Our first Wikithon
(A slightly tardy report - sorry about that!)
For a long time we’ve wanted to get more people involved in contributing to the Restart Wiki. Unfortunately those who are passionate about fixing are often rather less keen on writing, even though they may love sharing their knowledge and skills. So as a gentle way-in we conceived a Wikithon.
Where did we start?
The Fixometer contains data on a large number of fixes. In some cases that might include information useful to people in the future facing similar problems. Our objective, then, was to identify any such information and see if it could usefully be added to the Wiki.
We had before us a data extract from the Fixometer consisting of those records containing comments which might be useful - some 50 rows in a spreadsheet shared on Google Docs. We all had read/write access.
What did we do?
On 17th December in the evening, a dozen of us got together online, initially in a voice conference session in which @James explained what we were going to do. A text chat session was open for the rest of the time - a couple of hours.
Each of us was encouraged to look through the fixes in the spreadsheet, allocate ourselves one by entering our name against it, then look at the comments. Did they contain anything which might be useful to someone with a similar problem in the future? Sometimes they just recorded a fairly standard diagnosis and repair rather than a “light bulb” moment. But if they did potentially contain some insight, was it something not included in the Wiki?
How did we get on?
A few of the participants who didn’t see themselves as fixers were doubtful as to whether they could contribute. But even a “Maybe” recorded against “Contains useful info?” was useful. For that they only had to recognise whether the fixer seemed to have learned anything, even though they might not understand the fix themselves!
The next step was to find a relevant Wiki page and see if it looked like what had been learned was covered. Again, a “Maybe” was a very valuable response from anyone who wasn’t a hands-on fixer.
Not all of us had ever dived into the Wiki and so the motivation to do so was valuable in itself. Even for those who are not themselves fixers, just an appreciation of the range of topics it covers would enable them to recommend it to fixers they might work with, perhaps as an event host.
Probably for lack of time, not much was achieved in terms of generating actionable suggestions for additions to the Wiki, though the absence of a page on TVs and Monitors was highlighted. This is something we were aware of, but nevertheless it was useful to have it highlighted.
Where to now?
There is still a fair amount of work to do in completing the review of fixes as well as checking and updating the Wiki, so any offers of help with that would be gratefully received. Something you could do a little of any time to fill a spare 10 minutes. Just reply to this thread and we’ll get you started!