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Innovation: 'How-To' Web Sites Let You Learn Just About Anything - Instructables in Fox Business News Answered

Innovation: 'How-To' Web Sites Let You Learn Just About Anything

New York -- Want to learn how to make your own roll-up keyboard or a computer case made out of Coca-Cola cans? What about how to drive safely in rain or silence a barking dog? A slew of Web sites claim to have all the answers.

How-to and self-help Web sites have been around for sometime, but the proliferation of user-generated articles and videos thanks to Web sites like YouTube and blogs, has resulted in a slew of sophisticated portals that rely on social networking to teach us how to do just about anything.


At instructables.com, video and pictures are a big component, as is the quirky. A quick visit to instructables.com and you can learn how to make a wireless Internet cantenna, a roll up keyboard and even how to dodge a military draft (if there ever is one again).

Instructables.com, which went live in 2005 and has been seeing "rapid" growth of close to 10% a month, said Eric Wilhelm, founder and chief executive officer. "Users post what we call instructable articles that have text, images and video and show something they are passionate about." Users rate the so called instructable and often times replicate the projects, he said.

"I think it will grow a lot bigger because there's a lot of intellectually curious people...and they want to see other smart people," said Wilhelm. "Everybody wants to learn."

More news articles about Instructables here.


I think Ms Fuscaldo has missed something, though. The other "how to" sites she mentions are, at heart, commercial enterprises, with paid contributors. Even the user-generated stuff on eHow has an income-generating potential. But when was the last time any of us posted here to make money? My own contributions are usually fairly low-cost, but some people have spent thousands creating content for the site, and won't see a penny of it back (from this site). We post because we want to, and because we want others to reciprocate in kind. (Which is why we should have won the Crunchies, of course)

But when was the last time any of us posted here to make money?

Click on the "Video" tab next time you're looking at instructables.

In spreading a wider net, we will, unfortunately, get some stuff that isn't up to our standards. That's why there's the Instructables only tab and RSS feed. However, there are some really good videos out there made by people who are passionate about their work, and I want them to have a place on Instructables and feel welcome. To find those gems, I'm willing to put up with a few below-average videos.

Oh, I didn't mean to say that all the videos are put up in order to make money (or that they're sub standard). Just that we do have a small share of people who are here for that purpose.

The best content definitely comes from people who are passionate about what they do. I consider it a big part of my job to make connections between those passionate people.

Hoorah! +1 for Instructables! Keep it up, everyone! Someday we may be on the moon!

Don;t feel too bad, I thought he was referring to the robot at first...

Now that would need to be a collaboration ...

Nicely done people. That's a few more hits in the bag :-)

Congratulations to Eric and gang. I personally would love to see Instructables.com someday reaching further outside the Americas and Euros. As of the moment, instructable's exposure in other regions (especially in Asia) is fairly minimal. Language barrier is perhaps the number one problem (though there are some amount of exposure in English proficient Asian countries like India, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia). I'll keep my fingers crossed, maybe someday seeing instructables getting exposure in Japan, Korea, China and other parts of Asia as well.

congrats, Eric!

Yeah, we are Growing. i wonder how much our traffic has gone up since this article was posted

Awesome article!