Best Practices for Fab Lab Websites
This page is intended as a community notebook for best practices involved in running a website for an individual Fab Lab, as well as using this website to share information with a worldwide network of Fab Labs. We hope make it easy to set up the web component of new Fab Labs, as well as to share ideas that have worked in existing Fab Labs.
The idea behind a worldwide network of Fab Lab Websites (What are We Thinking?)
One of the most important aspects of the Fab Lab movement is a worldwide network of skilled and innovative volunteers. However, as the movement grows, keeping in touch becomes more challenging.
The best practices in these pages revolve around several principles:
- Participating in the worldwide Fab Lab network is voluntary. Participating Fab Labs (and individuals) are welcome to participate as little or as much as they wish.
- Fab Labs operate independently for the most part. In particular, Fab Labs choose their own internal governance and IT practices -- which means that we can make advocate for particular technologies, but we cannot mandate solutions.
- Don't re-invent the wheel. There are a great deal of standardized protocols and tools already used to share information in other communities that rely on the Internet, particularly the Open Source community. We should leverage these solutions when possible.
- Fab Labs vary -- missions, resources, skill levels, internal governance, finances, geography, and language are all very diverse.
The common element is that the solutions we suggest must be flexible, easy to implement, and be able to provide easy communication and a feeling of community -- even if they are partially implemented, or implemented with tools that we're not familiar with.
The proposed protocols and technologies will be covered in the sections below.