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Zeitgeist, Randomizer, Community Blog, and more! Answered

We just released a bunch of sweet new features and added more cool stuff to the homepage.

- Zeitgeist is originally a German expression that means "the spirit of the age", literally translated as "time (Zeit) spirit (Geist)". It describes the intellectual and cultural climate of an era. Our Zeitgeist sorting orders Instructables, Slideshows, and Videos by the most recent comments, so you can see what people are talking about right now! On the homepage, the Zeitgeist section shows featured Instructables with the most recent comments. Zeitgeist is essentially the way we've been sorting forum topics.

- You can sort forum topics by "featured" or by total number of replies. Yes, Random fun is still in the lead.

- Featured forum topics appear on the homepage forming our Community Blog. We're using the Community Blog to share stuff we find interesting that isn't necessarily related to Instructables. We'll post about local events, new really interesting research, cool websites, and anything else that we find captivating. If you've got something you'd like to share on the Community Blog, write a forum topic and ask us to feature it.

- A captcha is now required to send personal messages. This will stop PM spammers dead in their tracks. Yes, Instructables has grown big enough that spammers are trying to PM large numbers of the community - this right of passage for our website makes me shed tears of joy - or something.

- Your sorting options will now follow you around while you explore. On the explore page, if you click "recent" to see the latest items and then, for example, click a keyword, to drill down on a subject, or the Slideshow tab, to see Slideshows, that list will still be sorted by recent.

- Clicking Randomizer will give your random results within your browsing category. Discover cool Instructables you've never seen before, or resurface old gems!

- Finally, we improved the login process: Click the "login" link in the upper right, and you can log in right there on the same page.

I'm having a lot of fun with Zeitgeist; let us know what new features you really like, and please report any bugs you find.


Hello everybody at 'instructables', I am searching for information: May I use an instructable tutorial on my blog? If yes, do I copy and paste it? It's supposed to serve as a free service to my readers. Greetings, Barbara in Africa

Every Instructable has its own copyright permission as determined by the author of the post. You can find these permissions on the menu on the right-hand side of the page. If you are still unclear, it is best practice to ask the author of the Instructables for permission by sending them a private message.

I don't understand how this "Featured" thing works ... :o/ When I click "Forums->Featured", various topics appear, including the most recent ones (including mine, despite I did not ask for it to be "featured") ...

That's a bug. The sort by featured forum topics isn't working right now; we'll have it fixed, probably by Monday. For now, you can see the last 5 featured forum topics on the homepage.

You can asked to be featured?

I'm very picky about what gets featured, because those things appear on the homepage. Also, between myself and the rest of the people here who can feature, we check out every Instructable, so typically there's no need to ask for something to be featured.

Just saw the captcha in a PM I just sent someone. Works pretty well, and it is a great idea.

Sweet! I love having the ZeitGeist and featured forum topics on the homepage. It makes it much easier to keep me on the site for more time that I have.... wait.... that isn't a good thing... (for me, at least). Damn... Instructables is getting very similar to youTube in that it is now ridiculously addicting... Could you somehow add in a timer that limits how long a user can browse? Thanks ;-P

Sure thing! We'll set it at 14 hours to start. How's that?

At one of the Maker Faires, someone told us the first time they found Instructables, they didn't get away from their computer until 14 hours later.

OH... wow.... haha Yeah, 14 hours sounds like a good time limit... (On my college apps, I considered Instructables an extracurricular activity. They asked for appx hours a week, so I put 45.. I think I may have underestimated...)

Haha! I don't feel so bad, now... Normally, unproductivity kills me... I guess I hang around here a bit more than I think...

I love the word zeitgeist! My friend and I were in a Java class one year, and decided to make the name of our new project the first word that appeared on the word of the day. Lo and behold, it was zeitgeist. Ever since, the word has lived on in infamy. Cheers to utilizing this vocabulary gem!

Yay! We've been trying to figure out Zeitgeist. Does it only update every 10 minutes or so?

Features = good :D

Yeah, it takes a little time for the Robot to herd all the hamsters into the wheels to make the system run...

I was assuming it was old cheese in the cache, and the hamsters had no incentive to run. Close enough, I guess.

Saw all of these, looks great! And the Featured forum topics was a great idea! :-)


10 years ago

<3 the login system! it adds more incentive to login. =)

Woo hoo! Featured forum topics!

Oh Ja! Ich liebe ZeitGeist! Danke schon!

These are all super cool :D Loving the featured forum topics :D