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Suggestions for September Conference Topics

I'd like us to make suggestions here for what topics we might want to discuss at the September conference so we can make the best use of our time and brain power.

Here's a start:

Conference topics @kaykay @oldturkey03 @danj

1. A directory of the iFixit employees and their job descriptions would be useful for knowing who to contact and/or notify on different problems. i.e. shipping issues, parts questions, policy issues, programing issues, bug reports, who to contact in Germany, Canada, returns, warranty, iPhone certification, SPAM, etc.

2. moderator ban power limitations, time constraints, severity levels, warning. All we have now is the death penalty, (not all offenses should carry that weight).

3. Formation of a Mac Certification Body Formation of a Mac Certification Body

4. Parts we have to get from strangers. Keyboards, keys, display glass, replacement LCDs, feet. screws, iMac HD thermal sensors. keyboards & mice, mouse pads, Mac Pro parts, sleds, external flash drives with versions of OS X (we recommend these daily)

5. Retina display repairs

6. Repairs & upgrades on newer disposable models (are we being put out of business by Apple)

7. What to do on Warranty repairs, directly to Apple, AASP. Depot repairs (tier levels)

8. Tier level pricing incentives for contributors

9. Greeting protocols for potential sustained contributors with concomitant (how to answer questions well) ( a possible guide for @pccheese to write ;-) ) How to construct a profile, register name, location & personal and/or professional data and links.

10. A newbie home page with links that answer "how do I', where to go, who to go to.

11. Possibly establish protocols for an apprenticeship path to certification just like the plumbers have.

12. Fair RepairLegislation http://repair.org/fair-repair/

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@mayer - I had asked this before if the persons profile page could show their country as well as language skills (primary & secondary) it would be useful in answering Q's.

I would like to focus on training & certification of Mac hardware. I'm sure we'll talk about futures (Apple wise).

As to parts I would like to see if we can alter the store a bit so people (and my self) can find parts more easily. I've been working on something which I'll share when I get to SLO.

As for part sources outside of IFIXIT, I would like to see some of the more common stuff offered within IFIXIT, like keyboards. The problem here is how we can tell IFIXIT what is needed and the flip side of this is IFIXIT able to get the part.

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@pccheese I'm going to delete the last three entries as they really don't pertain to the serious subjects we are discussing here. A lot of time, effort, years of hard work,thought, self sacrifice and just hard cash are being expended for this very serious purpose. The events that will take place here are of dire import to help protect mankind from the domination of the corporate world and preserve the rights of individuals to maintain and repair those electronic devices that have become an integral part of the daily life in the civilized world. Please save your frivolity for another time. If you have serious topics you would like addressed, say so. This is not play time. This is closer to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. The rights of the individual and small businesses over corporate entities is at stake. And you get to witness it and participate if you so choose. We are revolting from one of the most powerful corporations and group of corporation that has ever existed. They would like nothing better than to kill us and our effort and take away any rights you may think you have to repair your own devises.

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Too all. You do not have to be coming to the conference to make topic suggestions. Things you might want us to take a look at. So kick in if you have something, gripes, improvement suggestions, new ideas.

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Hey Mayer!

Love the topics so far. We're definitely planning to tackle moderation questions, so to 1 and 2, we(as in my team) will be addressing that. As for the rest, that'll be great content for the Pro team ( @kevinferrell ) to help you guys through. Keep collecting ideas!

Dan, talking about user location would be interesting, we'll try to bring that up in the moderation chats!

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@sam - Here's my original posting: The GUI Needs some changes - Questions Point 5

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Here's a couple of things I think should be discussed at unconference.

  • TV advertising. Not really advertising of your products, rather advertising how easy it is to repair, and spread the word about repair and iFixit.
  • iRobot improvement. It would be awesome if iRobot could also get rid the "I have this too" posts. Maybe also switch answers to comments.
  • Giveaways. I recently learned about this Amazon giveaway. The giveaways aren't hosted by Amazon but rather people put up these items probably because they like them. I'm thinking iFixit could do something similar.

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George, did you look at what they want in return to enter just the drawing? TV advertising is not practical for such a selected audience and far to expensive. I do not advertising at all. I let my Google reviews do that.

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@mayer Some want to be followed on Twitter, some want a YouTube video to be watched but most don't have a entry requirement. On iFixit it probably wouldn't have a entry requirement. TV ads is just an idea. That's why it's a discussion topic.

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Looks like @kelsea handles the Twitter blurb Looking for Tuesday Tech Tips

Of course iFixit has the email addresses of those that have registered and is probably sending notices to all those when a new video is done, at least I get notices.

