Our buddy Kyle at iFixIt.com has just announced a beta version of iFixIt Answers, a collaborative repair community for gadgets. It might be a great resource for friends and family who can’t figure out how to work the TV remote.
How does it work?
You ask a question on Answers and then can follow as folks help out and answer your questions. This also creates a database of answers for multiple devices including MacBooks, iPods, and Sony laptops. It’s a good idea because Kyle has a great following of DIYers and most of them aren’t out to troll the forums with dumb questions or answers.
Here’s his mission:
Answers is a natural progression from our successful forums. The community will have complete control over the content on Answers, and the system will be collaboratively managed by you, and other people like you. Every question and answer can be voted on by anyone and edited by members of the community.
As we were designing Answers, we had four guiding imperatives:
1. It’s important that posts get more useful over time. It’s not uncommon for a traditional repair forum response to become the canonical source for an answer to a problem, only to get outdated and stagnant as technology changes.
2. It’s important that we recognize expertise. It matters if the author of an answer is a professional technician, or has helped 200 people fix their problems.
3. It’s important to make helping people fun. There’s a rush that comes from helping someone solve a tricky problem, being recognized by people for the research you put into a question before asking it, or testing your hardware diagnosis mettle against others.
4. And most important, we need to close the feedback loop between the people answering questions and those asking them. Repairing things is uniquely tangible — when you use a solution proposed by someone, you know for a fact whether or not it worked. Finding out that the answer you gave someone actually fixed their problem is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Want to try it? Pop over here, create an account, and get cracking. He’s opened up the Beta to CrunchGear users and he’s curious to know what you think.