abusive anyone may click on the word "flag" next to Reply and the site moderators examine it. If it is truly out of order, it will be removed. That is a 2nd line defense against abusive people and their comments.

You folks are doing pretty darn well. Don't worry about it. Just keep on keeping on.


5 years ago

Mr Bohlken,
In case of Troll attack, deploy the O RLY? owls:
| )``)

And so say all of us!

I've had similar experiences elsewhere - on one forum, within half an hour of joining, I was on the receiving end of attacks from members who turned out to be admins, and within the hour I was banned from the site as a "troublemaker", because I "maliciously flagged" posts that were, in fact, personal attacks on me from admins and moderators.

It's easy to forget how good we have things here.

Indeed, I have had many experiences like this in forums of all kinds, moderated and not so much, some of the moderated ones, being much more tolerant of their "friends" than others. Some of them, closed because of such problems. I don't think I will ever forgot just how friendly the atmosphere is here.


5 years ago



5 years ago