Clever Things for Freetime: How Instructables.com Is Leading the Way

Everyone knows that person. The one who seems to have way too much time on their hands, always coming up with crazy and kooky ideas for everything on the planet. Well, these folks have found a new home to share their findings at the growing online community found at Instructables.com

Instructables.com is the web’s burgeoning online showcase of do-it-yoruself projects with pictures, videos, and step-by-step instructions to make the world’s most unique and fanciful gadgets, ideas, and innovations. If you want to learn how to make a teddy bear out of your remote, a Daisy Duke toolbox, a mechanical pencil staple shooter, or are on the search for the best pickle chip, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to do so on the site.

Instructables.com has taken the initiative on providing user-generated information and contributions in an easy format. Users of the site can post keywords relating to their findings, that helps the average surfer find and scan for the next project undertaking. ‘Geek culture’ is just one offshoot of this type of online show and tell; from today’s growing communities on MySpace.com and YouTube, thousands of consumers are jumping online to share their unique and diverse interests. Instructables.com takes it one step further by promoting the notion of step-by-step collaboration in one effective format.

You can literally find anything and everything on the Insructables.com website. The diverse make up of the contributions also allows for easy image uploads, and fun and sometimes useful gadgets that can be made at home with a few key materials. Ever wondered how to make a safe out of a whipped cream can? Wonder no more, with a slideshow of the steps, and user comments on their results found beneath the contribution.

The site catches a trend that goes beyond hobbies and pursuits. Devised by the creators of www.squid-labs.com, the vision for Instructables.com has been outlined by the following comments found on the websites ‘About’ section:

“We were impressed by the vision of the connection between information and the physical world – using highly connected information to richly describe experimental processes and physical objects. It implies an open source approach not only to the information, but to the physical objects that can be well described by information. “

Open source collaboration has indeed made significant progress in the last few years with online sites offering evermore opportunities for sharing information, ideas, and networking. Collaboration is a hot and timely topic, and social networking sites spawned from this very basis. Whenever you can create a community that attracts like-minded users to share, comment, and provide feedback on an ongoing basis, there is a higher chance of ‘net survival. Instructables.com is just one way to honor creativity and create user-controlled domains for basic hobbies, fun and games. Show and Tell isn’t just for kindergarten class anymore, and it’s becoming an online trend that could lead to greater innovations, as a tool for generating consumer interest, and possibly even giving value to the neighborhood basement inventor or scientist’s crazy ideas!

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