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Spammers vs. Sponsors Answered

We end up with this sort of problem periodically: companies who have legitimate content (their stuff is pretty useful) realize that Instructables is a good place to reuse their expensively-produced videos, so assign a summer intern to dump them onto the site en masse. This sucks, because no matter how good the content is, dumping it is spammy.

What we generally do is to unpublish them, then Randy lets them out one or a few at a time so there's no annoying pile of similar videos in the recent feed. In the meantime, Lee (our ad sales guy) contacts the company to talk about better ways to do things than a drive-by video dumping. ;)  We'd like them to be part of the community:  run contests, put up good content, and stay to talk about it. Generally, to be more interactive and helpful.  So, hopefully this means that more companies will be sponsoring contests soon - stay tuned! Lee's on it.

So, what to do if you see a huge pile of branded video?
- Email or PM Randy. If it's a weekend, or you've just seen a ton of them appear at once, flag a couple of them so Randy will notice next time he's online.  He'll then unpublish and release the videos at a more measured pace.  (Don't go nuts with flagging - Randy sees all, and more flags just makes more for him to clean up.)

- You could also comment to encourage them to be better Instructables citizens. "This is spam!" doesn't really help, and makes the company feel totally unwelcome.  We want to work with them, but in a way that's good for the Instructables community. Here's an example of a comment that could convince them do do something more interactive: "This is a (good/useful/interesting/informative) video, but dumping a pile of them on the site is feels spammy. Have you thought about running a (make up something fun and relevant) contest on Instructables? That would make me more excited about (your brand). Anyone on the about page can help you do something more fun."


I wonder sometimes, it you are endorsing / supporting stuff could it be marked as such? I have seen things Featured the are on the periphery of this area if not actually inside it.


I'd imagine endorsing a product is fine (most of the instructables that require robot parts or chips endorse specific brands / stores), but only if it's one of a number of necessary parts. Someone who builds a robot that can "only" use parts from one online store is going a bit overboard, especially since many of the rare part stores have referral deals. However, I'd say this would only go for an independent publisher - any company or employee that posts should avoid endorsing their own material or they really risk spamming.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of directly lifted pages. But, to be fair, some are very well written - well enough to merit themselves an instructable page and not just a forum post (your example would better grace a forum, I'd say - it was professional, but rather light on any information). I think in cases like that, I'd just say flag as inappropriate and let the admins sort it out - there might be enough info for some people's tastes and hopefully someone will find the page useful.

In that case it was featured, so it looks like an approved endorsement, I'd like that acknowledged as such rather than just concluding that it must be the case.


We're generally happy for people to reproduce stuff off their own website - this kind of thing needs to meet the same standards for interesting/useful as any other Instructable. There's nothing inherently wrong about linking to your website, blog, Etsy store, etc so long as the Instructable can stand alone on its own merits. The example you gave is a general, big-picture overview, but if there were no links would you find it a problem? That's the test.

That example was essentially a magazine article, big-picture overview it was. For good instruction on making one it couldn't, as you'd need a suite of I'bles.
And it was republished / reproduced. I'm not sure what's acceptable vs endorsed sometimes, which was why I made the original comment.


What about huge piles of non-branded video?

Examples? If you see a massive dump of videos all from the same user, that's what this article is talking about. Exercise a little thought and judgement. Look at the user's profile. Do they appear to be from a real, legitimate company? Are the videos actually relevant to the I'bles community (not just your little K'nex corner)? If so, follow Canida's suggestions above. If not, if the user appears to be a spam-generator, then just flag 'em, and send a PM to Randy so he knows that you've done so, and who the offending user is.

I mean if the videos are legitimate, but are NOT from a company, what does ibles do?

We still unpublish them, and Randy re-publishes them at a more reasonable pace. No matter who you are, dumping a big pile of projects/videos/etc at once is obnoxious.

Oh ok, I assume that you skip the "Lee talking to the company" part in this case right?

Note to self: do NOT finish all my back logged projects over my vacation next week......j/k ;-) Like I will be lucky to finish one or two....

Any chance of a concrete-related contest soon, then?

Thirded! (Also taking notes on your excellent views and policy's)

That is exactly why suits are so awesome.

Hopefully! That would be awesome.