Instructables is a community site with detailed tutorials about almost everything - from useful, technical objects to completely bizarre ones. It's a place of unlimited creativity, wild ideas and large amount of real knowledge. The whole history of the site was published as an instruction to "How to start a business".
The site was created in 2005 by <a href="http://bigthink.com/ericwilhelm" rel="nofollow">Eric Wilhelm</a>, an engineer and a co-founder of <a href="http://www.squid-labs.com" rel="nofollow">Squid Labs</a>. At first is was aimed at helping people improve and build useful household appliances, but as the number of users grew, they started adding ideas that went beyond the original setting. Now, the categories of instructions include food, art, garden, sports, and things for kids and pets.
<p>The content of the site depends on the users - they are the ones who come up with the ideas, write down instructions, add pictures and then comment, rate and discuss them. Adding new content is very well organized, and the site guides every step and offers good advice about how to make the content attractive (good photos) and easy to follow (complete each step, use spell check). The editor is user friendly, and allows for importing photos from one's computer, Flickr accound, or the personal Instructables gallery. Once uploaded, the tutorial takes up a clear form on the site, which shows each step at a time. The user can decide to read about the steps in order, or jump from one to another, or simply glance at the thumbnails - which saves time. </p>
<p>Apart from uploading theory own tutorials, users can explore and comment those that are there already, rate or flag them and take part in forum discussions.</p>
<p>The site also hosts many contests, that boost the creativity of the users, and allow their collective mind power to improve the world by for example inventing new ecological energy sources. Those who take part in the contests get the opportunity to win fame and job opportunities along with real prizes (a sewing machine for the Mother's Day contest, or a bicycle wheel light for the electricity contest).</p>
<p>The site is designed in a professional and friendly way, with lots of humor. Navigation is easy, despite the enormous amount of content. Bright colors make the important elements clearly visible, and pleasant fonts help with easy reading. Dynamic banners show photos of featured instructibles, but don't distract the viewer from the content. The whole design is very modern and pleasant to look at. </p>
<p>Instructibles is one of those internet communities, which devour the user's time in a creative, and imaginative way. Exploration of this site can show you, that there are almost no limits to human inventiveness, and give you a lot of ideas you can easily apply in your own life. The topics range from trivial things, (like making clear <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/make-crystal-clear-ice%21/" rel="nofollow">ice-cubes)</a>, through everyday activities (<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Frankenstein-Finger-Cookies/" rel="nofollow">baking</a> cookies, sawing) to things that could save the environment (<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/New-Innovation-in-Construction-using-Waste-Plastic/" rel="nofollow">recycling plastic</a>).</p>