Our goal for iFixit Answers is to create a knowledge base of troubleshooting information for every device. Now that’s a lofty goal, but we’re already making tremendous progress towards it! We just hit 2500 questions, and over 95% of them have received at least one answer! I’m seeing some very interesting questions, and they’re getting phenomenal answers from the community.
The best (and most common) questions for a device create an impressively useful troubleshooting FAQ for the device. Some great examples of this are the community pages for iPod Video support and MacBook Unibody support. These community support pages are rapidly becoming an important part of our device repair manuals.
As a community, we need to focus on cultivating quality answers. Our repair information will rapidly get more useful if we all work together to organize and curate questions. Here are five easy things you can do to help:
#1: Vote on questions!
Each vote has a big impact. Questions don’t show up on the most helpful page unless it has at least one upvote.
#2: Vote on answers!
Questions stay on the unresolved tab until there is at least one upvote on an answer. Of the 968 questions currently on the list of unresolved questions, almost all of them have at least one answer. Pick a few older questions and upvote the answer if it’s accurate and informative. (There are actually only 115 questions that haven’t been answered at all– less than 5%!)
#3: Link to existing answers.
When people ask a question that’s been answered before, link them to the canonical answer. We need a catalog that is useful long-term, and this helps focus our efforts on increasing quality.
#4: Organize devices.
New users often misname the device they’re asking about, and people are constantly asking questions about new devices. There are currently 168 devices that are either misnamed or need a device page. Help us out by properly naming these devices or by making a device page stub!
#5: Cultivate device pages.
The core organizational page around here is the device repair manual page (we just call them device pages). This page automatically links in step-by-step guides, parts, teardowns, and answered questions. (Example pages: Nintendo Wii, iPhone 3G) We’re slowly building a catalogue of devices, and we need help adding to it. Every new device needs a consistent name, a photo, and an identification summary. I like to think of the device page as the table of contents and first chapter of a service manual.
With your help, we can help people fix their own things and keep hardware working as long as possible!