178Views13Replies

Author Options:

Why is Instructables so great? Answered

Hi my name’s Padraig and I’m doing an online ethnography project for one of my modules in college. I’m a member of this site and I’m curious as to whether or not everybody else agrees that the site facilities this kind of D.I.Y. activity far better than traditional person-to-person social groups, oh and also, of course, why you enjoy using instructables and that sort of thing.

Like I said I’m a student, I’m not some sleazy market researcher, I’m really interested in instructables as a community and would hugely appreciate any replies to my questions. Answer whatever you like and feel free to add anything you think is worth mentioning.

1 - What is you age, gender, general location?

2 - How often would you say you visit the site?

3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion?

4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand?

5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline?

6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why?

7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum?

8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)?

9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion?

10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals?

11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities?

Cheers.  

Discussions

0
None
AngryRedhead

7 years ago

I'm guessing you did not go through the IRB process, and I would highly recommend it if only for experience. For a study such as this, you should be able to fill out a very simple form and get it approved in 1-7 days. Your university/college may also require you to go through the IRB for this study since this is not an observational study or an oral history. The experience and approval will serve to your advantage in one form or another.

0
None
Bearch

7 years ago

Just like to say thanks for a the replies it be a big help for understanding the community. The questions were phrased strangely, that's my bad, but I wanted them to be informal.

0
None
Tool Using Animal

7 years ago

1 - What is you age, gender, general location?

Male 40 central florida

2 - How often would you say you visit the site?

hourly

3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion?

meh, not as often as others, more than some.

4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand?

No, I rarely make other peoples projects. maybe 3 total over the years

5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline?

I've more people see it, but I've always built things.

6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why?



7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum?

Just one, me and Trebuchet at a Panera, years ago.

8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)?

Rarely

9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion?

I only compete against myself.

10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals?

I'm kinda not sure, to me "support network" is something for when you have cancer or your wife leaves you, not DIY.

11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities?

Since I have no idea who they are, no ;-)  But there does seem to be a cult of kiteman.

0
None
BearchTool Using Animal

Reply 7 years ago

Good point about the "support network", I maybe phrased that question a little oddly.

0
None
trike road poet

7 years ago

1 – 64, male, Minnesota (USA)

2 – Often Daily (to see what’s new)

3 – I read the discussions often, add something if I can, and learn from all.

4 – Absolutely, also, one can connect with the poster and glean new information or troubleshoot a project, seriously of value.

5 – Not sure, as I’m as crazy off-line as on, (just the way I am.)

6 – Human perversity and experience.

7 – Haven’t had the chance…yet.

8 – See number seven.

9 – Be it a competitive set, or that laid back thing, this site allows for both, and is one of its strengths.

10 - Yes

11 – Of course, also they are guides and proof of the possibilities. Decent role models if you will.

0
None
The Ideanator

7 years ago

1 - 19, male, southeast michigan

2 - Multiple times a day

3 - Occasionally, I'm usually in the IRC chat room though.

4 - Possibly, I was making things for as long as I can remember, but instructables has definitely helped me build some skills

5 - Absolutely

6 - The internet is a great way of providing a proverbial level playing field

7 - I would if I found any near me.

8 - Yes, frequently(does IRC count?)

9 - It provides an atmosphere of both, differing in the amount at times, and it is a good thing IMO

10 - Yes, very much so

11 - Yes, but I'm more in the technical side of the site so I don't see their stuff much

0
None
Kiteman

7 years ago

I’m curious as to whether or not everybody else agrees that the site facilities this kind of D.I.Y. activity far better than traditional person-to-person social groups
This kind of group simply does not exist in the UK.

If anybody gets into Making over here, it is often "at their father's knee".

I was not a Maker until I found Instructables. The site made a maker of me.

0
None
MichelMoermansKiteman

Reply 7 years ago

Couldn't agree more. Here in Belgium this sort of movement doesn't excist either. Hell I'm still trying to locate a workshop that has tools I can rent so I don't have to buy them but I haven't yet. I learned much from my father and I'm still learning today but I didn't begin seriously building and creating stuff untill I found this site. It really has changed my life, for the better :)

0
None
PKM

7 years ago

1- Male, 24, southern UK

2- Roughly once or twice a day (less at weekends)

3- Yes, I try to give constructive answers or helpful suggestions to questions (and enjoy the works of the pun squad)

4- Perhaps not directly, but it definitely inspires/motivates me to make more complex things

5- No, but it does allow to me express myself to a greater extent than any other online community I've come across

6- Good question... probably because the site is about people- you can't help but let a little of your personality show through the way you write an Instructable, for instance.