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@pccheese We currently advertise on youtube channels and pod casts that have similar themes ( repair, DIY, PC build, ect.) I'm in the process of seeking out more channels to sponsor. We should be doing more giveaways for sure! That's on me. We do a few each year for holiday campaigns, but we've been wanting to do more fun contests via social media to engage the community. We probably wouldn't do an Amazon giveaway because we want people to buy direct from the iFixit site store. Yes, we do sell on amazon, but Amazon charges us hefty feels to sell so giving things away on amazon isnt ideal.

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@pccheese Keep the ideas coming! I can always use help coming up with fun contests and social content. If you know of a channel that could use a parts/tool sponsor feel free to drop me a link as well.

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Some of this stuff seems to get totally lost on me. I get the exposure of iFixit and see the necessity of it but I do not think that giveaways are the way to go. It is my opinion that iFixit, by remaining true to its mission and continuing to supply outstanding parts and service, will lead the pack. It should be up to us to provide our support to the mission by providing good answers and good guides. We need to link to iFixit as much as possible to show that we believe in iFixit as a company.

iFixit can become a market leader and trendsetter by focusing on upcoming trends. It is one thing to focus all of ones attention on Mac's etc. but as these become harder to repair, broad demand for parts will decrease. This will drive up the prices of repairs and parts. Most of the buyers will be the one-time-shopper and that is where the emphasis should be. Maybe iFixit could do a better job in increasing support to the DIY'er and not just the pro's.

Now would be a good time to divert a bit and start covering emerging markets like Drone repair, VR gear etc. All of that is new technology and not yet well covered. Somebody will have to start looking at those trends and get a handle on the future repair of these devices. iFixit could be a perfect place for that.

Personally I see the iDevice repair coming to an end within the next few years. My doomsday scenario is based upon the simple fact that boardlevel repair will seize to exist (generalized) once schematics will no longer be available on the black market. Then what? Yes, there will be a few that will survive due to their superb skills and understanding of that technology, but the "broad" market will disappear. It would once more spell the death of the "Mom-and-Pop store" in electronic repair, just like it has in the past for all those local Radio and TV repair shops.

At what time will end users stop drawing the financial line on getting their devices repaired and just continue to replace those? We all need to become better activists to delay this inevitable as long as possible.

Try to find some repairs for GoPro cameras, Drones, or VR gear and you all see what I am driving at. All of those repairs that are listed are pretty superficial and not anything that would help to resurrect any of those devices, yet they are all around us.

Just my 2 cents while I still try to come up with some decent discussion posts.....;-)

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As everyone is misunderstanding the purpose of the giveaways I think we can just forget that part.

iFixit has been doing teardowns and even selling parts for gopros up the the Hero 4, but never even did a teardown for the next gen. The two major VR headsets have been torn down but no guides. And the DJI mavic is currently the most popular drone around. We got a teardown video, which I consider almost useless for repair. These devices should certainly gain as much as attention as any Mac.

And then iFixit goes ahead and teardowns the Galaxy Note Fan edition. The fan edition is exactly the same as the note 7 except for an exploding battery. I think that was a huge waste of time for the teardown team. I could probably name at least 15 devices that needed guides more than that.

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@pccheese - While I would like seeing more guides they do take up a lot of time to do.

We have to realize IFIXIT is still in this to make money so they have to meter out what they can do with the limited monies & staff they have.

Right now they are doing a big push in the Right to Repair Movement traveling all about 12 states so far! This is quite an investment. So don't beat them up here! The R2 is by far the bigger nut to crack! They are also putting efforts into better recycling of consumer goods. Apple being one of the bad boys here with glued in batteries!

I agree with @oldturkey03 on some of his points. Drone & VR Headsets are new markets that need to be explored. I not convinced quite yet on the iDevice & Mac repairs coming to an end. True, logic board repair will be harder if we don't get more help from the manufactures. I think there is a halfway point we can collectively agree to here. But both parties need to be at the table to even discuss it.

I'll be spending some time with the ORG group this weekend as they are here in Boston pushing the R to R agenda at the state house.

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So far I have contacted three drone makers and requested information about parts and/or becoming an authorized service rep for them. So far I've been totally ignored.

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@mayer DJI is dominating the market right now. Their drones are awesome and pretty well priced, however their lack of costumer support is a huge problem. Yuneec has a decent standing in the market and because it's a Chinese brand now owned by Intel you may be able to get something out of them. Parrot is a cheap quality Chinese company. I never owned their drones but people complain that their drones are junk. I don't have hope for them.

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I just found a service manual for the DJI inspire one. It's very short and doesn't have any step by step instructions or anything. And that drone is very professional.

