August 19, 2010 Events, Site News — Kyle Wiens

Repair is social. It always has been. I learned how to disassemble electronics from my grandfather, and my best friend’s dad helped me with my first RAM upgrade. We’re always teaching each other useful things. We have a lot of community members that are already members of groups — clubs, companies, university classes — in addition to helping out around here. Our new team feature will empower those groups.

Our master plan for fixing the world is simple:

  1. We make awesome tools to help you teach people how to fix things.
  2. You teach people how to fix things.
  3. Goto 1.

Clearly a critical part of this loop is helping people promote what they’re already doing — whether that’s a bike kitchen, a local repair shop, or teaching an IT class at a high school on the Isle of Man.

We just rolled out team support. Each team gets their own wiki page where they can share their mission, work on repair guides together, and show their general location with our brand-new map widget.

We spent quite a while thinking about what to call this. We originally called it “groups,” but that word is overly vague and doesn’t connote any sense of shared purpose. We chose the word “team” because it implies action toward a goal. Teams collaborate together to win, and every successful repair is a victory.

I learned a long time ago not to predict the variety of creative ways our members contribute to teach repair. I have no idea what sorts of teams people will form, but here are a few slightly-informed guesses: bike kitchens, community repair shops, car clubs, and repair businesses.

Team iFixit Members

Creativity works best under constraints, so here they are:

  • You can only belong to one team. ONE. That’s it, that’s all you get. No, I’m not taking bribes to let you into more than one team. (Unless that bribe is a Ducati 1098. Then we can talk.)
  • Anyone can create a team. We’ve got two varieties, open and invite only.
    • Anyone can join an open team. This might be useful if you want to collaborate with some folks to work on a collection of guides for a device, or if you’re an inclusive organization like a bike kitchen.
    • Invite only teams require a code to join. You can pass out this invite code to as many, or as few, folks as you’d like. This makes sense for companies that want all their employees on a team or for clubs that require local participation to join.
  • The team’s reputation is the sum of all its current members’ reputations. When you join a team, your reputation is added to theirs. Conversely, if you leave a team their reputation will drop — just like it would in the real world.

Each team gets their own wiki “about” page. You can write as much as you want, add images and markup to make it look professional, promote your business, write a manifesto, or write an ode to vacuum tubes. It’s up to you—wield this newfound power with wisdom.

Team iFixit's "About" Page

You can also set a location, enabling a little map widget on the right of the team profile. This has been requested a number of times, and we’re happy to oblige.

In case users are feeling left out by the love we’re devoting to the new team profile pages, we’ve also added user profile support. Everyone with a reputation over 200 can now customize their profile page and add their location. Andrew posted some interesting information about some of his recent projects over on his page.

iFixit does reasonably well in Google rankings, so this could be a useful way for you to take control of what’s visible online about you.

So what now? Well, you can view a (rather meager) list of existing teams, or create one yourself. Now get to it!

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