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What would help move you from Reader to Maker? Answered

Instructable authors love getting feedback from members.  We especially love it when someone builds the project we've made an Instructable for.  If you post a picture or a slideshow or a video... wow!  It makes us very very happy!

So, as a sister question to the "I Made It" Challenge Month contest I'm asking:

What would it take for you to make something and share a photo/video of it with the author?*

As an author I've tried to offer what meager rewards I can, offering special patches and a place on the 'Ible's own wall of fame for people who build them.  Building on that, here are some of my ideas to kick off the discussion.
  • Per Instructable Hall-Of-Fame.  Sort of a rogues gallery for each Instructable that would let writers reward awesome people who comment on their 'Ible. To be eligible you'd have to comment on the 'ible, and you'd have the option to decline being listed. 
  • Special 'I Made This' patches for authors to give. Each time a author publishes an 'ible they would get the ability to send a custom patch made from the 'ible thumbnail.  The "I Made This" patch would show up in their own category on  your profile page.
  • More Visible Rewards.  Connected to one or both of the above, if you do enough "I MAde It" tasks you could get a special medal/icon on your avatar to show you've made lots of stuff. (I know you didn't like the "pro" indicators, but maybe this will be different.  Not sure if this idea has come up before.)
  • What else is stopping you?  Is the process of posting an image or video too hard or confusing?  Are you intimidated to try to make something and share it?  Or do you have other reasons?
Do you have other ideas?  Do you like or hate these?  Comment here and hopefully the development team will see something they like.

*In addition to a contest.


What would it take for you to: a) make something, and 2) share a photo/video of it with the author? A job! As a 63 year old mechanical designer I struggle as there are no jobs for me here in Minnesota (where you are not hired as you're "Over-Qualified' even for a damn Mac D job (especially if you need a cane), and money is tight.) OK so much for venting, actually, I still design things and build what I can, but cost has really dampened that more then I like. Thankfully, a lot of what one finds here on Instructables is low-cost and innovative. It is Instructables that has brought many new ideas and projects into the public venue, and opened doors for all who come here to try new things and see what they can do. If anyone wants help on material selection, help in solving a mechanical problem, or the like, I'm open to give what aid I can for free. After nearly thirty years in the Industrial trades, I have a bit of knowledge and a host of tricks and tips to pass on to any who ask. I imagine they are a lot of folks who could do this and aid a host of new builders and dreamers who are just getting their feet wet as it were. Its just an idea, but those who know ought to teach, or help others who need a bit help to make and do new things. Passing on the knowledge is what makes us all better.

 It'd be good to have a tally system on the instructable itself.  
For example, 

"published Jan 13,2010"
"Made by 13 people "

You click the 13 link and it shows the members who made it and the pictures associated. 
I think that would be a great feature so that people no longer plague only the author for tips about the project. 


I love this idea! I often find usefull tips and alterations buried deep in the comments, it would be great if there was an easy link to take me to all the variations of a project.


A dedicated gallery for each where people who've made it can upload pictures would be AWESOME.

+2! That would definitely be a cool thing to have.

I was just thinking though. I would think that if there was a feature like this, people would abuse it. Maybe it would have to be approved by the author and would have to have picture with it to be added to the list.

I agree, It'd have to be moderated well....

Let's get someone on this! That'd be pro.

Love this idea, especially if the original author has some control over the content (i.e. adding captions, arranging/resizing submitted pics, etc.).

Rephrasing your question slightly:
What would it take for you to:
a) make something, and
2) share a photo/video of it with the author?
(working from the list I made for the contest... :)
a) Of the 8 things I can think of that I've made from Instructables, I've made 4 because I wanted/needed them and thought they were cool, and the other 4 just because I thought they were cool.

All eight used material that I had on hand or could get for less than $5 on my next trip to the store.

2) Uh, I guess I didn't really know I was supposed to. (dumb shrug)

I did once because I'd already taken pictures of the finished project for some other reason, and figured I might as well. The other 87.5% of the time, it never even occured to me.

None of the 'Ibles I made were yours, but could I have some candy anyway? :)

"2) Uh, I guess I didn't really know I was supposed to."

There's no "supposed to"--  You can do whatever you want!  The last thing I want to do is impose on people.  But authors love to hear back from people have made something. It helps make it all worthwhile for us.  Most of us make Instructables to share with people, and it can take a lot of work to make one so  it's very gratifying to see that it actually helped someone.  And the happier the authors are, the more 'ibles they make, and the better that is for everyone.

But of course do whatever you're comfortable with!

(Sorry, the vast crowds at Maker Faire completely ate all my candy.  Never underestimate a Maker Faire crowd!)

I should have used "it never even occurred to me" as my phrase heading for item #2. I meant to convey not a profound guilt over having suddenly discoverd a requirement that I have left unfulfilled (which guilt I do not feel), but an "Oh. Wow. Duh!" sort of feeling (which I do indeed feel).