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I wish I could join you guys and gals in September...alas, it will have to be another year.

I did some board level work on a Yuneec...

I scoured the internet at the time to find any resources and there was nothing. Initially, I had some traces to repair and my customer was poorly serviced by the Yuneec local supplier. They claimed they had the best solderer in Canada (sic) and he couldn't fix the board. I kid you not, it was a trace from one through-hole component to another :>).

Long story short, there was another, hidden issue that I discovered on the control board. I localized the defective component but couldn't, for the life of me, identify what spec it actually was. The SMD code couldn't be matched and I couldn't find any schematics.

The reason I say all of this is that, yes, there is a market for Drone Repair. These drones can cost 2K and folks are looking for cheaper solutions than swapping out major parts. The problem is there is no information. Maybe iFixit can try to take a leadership position here and try sway the manufacturers (a guy can dream, can't he?)

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The question that might be posed to a manufacturer would be, "How would my sales increase if people knew my product could be repaired at a reasonable rate". This is question for a University to work with business in doing that research for presentation to a business. Excellent topic for a Masters or Doctoral thesis. Pose it to the economics dept at Cal Poly Tech.

This is a really excellent thought provoking question and the answer could be of great magnitude to the repair industry.

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@mayer I think that is the root cause of the problem. I am convinced that only the minority of consumers really look or care about the repairability of any device. We have become a society of replacement not repair. Who would set the standard on what repairability really looks like? Check this out https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/artic...

@kaykay @kelsea @sam how about some stats? How many visitors to iFixit answers in a week? How many repair guides have been published and how many of those have been visited (in a month or a week)?

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@oldturkey03 We'll have to check with the bossman @kyle to see how much we can share ;) But we do try to give users a good picture of their personal impact with monthly stat emails! Maybe that would be a good thing to display on a personal dashboard to check daily? I know that it's always nice to see the trend lines, but we do have nice numbers on the bottom of the home page! And traffic numbers at the bottom of most pages.

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@sam I totally understand and would not want to intrude in @kyle 's business. My reason for asking is that I think it could be interesting to see what drives customers to iFixit. Are those that find "Answers" and post there or those that check the guides, the customers of your parts? Does "Answers" drive some/none/all of it? Even so it is probably of less interest to most, I think that Answers could be a driver toward more of the right to repair movement by targeting specific consumer groups. I think there will be more interest if iFixit takes the lead as iFixit and not by using "sub-contractors". Do remember so that I have no business interest in this. I do not personally benefit from any of this but believe in the mission. I guess I am just an idealist....

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I know nothing about computer repairs. I can't even navigate this site very well. My expertise is refrigeration and major appliances. I'm not sure my input will help, even in the area of Right to Repair. Every appliance has a tech sheet, wiring diagram, schematic and a tech support phone number attached to the unit. With all that information available in the appliance world consumers still aren't getting the support they need from the manufacturers if their looking elsewheres. I think that consumers are pretty much the same in all areas, appliances, computers, drones etc...although they have all the answers in front of them, most won't take the time to read it, they'd rather have someone walk them through it. With that said, I'd focus more on targeting more people. People need to know there's an "ifixit.com" People are lazy and want it now! Ifixit.com is convenient, quick and easy.

I have no idea on how to generate more business on the internet. If I need more business I put a flier on the wall at a laundromat.

Re-doing the newbies page is good idea. I found it difficult. I still haven't figured out how to get an aviator or how to post a pic. Haha Some of the questions have comments from years ago that include new questions and comments that make it hard to follow.

Mayer, #11 explain that please.

There are several sites out there, but none have done a "before you buy" page. I always thought I'd get rich writing a book about what the salesman doesn't tell you followed by a 2nd titled Consumer Reports doesn't know Jack!

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Topics to discuss at Unconference:

Status and challenges of the Right to Repair movement.

Best Practices in_______:

Marketing--social media, website SEO, in-store promotions

iPad Screen Repair--pressure sensitive adhesives

Employee Training and Retention

Pre/post repair device checks

Part sourcing and inventory management

Accessory sales and promotions

Business Development--how to score school/govt contracts

Fixing odd stuff--what have you fixed, how do you seek these repairs

Signature problems and common epidemics--diagnosis and troubleshooting

Device refurbishing--profitability, sourcing devices, sales

Industry certification/standards development

Less interesting to most but still on the list: iFixit Answers Community

^seems like a lot of the suggested topics on here fall in that category. I would encourage folks to think more broadly about a repair conference than forum issues.

I think most people will be drawn to this conference as a way to connect with peers and share information about the business of running a repair shop in lieu of CTIA---so anything that is discussed with a margarita in hand is valid.

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