I gave a talk today at the Open Hardware Summit about how to strengthen and grow an open source community (like Public Lab) by distributing "starter kiCats" -- and how to embed open and collaborative principles in to objects which we send to people by mail.
(Although it says it uses the font Junction, Google Docs can't do that, but here is the PDF: jeffrey-warren-ohs-2013.pdf)
Key points are:
- What has to go on the box? Contributor list, invitation to join the community, parts list (on outside of box)
- How does a kit make someone feel about themselves? Like a community member, an expert? Do they want to tell others about it, or even recruit new contributors?
- Connecting people via hardware/software: using web-based software to operate hardware, enabling people to build online open datasets and profiles
- Can a bunch of off-the-shelf things in a box be an open hardware device?
- How many of a thing are you making? Can someone make just one? On their own?
Lots of ideas in there... I'm definitely looking for feedback!