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The RIPE Labs Idea takes Shape

Daniel Karrenberg — Mar 2009
Robert has gotten the RIPE Labs idea down as an outline now. Much discussion with him and in Science Group. Will present to senior management shortly.
Here is a copy of the final edit:
 
  RIPE NCC Labs
=============


1. General approach
-------------------

RIPE NCC Labs is a new NCC website / portal:

   * A place for building a stronger community

   * A place where we present new ideas, prototypes and research outcomes

   * Show the community these, solicit feedback

     * Allow general discussion of ideas, new topics

     * If feedback is positive then continue towards production

     * If feedback is lacking / negative then abandon the idea

   * No SLA commitments are made, these are not production services

   * No commitment is made to keep trial services around. They can be discontinued at any time 
     for any reason (too little interest, legal issues, abuse, ...)

   * It makes the RIPE NCC known again to be innovative and forward looking

   * Members of the community can

     * try and evaluate potential services

     * publicly discuss them in an up-to-date fashion (forum, blog, ...)

     * thus provide feedback to us and prepare decisions

     * community can be inspired and can inspire us too!

   * A low threshold for trying new ideas, possibly even from individual staff members.

   * Allows rapid, iterative refinement of ideas at low cost

   * On the long term we envision more involvement by members, eg. recruit
     members as forum co-moderators, facilitate sharing of tools between members, etc.


This idea introduces a new, much more open and dynamic communication style
between the NCC and its members. This is intentional; while trying to
achieve the benefit of an active community it also allows more interaction
with NCC staff.


2. Contents & layout
--------------------

The Labs layout uses the basic NCC design elements, but also a bit flippant,
makes it clear that this is a laboratory. Beyond this it should be fast and
not overloaded with gadgets.

We envision the following basic functional components on the site:

A) A list and archive of "new" topics: short description of recently added
features, with links to the actual content or to a portlet to execute this
new functionality. May include short explanations, but full details are on
separate pages.

B) A list of the most popular contents: "most popular" can be the best
evaluation given by users, or most frequently used/viewed topic, or some
other metric. The concrete method of course will be well defined and exposed.

C) What's next: upcoming features. This will expose the plans we have for
adding content to the extent that we want in order to keep interest. We will
make a publication schedule that will keep RIPE NCC Labs alive irrespective
of timely and topical content that develops spontaneously.

D) Forum: the forum topics are mostly to discuss the features posted to the
site, in order to solicit feedback. We intend to provide links directly from
content to the relevant forum topics. More general conversation can be
handled in the forum too, but that's not the main goal.

E) Blog: NCC staff can make blog entries about:

    * proposed ideas: eg. "what would you think if we built such a thing?"

    * new advancements, features: eg. "RIPE DB ASPLAIN version is available
      for testing"

    * specific quick researches: "YouTube has been hijacked! a preliminary analysis"

    * ...

F) Related news: events that are happening around the world, and which
   relate to the Labs content (eg. "ARIN stated their whowas service")


3. Resources needed
-------------------


In order to set up and maintain this, we'll need the following: ....
 

 

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