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how to get the RepRap.org website to draw in community and content. (was Re: Open Source Reprap contract)

Posted by BeagleFury 
> So, now we have to think about how to get the RepRap.org website to draw in community and content.

> Ideas?

1. Clarify what can or cannot be done with the hardware created by RepRap and how GPL applies to hardware devices. Maybe state explicitly that GPL applies only to software or data files, and state the license allowed for the hardware creations made from the data (some creative commons licenses can adapt to hardware more easily than GPL...). -- Caters to people who want to contribute but may have different philosophical ideals about what other people can or should not do to what they've created, whether you agree with them or not.

2. Create easy to use 'snapins'. Rather than forcing a user to edit a prebuilt template, let them choose one of two or three 'basic' patterns, and then prompt them for the each specific section: "My name is : _____", "This devices is cool because ______", "Here are some instructions I used to build it: _____", "Here are some images I made to show you how cool it was: [upload another image...]". If you must use a 'one edit box only' template, reduce the size of the basic template compared to the few I've seen added so far; don't try to give them an idea of how amazing it can be later, just let them enter the basic information, with help and off page examples for how to make it look more awesome -- at the start, 3 sections at most, less than 1/2 page on any reasonable browser if they click save without adding anything. Don't scare users away before they even have a chance to type the first word into their new page.

3. Set up an easy to use object library interface, as above, ask for a few simple starter points, their name, a short description, an easy way to upload files, ... more advance editing should be left for after the fact (people don't like seeing walls of text-- they give up too early). Provide licencing options from the get-go, give them options beyond GPL (again, creative commons style seems a great idea to me, as this includes the options for GPL and BSD for software.)

4. Try to drumming up traffic from the artistic crowds. Tech geeks have cool ideas, but artistic types bring in large crowds too. See if there is any interest in collaborating with artist centric sites with lots of 3d art content, such as cgsociety.org, etc.

This discussion feels like a new topic, though.

[Edit: yup. This is now a new thread. --Sebastien Bailard]]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2010 06:36PM by SebastienBailard.
This forum has the ABSOLUTE worst software I have ever seen for a forum.
-No Avatars
-No imbeded photos
-No imbeded video
-No new posts link
-No new thread link
-No "ranking" of posters

I would love it if we went to a software package like nasaspaceflight.com, but that's just me.

As far as community and content, I would steal some points from makerbot.

-RepRap needs a "front man" for US, and EU. Someone who has the personality to be a front man (like Bre at makerbot). Someone who has time and inclination to run the interview circuit (someone from one of the great European hackerspaces?)

-Never underestimate the cute Youtube video. Only problem is how many of us have a REAL Reprap, as in RP parts, in the shape of a Darwin or Mendel, likely only 30-50 people. The rest of us have BfB, Makerbot, Ponoko, or Mcwire.

-Replication MUST become more common. I think this trumps heated plates, or anything else.

-How about some RepRap swag. I would buy a t-shrit, hat, and bumper sticker.


repraplogphase.blogspot.com
spacexula Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This forum has the ABSOLUTE worst software I have
> ever seen for a forum.
> -No Avatars
> -No imbeded photos
> -No imbeded video
> -No new posts link
> -No new thread link
> -No "ranking" of posters

Hear, hear!

Does anybody actually use the web interface to read new posts? And having to use a feedreader to follow everything (as I do), and using the site only to post is just silly. There has to be a better solution smiling smiley

-Tim


[bothacker.com]
Well, soon we'll have mailing lists.

I'm also wondering how we could autoload forum attachments into the wiki, by default, because good stuff never makes the phorum->mediawiki divide.

nasaspaceflight.com uses a not-quite-gpl license. I think phorum is highly extensible, and we do want to load in some metafilter-type voting-like stuff.

ask.metafilter.com works well for that, and would be good for our 'help' forum.
If the site wants more content it needs to be an attractive place to put content.

I've started creating a wiki page for the McWire Guide. I have to say that the wiki editing sucks imho. Is there a WYSIWYG editor for the wiki? I can see why people aren't putting things in the wiki... it's a chore to do so. Blogging is SO much easier.

Drawing in community is fine but the people we draw need to be interested in RepRap/RepStrap technology as a central idea that then is branched into the various sub categories such as robotics, art, medical, and the like.

Here are the stages I see in getting involved and improvements to be made for each stage
1) I like this. - RepRap is cool. Every one likes it. But, look at the RepRap home page. It should be answering 2 questions that newbies have. "What is RepRap" and "What's in it for me?". This should be done with as few words as possible and with cool pictures. Provide links for more details. Avoid the wall of text.

2) I want to do this- Their imagination needs to be filled here. Show them the benefits of personal manufacturing and how it applies everywhere. Tell them about our great community of artists and designers. Show them Thingiverse.com.

3) I can do this and this is how - Create SIMPLE and CONCISE instructions on how they can get started and involved in the community. I think this is a major stumbling point. 99% of the people need to RepStrap before they RepRap. There is not enough information on RepStraps and what information is there is incomplete, out of date or even wrong. The existing McWire instructions are very lacking.

4) I will do this - this is up to them. If they haven't been sold by now they are not going to be sold to....yetspinning smiley sticking its tongue out


B^2 : [replibot.blogspot.com]

~~ We Are The Factory ~~
Completely in agreement with the wiki editing being a pain and with the general look and feel being a disaster. Any reason not to switch to something like fudform, runs the same environment, has excellent performance and can tie in well to mailing lists?

On the website side I am not sure the best solution, mediawiki is probably the best option available, maybe better plugins for editing...
I believe mediawiki has an experimental WYSIWYG plugin for editing. maybe this should be considered for the reprap mediawiki instalation. ? using wiki syntax is so retro.
Sebastian, You mentioned in another forum something about adding the social networking angle to the wiki, giving opportunities to praise, encourage, and grow the interest in the wiki. Has anything more come out of that idea? I've seen a couple of pluginsm, but I don't know much about mediawiki to make a decision.
I believe mediawiki has an experimental WYSIWYG plugin for editing. maybe this should be considered for the reprap mediawiki instalation. ? using wiki syntax is so retro.

Here's a list:
[www.mediawiki.org]

I'll take a closer look soon; people seem to really want a WYSIWYG tool.

But I think the "go to page x, click 'edit', copy, go to page y, click edit, paste, etc etc etc" is tedious by itself.

We may try to code an "Upload Project" button and wizard. We = me, since it is on my wishlist.

Sebastian, You mentioned in another forum something about adding the social networking angle to the wiki, giving opportunities to praise, encourage, and grow the interest in the wiki. Has anything more come out of that idea? I've seen a couple of pluginsm, but I don't know much about mediawiki to make a decision.

I still think it is highly necessary, but I need to take care of other wiki stuff and infrastructure stuff, before I experiment.

But I've noticed that contributions follow community, and community follows contribution. This is why the forum gets 10x more files uploaded to it daily than the wiki. Wiki stuff doesn't get comments. And people need that stuff.
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