Somewhere, I think there was something once or twice that said "Hey, if you wind up making the thing from an Instructable, it'd be cool if you told its author about in a comment, and even cooler if you could post a pic," but it doesn't really seemed to be emphasized like other stuff on the site.

I'm sort of suggesting an "I Made It!" Awareness-Raising campaign (with a Robot-colored ribbon!), or perhaps something similar but much more sensible.

(That's okay. Virtual candy is bad for my cyber-teeth anyway. :)

I like the patch idea.  Especially that the author "gets" the patch, because let's face it some of the more popular instructables would get made all the time and those authors would run out of their patches (if they are pro).  Also if some who isn't pro publishes an instructable, and someone makes it, that author wouldn't be able to give the person a patch, unless they got a pro membership.  Great Ideas!

This reminds me that I should get around to becoming a pro member...


Great Ideas Grathio, I'd love to have someone tell my how they liked my recipes, and what they did to make them suit their tastes.

We are actually working on building some of these features in the site. Of course I use "we" in the loose sense of the term since I am not actually building them and not exactly sure when, where or in what incarnation they will show up on the site. That said, having posted a ton of Instructables myself, I am anxiously waiting for the day that the "I made this" feature will magically show up on the testing server.

In the meantime, have you tried giving out candy? Most people like candy. I know that I like candy ;-)

 Thanks for the update!

And I have tried giving out candy. Didn't you stop by my booth at Maker Faire? (I know all those gumballs went somewhere...)

I wish I had! I was trapped at my own booth for all but the last 30 minutes of each day. I didn't get a chance to see much of anything.

I know exactly what you mean.  It was great to see everyone, but I didn't see any exhibits (or exhibitors) that didn't come to my booth. (Though we did close shop early on Sunday to catch OK Go and Arc Attack, which was well worth it.  With apologies to the people who came by my booth late.) 

 The royal "We" is always appropriate for his greatness.

Your humble and loyal ibler peon.

I am a noob, but I built one, and I signed up so that I could show some slides and post a link to the "orig-ible." The inspiration that has come from this sight, is that I have built and organized a covered workspace, and most importantly, I think about available materials before I buy anything like a bike rack, or a shelf. 
good show!

For me:
Finding the materials for a cool Instructable is sometimes the hardest thing.

A patch for making something is still possibly the best idea, but I'd like it if you could have part an extra part of your profile page with a list of everything you've built with an associated picture, so people viewing your profile can see.

To be brief: I make things. I show them here (I've a lot not-really-finished or even started, but I've been working on something Lego tonight).
Publishing is it's own reward, esp. if you're looking at something sub-standard that was only published because a person wanted to publish something...


Let's see...

Hall of fame?  Not my style.

I already make my own patches (it's not hard, even if you have poor photoshop skillz).  How about being given a handful of patches (2? 5?) with every project you publish, to award to people who post photos of their take on your project?

More visible rewards?  Again, not my style.

What else?
  Posting projects and videos couldn't really be much simpler (unless maybe Eric could come round and do it for us?)

Overall... I'd go with the patches.  I'd be happy to create a generic "Made It" patch, if anybody wants one to use, though there are others with far greater design skills than I have.

In fact, I feel inspired!  The first one i9s a JPG, the second two are PNG

Feel free to use or ignore...

Patch MADE IT.jpgPatch MADE IT 2.pngPatch MADE IT.png

8 years ago

Sure, I'd love to give out special patches to people who made my stuff.  Actually, I should really be doing this already...

Well, a major reason for me is the fact that last summer my digital camera was run over by a big white van full of people.  So yeah.  It was a Canon Powershot SD850 IS with CHDK installed.  I loved that camera.  It took beautiful pictures, was easy to use, and had the best features of any "point and shoot" I had seen.  I loved that camera.  Sadly I've not had the money to replace it.  You know I should check ebay.  At only 8.0  MP it's probably pretty cheap now.


8 years ago

I have always wanted an "I made this" feature. Right under the "Favorite it" button, you could click it. Or you would have to post a pic in the comments and the author would grant you with a "I made this" badge on your profile page. There are so many 'ible's that I've made and want to share with people, but there isn't any way to share it other then posting pictures. I like randofo's candy idea. I like candy too :D

Maybe you could introduce a "testing" category where people can post test instructables. I thought it would be harder to publish an instrucable than it actually is, and I almost didn't bother signing up because of this. So maybe a test category where people can test the instructable interface and see that it's incredibly easy to use.

Anything I make that I find one ibles I post a comment saying what I thought of it. For example.... I made this. I try to encourage people to post pictures when they leave a comment enthusiastically declaring they're going to make it. Not seen any pics so far :(

When I make something, I think it is only right to share a photo with the originator.