Network-Centric Resources


Get Involved

Join the Network-Centric Resources discussion by subscribing to our email list.

Schedule a free one-hour consultation to discuss your Network-Centric Resource by sending an email to info (at) fabriders.net.

We are proud to have Aspiration and the Shuttleworth Foundation as partners on this project.

Resources are assets that are drawn on by an individual or groups in order to function more effectively. Network-centric resources are people-powered and participatory resources that aim to maximise usage and engagement. They are developed through sharing ownership, enabling contribution and supporting collaboration.

Those of us that are part of the tech and social change sector are driven by a need to change the world for the better and strive to share and exchange knowledge and skills. We develop resources with the aim of allowing communities and networks to use, modify and contribute back. All too often resources and materials are not properly maintained or cared for after their release. It is assumed that beneficiaries will see the benefit of a resource and be motivated to sustain it themselves. Resource developers are often faced with quick obsolescence of their content.Often this happens because funding only exists to get to launch or because those that initiated and developed the resource took a ‘if we build it, they will come’ approach without a post-launch engagement and modificaiton plan.  The problem is exacerbated by a focus on the technology tools that can enable access and sharing of the resource, while forgetting about efforts to engage and encourage human beings.  As a result, we see a lot of wheel reinvention and not building upon the knowledge that  already exists.

We take inspiration from existing and established resources like Wikipedia and The Tor Project. We are learning from FabRiders' own work with MozFest, School of Data and the International Federation of the Red Cross.  We are grateful for the learnings shared within this network by resource developers and include EFF's Security Education Companion, The Engine Room's Responsible Data Forum and Amnesty International's Decoders Project.

We know the solutions lie in being intentional in the initial design of resources and follow the main tenets of design methodology:

  • To get users involved early and as equal partners.
  • To be transparent during development and solicit review and feedback.
  • To have clear inroads and encourage contribution.
  • To appreciate those that do, and guide those that may have something to contribute but don’t know it.
  • To articulate the value of participating.
  • To encourage reuse and modification through outreach and licensing. 

Our Online Discussion Series

Since we began the Network-Centric Resources project in the beginning of 2017, we have been struck by the ingenuity and wisdom of resource developers in how they are approaching co-creation with networks and communities. We have also heard from many resource developers that while a guide would be helpful, it would be even more helpful to have opportunities to compare notes with other resource developers. The online discussion series has been established to provide a platform to share lessons learned and talk through tough challenges.