Author Options:

How Can A Group Of Judges Be More ___________(You fill in the blank!)? Answered

I can't believe it...Homemade Holiday Contest Winners have been announced....I really believe that My instructable: How to make Paper Roses should have been a winner.  All along, it had more views, more votes and was well enough rated, but no, far lesser gathering of views and votes win.  I'm afraid I just don't understand Instructables. Thought I did, but apparently not. It is probably enough to blow it all off. I will stew on it for a while, but will probably not be submitting more instructables.  Who in the world Judges these things?  I see a very predjudicial slant, or hugh bias at work. Certainly not based on any objective criteria that the mental mas_______ on this site spin the hell out of in almost every post. Oh, so disgusted with the whole thing. Enough!  Since there is no objective way to win, no set of tangibles to follow, it seems pointless!  Maybe just the wrong website? Cman


Cman, you are an asset to this site, I really hope you won't leave. You are taking this too personally though, it's not YOU that didn't win, it was your 'ibles. It's not the same. if I had even been a finalist I would have been thrilled, I think about how I have gone back and perused the contest winners of the past which lead me to see 'ibles I may not have come across. Who won in that context has little importance as I am just trying to gain knowledge. The big picture is about sharing knowledge, techniques, ideas and directions with others. As Re-design said contests are not the reason you post 'ibles and give such positive feedback.

I figure that by not winning I am still in great company.


Is winning the only reason you post instructables?

If you don't pick this as the best answer - I'm not going to post any more answers.

you better not post any more answers

I didn't. At least not to this question.

Although you have already selected a best answer, I would like to add a thing or two.
I have had a look at your projects and counted roughly 30+ featured projects. Out of 68 projects, that's a score of almost 50%. Most members would die for this.
To me, it seems that you have won 30+ contest already, because being featured is a little contest of its own.

I understand your disappointment, and believe me, I have been amazed too by a limited amount of views for a great project, but you can't expect to win every contest you're entering.

How Can a Group of Judges Be More..... objective?

This contest like many others is judged in part by other members of this site, your peers. Though I haven't checked on each judge for any contest for 'creds', I know the judges chosen for contests are representative in some way.

It sounds like you could be saying "there's a bias!", to which I agree. There is a bias on this site and I do not like it, however that is only half the problem. The other half falls on the author to engage the reader, a point too often glossed over. If 'engaged' is the popular-vote then you are not being judged by your peers rather the masses. If this the case, I would question the masses for what they want to see.


8 years ago

The judges are real people (members of the instructables community) and the choice of who wins is dependent entirely on what that group find most interesting.  The set of judges is different every time, and so it's unreasonable to expect that the contest will be judged the same each time.  And, what the judges like may not correspond to what the community as a whole likes.

I've been in the same boat as you; wondering why the Instructable I wrote fared so poorly against others that I felt were inferior.  I'm still at a loss to explain how one 'ible can gather over 300,000 views in a month, while one that is clearly more complex, more expensive and just plain better will only pull in 1000 views.  I guess that's the Human component of this whole system - it is dynamic and unpredictable.

I guess the only advice I can give is to remember that the contest process is not mechanical - you don't get a certain number of points for this or that, tally them up, and whoever gets the most points wins.  It's something I have to remind myself of, each time I refresh the "rank by..." page. 

The best you can do, if your goal is to win contests, is to create instructables with the broadest appeal you can manage, and with good instructions.  It won't work every time, but it'll help.  I hope I've been helpful, too.  :)

Don't forget, complexity and expense may scare people off; they may be judging on "yeah, that's one I think I'll try some time."

Others will be impressed by greater displays of technical skill and more ambitious projects.

Look at the published criteria for that particular contest. Take your best guess about what that set of judges may be looking for. Submit your instructable. Then don't worrry about it. You've made your best effort; you've done something YOU thought was worth publishing/applauding; that's all goodness. If the luck of the draw happens to give you a prize too, that's great... but I've always considered the contests more a spur to creativity than an actual opportunity to win something.

