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."