7- Yes (but infrequently)

8- Yes, mostly because of gmjhowe's efforts

9- The only competition I have experienced is in competitions :)  Seeing impressive things others have made doesn't make me jealous, it just motivates me to improve the quality of what I make

10- It offers a support network in that I know where to come when I have specific questions about a few topics.  See TUA's answer about a "social" support network- I consider making friends through the site to be more to do with the people involved than the site itself.

11- I'm not sure about the phrase "cult of celebrities".  There are recognisable faces who acquire some degree of notability, but I wouldn't use the words cult or celebrity.   (The possible exception would be the "Guide to Kiteman" et al :) )

0
None
jeff-o

7 years ago

1 - Male, 28, Ontario, Canada

2 - Ummm... hourly.

3 - I'm answering this, aren't I? So, yes.

4 - Yes, I often find myself "checking Instructables" before attempting various ideas or repairs.

5 - It's a convenient outlet, but I'd probably be making stuff even without Instructables. But, no-one but family would ever see what I made. So, yes and no.

6 - It's the social aspect of it - I have little time to socialize in the "real world" so it's nice to visit when I'm able to (late at night, breaks at work) to talk about things I've made or things others have made.

7 - No, I've not come across events in my area yet.

8 - Usually no, unless someone emails a question about a project.

9 - For the most part I try to stay laid back and just make cool things. But I'll admit, I'm also rather competitive, so I usually have a few goals for anything that I publish - it should be good enough to be featured, and hopefully get lots of views. In general I won't publish anything that isn't top notch, but that's self-imposed.

10 - There are a few folks here who I'd consider more than just acquaintances. I'd like to increase that number...

11 - Sure, there are a few infamous/prolific members here, as there are on any online community.

0
None
MichelMoermans

7 years ago

1 - What is you age, gender, general location?

20 years old, male, Belgium (Europe)

2 - How often would you say you visit the site?

12 times a day

3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion?

Often, I only participate when I have something usefull to say but yeah people know me here :)

4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand?

The site is a great support and activation tool to make sure you invent new things and actually make them as well.

5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline?

Yes, not much people I know are DIY'ers so it's nice to get to talk to people who understand me in this case.

6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why?

Answer above

7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum?

If those events would be in my near surroundings I would. Unfortunaltly they are not

8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)?

No

9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion?

I have experienced both. At first when I started here the competition to win a contest was really big. Now I understand that there are just better crafters here who have more time and money to spend on bigger projects while I have to think about both as I am a student. I have no doubt however that later in life I can reach these people's level. I think it's good, competition makes people give their very best within their abilities and improves said abilities.

10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals?

Yes certainly. I have met my share of good friendly people on this site and am very happy for it.

11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities?

I don't know who those people are but I would say I know who the regulars are like Lemonie, Kiteman, etc.

0
None
Jayefuu

7 years ago

Here are the answers to your questions, though your answers will no doubt be skewed, since the only ones that will fill it in are likely to be one tight corner of the user group.

1 - 22, Male, UK

2 - Daily.

3 - Yup

4 - Yes

5 - Mmmmm... no. I show my friends offline my projects too.

6 -

7 - Same as Kiteman :)

8 - Instructables IRC chatroom, some in google chat, and in a google group.

9 - Friendly competition with "friends" on the site yes.

10 - Yup

11 - Every site has its regular/prolific users. So yes.

0
None
Kiteman

7 years ago


1 - 42, Male, UK

2 - Several times a day..

3 - Oh, yes.

4 - Yes

5 - Not really, but the site's existence gave me an outlet for my shedliness. I do a lot more Making now than before discovering the site.

6 - n/a

7 - Yes (next UK Instructables meet)

8 - Yes - I'm in a google group with some, and exchange emails with a few others. I don't really "do" social sites or chatrooms.

9 - There is a small element of competition on a day-to-day basis, but nothing political-stab-in-the-back style. It's laid-back competition, if you like. I do see competitiveness between the K'NEXers. The competitions themselves are very good, stimulating a lot of great projects.

10 - Definitely.

11 - There are "faces", certainly, who attract actual fans, but most that I know of are also active in the forums, interacting with people. A small number of regular (or once-regular) contributors have large fan-bases that have followed them from elsewhere (eg Kipkay).