Author Options:

Writing an Instructable based on another Instructable - What's acceptable? Unacceptable? Answered

If I learn to do something from someone else's Instructable, can I then write a more detailed/expanded Instructable about it? Hypothetical (and rather silly) example: Suppose that John Q. Ible is the author of an Instructable on "How To Make the World's Greatest Widget Out of Dryer Lint and Gum Wrappers." I read it, get enthused, and make a couple World's Greatest Widgets for myself. Although John's Instructable is pretty good, I find myself wishing that he'd had a few more steps detailing just how to combine the lint with the wrappers, that he'd said more about how adding toothpicks can make the W's Greatest W even Greater, and that he'd included a warning about walking and chewing gum at the same time (I escaped serious injury, but still... ). Is it okay to write my own Instructable with all the stuff I wish John's Instructable had included? Should I credit John in the Intro? Do I need to PM him with an offer to collaborate on the expanded Instructable? I'd be adding new, original material; but the whole thing would be based on John's idea & method - what's the etiquette on this sort of thing?


Yes, absolutely. There are multiple right ways to do something. This is totally encouraged. Just link to the inspiring Instructable and show us your take on how to do it.

(Danger: Rant Ahead. Proceed with Caution (or hit "Page Down" key).)

For the love of Pete when he's sitting in the coal scuttle and crying out loud, how in the stark raving Dickens is a person supposed to find something like that???

I've read Instructables on writing Instructables until I could no longer tell them apart. I've read the links in the Instructables Robot's Greeting to Newbies on other peoples Orangeboards (his (her? its?) Welcome Wagon apparently having cracked an axle on the way to my "You" page (about which I am genuinely not especially bothered)). I've tried the "Search" box (it turns out that searching a site called "Instructables" for the term "instructables" is not very helpful in the way of targeted results). I've scanned any parts of the FAQ's (after I accidently stumbled across them) that seemed like they might be relevant. (I think there's also a Guide on Writing Instructables, and I've read everything it linked to; but at this point I can't remember for sure.)

I've even had a stab at reading the Works Of Kiteman, but was defeated by sheer volume.

Don't get me wrong, I like this site - I love this site. But (spoken through gritted teeth) It Just Can Be A Bit Frustrating Sometimes Trying To Find Stuff On it.
(I'm sure that the Sitemap would make it very easy to find things, but I haven't been able to find the Sitemap yet.)

(End of Rant. We now return you to normal civil discourse.)

Wow, thanks, NachoMahma! :) :) :)
That's a great link and very helpful, and I'd never have been able to find it on my own. :)

In my own defence, the Laws started as a joke - somebody else got the admins to rename my original topic.

They have proven popular, but are not an official site policy, so they aren't "stickied" anywhere.

(Volume? I've only written around 80 projects...)

(... and a just a few comments on projects other have written, an "Answer" or two, and the odd Forum comment here and there... ) (I'd try to put this into small font to match yours, but I'm really not up for finding stuff on this site just at the moment. :) You see, the thing is that standard actuarial tables indicate that I probably only have 40 or 50 more years of life expectancy; and, while devoting my remaining time on the planet to an attempt to read the Complete & Unabridged Works Of Kiteman would be a worthy and noble endeavor, someone around here has got to feed the cat from time to time....

Put a pair of commas before and after to make stuff small (see?)

Oooh, cool! (As George Carlin said) "Let's get small!" :)

Oh, I've just counted on my fingers - if I printed them out as PDFs, comments included, it's probably around 500 pages!

> somebody else got the admins to rename my original topic . How scandalous! There should be a law against such behavior.

. Yep, the site search leaves a lot to be desired. Your question comes up often, so I have Kiteman's Laws bookmarked. ;) If I need to do an advanced search, I'll use Google and the "site:instructables.com" option. If you don't know how to use "site:", click on "advanced search" and use the form. . Use the Feedback forum to make suggestions for improvements.

On the right of most Instructables you'll find (more info), click it, read the license, probably 90% of people use Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) if so, give 'em credit in the intro, and use the same license, you are good to go.