If you want to profit from your work, write an article for publication in a magazine, where you get paid up front when they accept it. Of course you may have to spend a fair amount of time shopping it around before it gets accepted, and there's some cost associated with that. Standard pointer to The Writer's Market, a frequently-updated compendium of who publishes what kinds of things, what they pay, and how their submission processes.


8 years ago

I feel your pain, my entry to the light up the night contest was in 4th , then after judging I didn't place at all. 

Any time there are judges in the loop, what matters is impressing them rather than impressing anyone else. Popularity/votes probably help, but in the end it comes down to which one they like best.

This is probably a good thing overall in that it prevents ballot-stuffing. The downside is that sometimes the results may not be what the early numbers would suggest.

I totally get your frustration, I was similarly disappointed that my Velveeta fudge didn't make the final cut in the Holiday Food contest.
That said, I don't think the contest results necessarily have anything to with unfair bias or prejudices, other than the normal biases that result from people having opinions and preferences that shape their decisions.
These contests were not judged based on objective criteria, and as far as I'm aware, no one ever said that they would be. The judges selected winners based upon the judges' subjective opinions about what should win. Who knows, if the panel of judges had contained a few more fans of processed cheese, I might be the proud owner of a new food processor and a Pro subscription even now. But it didn't work out that way this time. It's the risk we take when we submit our work to be subjectively evaluated by others. Sometimes we don't agree with the results.
Last Halloween, my kid lost the costume contest at his Taekwondo school because the judge didn't want to give first prize to a "storebought costume". See here for why that was a bad call by the judge. I was angry about it because the decision was based on an erroneous assumption which the judge could have cleared up by asking one simple question, but then I thought about it and remembered that I didn't make the costume to win contests. I made it because it made my son happy. Likewise, I didn't make Velveeta fudge to win a Pro membership, I made it to prove to my wife that it could be done. I made Instructables about those things because I thought other people might find them interesting or useful. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it very much when people on the site like my work and make nice comments about it, but I'd still do the work regardless.
I don't know you, but I have seen and enjoyed several of your Instructables. Based solely on those, I suspect that you are also a "do the work regardless" kind of guy. I hope I'm right about that, that you just wanted to vent a little steam, and that you won't leave the site. AsI said, I do empathize.

Wow, totally impressive costume and it actually makes for a far better story for your son the way it played out. A costume so good it fooled the judge. He will never forget it.

Thanks very much. My wife said the same thing, but it took me several days before I could get past my irritation and see it for the unintended compliment that it was.
And of course, the fact that he won a much larger costume contest the very next day didn't hurt, either.

Clarification: The "unintended compliment" was the judge's assumption that the costume was not homemade, not my wife's statement about fooling the judge. Just realized that the original was a little vague.

I thought you said it quite well, personally. Unfortunately, I can't actually appreciate anything you have to say because you won a prize and I didn't. ;-p


While your rant wasn't the best way to go about it as it makes me think less of you, I do agree to some extent with you.

I think more care and work has gone in to your instructable than mine and yet mine won a prize.

I think this has to do with the way that the entries are judged. The community judging lets the community get involved, which is good. It highlights all of the best ones, at which point the instructables staff also select some additional ones to be added to the finalists. After this, the panel each rates the finalists and their scores are added up. So... your total score, while your ible is amazing and the flowers gorgeous, might not rank as high as others if it does not appeal to as many of the judging panel. In this case, it could be because roses have been done before and so it impressed less of the judges, or that this time round, none of the chosen judges have a great interest in paper crafts.

So while it might not have won this time around, you've won plenty of other competitions, and browsing those I can see the ones you've won I can see other deserving ibles that COULD have won, but with the pick of judges that time, yours shone through. I think the way they judge now is the fairest it could be, if done other ways there'd be ways to abuse it or it would excluder other entries of particular skill.

Uhhh... rambling on now.... so in conclusion.... man up, don't give up, and keep churning out your awesome ibles.

not the best answer, by far, but the best SPIN!!!! rediculous.

And number of views doesn't have anything to do with how good your inst. is, it just means your first page looks interesting.  yOu have to view the inst. to see if you are interested in it at all.

You consignment of grapes is in the post.
You were a finalist, it was very good, and for a lot of people that would be enough.