product advertisements disguised as instructables Answered


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I have come across a number of  instructables by people or groups selling a product or pushing for support for a particular product under development. Fair game, if they try to help to do something, but instead they preface their "problem solution" with the need to buy such and such piece of equipment. I have no problem with this approach, but sure wish such instructables  would be identified as "promotional instructables."  or at least be identified  at the beginning of the instructable as showing how this specific product is the answer to an identified intractable problem.


A similar question was posted a while back.

I renewed the topic but didn't hear anything back from the admins. Since then, I've included a few affiliated links in my parts list. For the record, I personally like when people provide links to the actual part (vs. a description) from McMaster, Ebay, Amazon, etc. The Amazon links can be affiliated or not...I don't really care. Once I have the part number and description, I can and do shop anywhere for the item.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've noticed a few postings that where total advertisements from beginning to end. For these, I agree with igorkholkin's comment below. One easy way to handle this from the admin side would be to not feature the instructable. In essence, this would be equivalent to shadow (ghost) banning the poster.

What I believe is that the authors must be free to express themselves and should have all the rights to customize their article according to their wish. What matters is the content, if its good and worthy then they are definitely sharing knowledge and ideas to others which i guess is the main objective of this platform. If he makes some profit from it let him do that, after all we all know that making stuff does need money to work it out and also the investment for the project could go high if we make mistakes or try attempting something cool and different. what I always think is that even if its a very small project it doesn't always means that the effort is less. supporting the authors is the best way to create a good instructable.

As a senior marketer: the best thing you can do as a consumer to discourage this behavior is not to buy the tools that are linked or mentioned. The links contain affiliate codes that track traffic and pay the poster.

But if the instructable is good enough, consider supporting that poster and do click the link / buy the product. As long as we're helping each other, it'll only improve the quality of the site overall :)

As I commented, I don't object to this practice, provided the instructable in fact does uniquely solve a problem and is clearly ID'ed as an advertisement. My objection is that many "marketing instructables" are flying under a false flag and are not clearly identified. What I am asking for is a clear identification of intent or even a special class of instructable. As a paying user of Instructables, I am looking for new ideas and concepts and | am usually quite disappointed when the instructable is in fact trying to sell something. There are innumerable ways you can advertise your product, without writing an instructable, but if you feel it is a good way, be honest about your intent. As a senior marketer, I am sure you agree with the concept of honesty in advertising.

Since when is advertising ever honest? :)

On a serious note, I don't see the issue. If people can be incentivized to create awesome content, so be it. Why do you care if someone makes money off their new ideas & concepts AND makes money off of it? Is there a good reason?

Can't agree.
Hidden ads like this or Instructables posted just to promote your companies product/store it wrong!
This website makes enough money by using their own ad system, we really should not tolerate Instructables with one purpose only and here it is money.
But instead they get featured and more.... :(

Flagged my comment above in the hope someone from the team wil speak up here and offer some explanations....

From what I understand, featured instructables can only be earned -

This website wouldn't exist without some sort of a business backbone. It actually does one of the best jobs of making sure its content is helpful, even if some of the work is driven by revenue-generation.

It would be nice if someone from the dev team or support could look into this.
Promoting something yu create is fine with me, but using money making link services to send people to their own online shop is just wrong!
Same when something is posted by people related to the company to simply advertise a new product.

Have to agree with the thread starter here.
Instructables is about making but not about promoting your products to make money.
Especially not if these companies enter contests with it, get featured!!! or otherwise promoted by Instructables.

I would like see a clear statement here on the topic of company driven Instructables for monetary purposes.

Can you give some links as examples please?
If it is like you say then I would say the site should act on it.
Instructables are about making things but not about promotin your website or other product to make profit.
With disguised advertisements I would have to consider moving on as I hate it when websites do this :(

Sure here are 3 from today, Monday Jan 15 at about 6:30 pm EDT.

Again, I am not opposed to the practice, rather that these
instructables be is different class or at least be clearly identified as from a
marketer or promoter of the product. Honesty is advertising right?

EISE4 Project : Learn How
to Realize a Voice Modulation Device


Remote Temperature Monitoring

For the first I have no objections, second only seems to use a link to some software used for the PCB, not perfect but people do it.
The last however is blatent money making as the author also used link encrypters that provide ads for money.