iFixit is launching a global repair community today. Our goal: create a repair manual for everything, and empower anyone to fix anything.
Here are the highlights:
* We're opening up our guides to the world. Think Wikipedia, but for repair.
* Our platform is built from the ground up to make writing and using repair documentation easy.
* Both text and images are easily editable, and come with revision history.
* Reputation and badges reward participation, quality, and experience.
* You can get involved right now! http://www.ifixit.com
iFixit is well known as a valuable resource in the Apple community, and over the last seven years our free service manuals have enabled the repair of over a million devices. While that's a great start, we realize that we've just scratched the surface. There are millions, probably billions, of manufactured things that do not have accessible repair manuals.
We've developed a collaborative repair manual platform that makes it simple for anyone to share their expertise with the world. No one knows how to fix everything, but everyone knows how to fix something. We aim to collect all of that individual repair knowledge into one place and to make it freely available to everyone on the planet.
Our platform is built from the ground up to make writing repair documentation easy, and to make using it even easier.
Quality is critical in repair manuals, and we recognize that most polished service manuals will require the efforts of a group of people. That's why we've tried to make it easy for the community to transition guides from a rough first draft to high quality documentation over time. It's a snap to add notes and fix errors, and our reputation system rewards experience and quality, encouraging contribution.
Our manuals are highly regarded in large part because of their high-quality, informative step-by-step photographs. In a wiki repair manual, photos need to improve over time. We developed a vector image editor to overlay image markup on uploaded images, making it easy to call out screws, connectors, and other important features, connecting the images to the text. In a huge improvement over text-centric wikis, all images and markup have full revision history, making it easy to view and roll back changes.
There are a lot of advantages to moving repair manuals into a digital format. One of them is automated prerequisites. Anyone who has used a traditional service manual will be familiar with the challenge of prerequisites. Before removing one thing, there are three other things that are in the way and need to come out, which invariably requires searching through the manual to locate the necessary prerequisite instructions. To address this annoyance, we've added inline prerequisites. Guide authors can specify prerequisites for a guide, and they'll automatically be shown to the user before the new guide. If any of those guides have prerequisites, they'll be inserted in the right order as well.
Our society is manufacturing new products at an unsustainable rate, completely ignoring the waste stream it's generating. We must reduce our rapid consumption of devices and move past our throw-away culture. Repairing devices and extending their lifespans can go a long way toward fixing the problem.
We showed our vision to officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, and they were ecstatic. Andrew Fanara, Product Development Team Leader for the ENERGY STAR Program, commented that "the EPA would like to see more done about the growing e-waste problem, and iFixit has a novel, community-driven approach to make electronics work longer. We are encouraged by their solution, and are looking forward to observing the environmental impact of iFixit's platform."
Join us, and together we'll fix the world!