Linking volunteers to specific repairs


Now we have repairers in the system, we have the opportunity to link individual volunteers to specific repairs. This could present some opportunities such as providing people with individualised stats on e.g. waste and CO2 diverted, most seen, most repaired devices, etc.


  • Concerns around liability. In an event where there was an accident with a device fixed at an event, some are cautious of having our DB being a source of fact as to which individual worked on a particular device. Couple with the fact that not all groups have adequate insurance at present (something we’re looking at with a group insurance policy we can help groups get set up with), this needs to be thought through.
  • Do individual Restarters want to be linked to individual repairs?
  • Are individual Restarters interested in individual stats? Some definitely are, some are not as bothered.
  • Quite often more than one Restarter works on a particular repair. How do you calculate stats in those cases?

Design decisions

With regards to liability, probably the safest option is allowing volunteers to link themselves to a repair. Rather than making it a hard and fast requirement in the system. However, does it then need to be confirmed by a host? Or: allowing volunteers to opt-in to being allocated to a repair, then allowing the host to do so.

Volunteers could also ‘favourite’ repairs, which an individual volunteer could choose to interpret as meaning to themselves that they worked on it. It wouldn’t be very helpful for individual stats, though.

A question related to this - should all volunteers from a given event be able to edit all of the devices at that event? That chimes with the community spirit of repair events, but it does open it up to the possibility of one person’s contributions being erroneously amended by someone else. Some options for this would be: allow multiple ‘responses’ per device (but that complicates data analysis afterwards); have an ‘edit history’ of that devices, similar to how a wiki would do, so one can see who has made certain amendments.

In the early days of the Fixometer, when we were interviewing potential users, we asked if individual users would be motivated by “badges” - or recognition - for the number of fixes they were involved in and I remember the answer being a “meh” or a “no”. People said they would be more motivated by amusing or funny recognition, like badges for creativity or perseverance or something.

In of the last question about messy edits, I would be in favour of an “edit history” as opposed to more fields.

We’d also talked about allowing Restarters to “clap” for certain repairs, a bit like you can clap for posts on Medium.