Jul 27 2011
One of the old jokes in computer circles is when in doubt read the manual. The point being that most of the time people don’t read directions, they just start doing something and expect it to work out. As often as not they run into problems and get frustrated. It’s at this juncture that they may remember the adage that instruction manuals often have the answer they’re looking for. More typically they call a friend to help.
Not everything has a manual to read though. Sure you can find manuals for your cell phone, computer, or other gadgets. But who has a manual for how to throw a party, or fixing your car, or resolving legal questions? For these people might look online, ask a neighbor, or someone they know who’s an expert in it. Well now they don’t have to do any of that. They just need to go to StepStation. StepStation is your definitive guide of how-to steps for everything in life. In it you can find steps on everything from how to apply spray foam insulation to how to tie one’s shoes.
StepStation is organized into categories. That way people can know where to find steps for things they’re interested in. There’s art & entertainment, design, health & fitness, parenting, pets, and relationships to name a few. By selecting a category you’ll find the steps for various activities listed with the most recent guides first. There’s also a universal search tool if you know exactly what you’re looking for. In my testing I went directly to searching on, “How to get rich quick!” Unfortunately it didn’t return anything, which is probably an accurate overview on that topic anyway.
Searching for guides is helpful but the real fun begins when you contribute your own. StepStation is entirely supported by users submitting their step-by-step guides for areas they’re knowledgeable in. To add one just click the post new link. Here you can assign a topic for the title, select the category, and then add as many steps as you need to describe the activity. Each step contains a description and can have a file associated with it as well. Typically people would upload images to further illustrate that step. Once the steps are described all that’s left to do is enter keywords so people will find it when they search for it. From there you submit it and are all done. Once posted each guide has its own comment section. That way people can add their suggestions about the guide and continue the conversation.
The other aspect to StepStation is the Unanswered section. Here people can view or post topics that as of yet do not have step-by-step guides. People can submit their guides to help others out or ask others for things they don’t know about just yet. The Unanswered section is a particularly unique feature of StepStation. The web is full of Q & A forums but being able to respond to real questions people may have with complete guides is unprecedented. Currently one topic that caught my eye was how to study. Oh that I might have learned how to do that earlier. Some of us are destined to learn certain things the hard way.
StepStation is a recently launched site that promises to be the definitive guide on how to do everything. It’s a creative way for people to share their knowledge and helpful for people who’d like some guidance. With it people can both learn new things and help others along the way.