Getting started with any new endeavor can be an intimidating adventure. Use the following wikis to help set up and grow your community repair organization and events. Please note that everything in this wiki is just to better inform your decisions. Don't feel like this is a definitive list of to-do items for your nascent community.
Fixit Clinic has a comprehensive page for starting a Fixit Clinic at fixitclinic.blogspot.com/p/start-one_13....
Taking a page from an internationally acclaimed personal finance expert, we want to propose people first, then the space, then the tools. People come first because they will shape what your optimal space will look like and also help determine what spaces will be suitable and acceptable, even if they're not optimal.
Sometimes, the best way to find out who's interested in community repair is to host an event and see who shows up. But that can be exceptionally intimidating to some, so here are a few ideas about where to find like-minded people who might be interested in sparking the movement locally:
- Similar Events
- Local Government
- Community repair is a civic-minded green living activity. Pitch the idea to your local elected officials and see what suggestions they might have. Local elected officials can be invaluable resources for funding, venue selection, marketing, or finding collaborators and participants.
- The Internet
- See if there are any local meetups that would be interested in helping.
- Some sites are devoted to the art of repair. You're surfing one of them right now at iFixit.
- Others may focus on a particular subject. Badcaps.net devotes its postings towards diagnosis, testing, and replacement of radial electrolytic capacitors.
While shaping your nascent repair community, keep your objectives, values, and philosophy in mind. These foundational beliefs will shape the future of your community.
Low-cost (or even free) venues are best for hosting a community event.
A few venue ideas:
- Community or Recreation Center
- School gym
- Public library
- Art gallery
- VFW or American Legion hall
- Cafes and coffee shops
Some groups have even chosen to meet in a public location on a very regular basis just to get momentum going and slowly build membership. Just remember you're all guests of the venue, so be respectful. Nothing can get you thrown out of a sandwich shop faster than the scent of soldering flux ad the sight of smoke surrounding you. Make sure first-time visitors can also spot you when they arrive. Unusual and non-intrusive props are great for this purpose, like a Maker Faire badge, a turn-of-the-century wood plane, or some other eye-catching conversation piece.
Get your tools in order! We would advise at least two sets of tools. One set is the set you'd see at your permanent space. The other set is a "road-show" set, which you would take if you will be in a space other than your permanent space (like that coffee shop). A third set of tools would be "ultra-portable" if your "road-show" set isn't. You can tote this set in a messenger bag, purse, or backpack and will come especially handy for those road-shows where you can't put down your tools because you may not have a set of tables to call your own.
For the "ultra-portable" set, we'd recommend a screwdriver set. iFixit's 54-bit driver set comes very handy, especially for some iPhone repairs. Guitar picks make for wonderful pry tools. A butane-powered soldering iron with a string of solder and some soldering braid can get people through the most basic soldering needs. Needle-nosed pliers, a hobby/craft knife, and a small tube of an adhesive like super-glue can round out your "ultra-portable" set.
Before you begin any kind of public outreach, make sure you have a web presence. This way, you can easily direct people to learn more online.
Reach out to all local news organizations to see who is interested in covering this piece of local color. There are so many reasons why community repair is an exciting story to talk about.
Formalize your repair community to ensure long-term viability of the organization.