This guest post is written by Philip Le Riche, Wiki Community Coordinator
Around 5 years ago when Restart consisted of just a few dozen Londoners, it was evident that the sum of the expertise of all the volunteers was much greater than that of any one of us. So we decided to set up a shared space where we could pool our knowledge and experience – a kind of Wikipedia for repair! In fact we decided to use the same technology as Wikipedia, making it easy for any volunteer to contribute.
The idea was not replace or try to recreate iFixit or other resources that help with specific products, but instead to concentrate on basic and widely applicable principles and methods.
We already have some 50 pages, so far created by just a few people, but Restarters.net is now firmly established with hundreds of members. This gives us the opportunity to fulfil the ambition we’ve always had, to draw on a much wider pool of experience and greatly broaden the authorship.
The doors are flung open!
There have always been links to the Wiki from both The Restart Project website and Restarters.net but we have recently improved the level of integration. Now, any Restarters.net member can contribute directly, whether to add brand new content, to update, correct or improve existing material, or simply to correct a typo (there are a few of those!).
How will this work?
Initially, edits will be moderated so as to ensure continued accuracy and quality and to maintain a consistent style. But anyone who demonstrates an ability to contribute valuable content expressed in coherent English will be eligible to become an unmoderated content editor. (Those who previously had that status continue to have it.)
Perhaps you don’t feel confident to add new content, or you’re not sure but you think something in there isn’t quite right or something is missing. We still want your contribution! Every page has an associated Discussion page in which you can record any ideas and queries. Remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question!
Help us spread the joy of repair
Currently, there are several specific pages which only exist as a skeleton page or need substantial additional work. In particular the Clocks page needs sections to be added on fixing to complement those on the theory. Fans and fan heaters, Garden power tools and Grooming products are all just skeletons. If you know about any of these, then feel to start writing! Or if you just have one or two tips to contribute or questions you need answers to, then there’s the Discussion page.
We’re also going to start adding support for other languages. If you can help translate pages, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch!
The Wiki represents a tremendous resource which draws in a significant number of visitors, many of whom may never have heard of Restart. Some of them might even be inspired to join our community. So let’s make it a real treasure trove of repair information!