Greetings Teams:

Do you have valuable *FIRST *experiences to share? Do you want a FIRST keychain? SharingFIRST is a social networking site especially for girls where FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST LEGO League members can all share technical and non-technical experience with peers as well as with newer and/or younger teams. To help us complete the grant supporting SharingFIRST, we invite you to add information to the site. In late April, we will be contacting you to help us evaluate the site.

Things you might upload on the site include: lessons on torque, an explanation of gears, instructions on how to build a robust robot, advice for recruiting and retaining new team members, how to use a particular tool, applying to colleges, career information, etc. We want YOU to upload documents, presentations, and anything else that may be of interest to members of the FIRST community.
Because a major goal of the grant is to provide FIRST girls and women with a place to share their experiences, we ask that you share this message with the girls and women on your team. The site is open to everyone, but we ask you to actively encourage the girls and women on your team to participate.

You can check out the site at . To upload materials, you will need to request a username and password. Please send the following info to ksullivan at usfirst.org:

  • your name
  • your preferred username
  • your chosen password
  • tell us if you’re a student or a coach/mentor
  • tell us what program you’re involved with (FRC, FTC, or FLL).
    The first 50 girls and women to upload materials will receive a limited edition SharingFIRST keychain. Just be sure to let us know as soon as you have uploaded your materials (contact ksullivan at usfirst.org).

Go Teams!

Note: Use a temporary password. You will be able to change it after your first log in.

Is anyone else having trouble keeping track of the new sites FIRST is starting?

First they announced Think Tank, a knowledge transfer site.

The Think Tank (TT) is an application designed to assist teams participating in FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC) to share ideas, transfer knowledge and discuss technological advancements in the field of robotics engineering. The goals of the TT include helping teams to improve their performance at robotics competitions and to encourage teams to increase their familiarity of the principles of robotics, science, technology, and engineering.

Then came FIRSTCommunity a social networking site for FIRST alumni.

The FIRSTCommunity social site was created to encourage personal and professional networking among FIRST Alumni, Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers. It’s an amazing opportunity to tap into a network estimated at over one million strong and growing.

And now there is [deleted] a social networking and knowledge sharing site for girls.

SharingFIRST is designed to be an opportunity for the FIRST community to share and collaboratively build an online repository of robotic knowledge and practice, promoting widespread access to the production and design processes of robotics, engineering and competitions strategies. The project serves to promote leadership, especially in young women, and empower our participants through developing expertise in inventing, designing, and creating new products.

Within the past 4 months, FIRST and their partners have started 3 new sites, which all seem to overlap with each other. Earlier this year, there was a thread complaining about how scattered online resources were. Doesn’t this make it worse? It seems like starting these three sites will keep any of them from reaching critical mass.

Joe you raise an interesting point, these various sites do have somewhat similar goals in the broadest sense. It seems it would have been more efficient to build one site with 3 separate sub-sections. Now, the other main problem I have, the interfaces are not even similar. If FIRST wanted multiple sites the least they could have done was pick a similar interface even if they had different color schemes. That way when you learn one site it becomes simple to move to another when you want to. As it is there is a barrier to their use.

That minor complaint voiced, I had no idea any of these 3 sites existed. Thank you for sharing.

It is confusing. I used to feel like I knew where to send inquires to get their questions answered and for resources, but I am feeling overwhelmed these days.

NEMO tried to help with this resource paper (based on your cited thread), but it needs to be updated with all these recent social sites added. http://www.firstnemo.org/PDF/roadmap.pdf

I’ve received explanations for the various sites (different funding, different targeted audiences, etc), but the bottom line is it’s confusing the customers!

My kickoff workshop presentation was on the different resources within FIRST. It was a nightmare to try and put together. I feel we’re reinventing the wheel.

It should feel like we are reinventing the wheel - because that is what is happening. Does anyone else remember the previous “SharingFIRST” web site ( http://sharingfirst.mit.edu/ )? It was developed by one of Woodie Flowers student at MIT as part of a graduate project, and released to the FIRST teams in 2000. It lasted for three years, until that student graduated and no one maintained the site. While it was up and running, it was a good (and for a while, growing) repository of team- and technology-related information for FIRST teams.


Hopefully, this “new” SharingFIRST web site will have some of panache of the “old” SharingFIRST site, and teams will contribute enough material to make it a viable and interesting resource.



I agree, First community needs quite a bit more work before we start developing sharing FIRST. Is there anyway we can merge those two sites ?



Can someone explain what makes this site ‘especially for girls?’

I’m gonna throw $ 0.02 in the ring here…

One of the hot topics in the world right now is the emergence of “communities of interest” that get together online, and offline, to share information, collaborate, coordinate, and communicate.

Modern communications technologies like the web is shaking up how groups of people interact and get work done. This is cutting edge stuff and like everyone else, the FIRST commmunity is trying things out.

I’m gonna save keystrokes for now so I’ll just invite everyone here that is interested in this new brave world to come to the FIRST Conferences seminar presentation this coming Thursday, in Atlanta at the Championship. Room C204 at noon. The conference is called “FIRSTsteps”.

We spend some time talking about online “communities of interest” like is being discussed in this thread and some issues regarding marketing and collaboration. We will NOT be promoting some new web site!!

come on down,


I think that the overlap is because of the funding provided for these sites.

SharingFIRST seems to be sponsored by the Engineering Information Foundation

FIRST think tank is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and WPI

FIRST community seems to be a FIRST house project.

I agree it would be nice if all the organizations got on the same page, but it appears that each group while serving the same function exists so the organizations can each get some recognition of their work. I think that FIRST should just give up and officially recognize Chiefdelphi as the place to go for community and team resources. I mean most of the documents are posted here already anyway.

I second and third and fourth this.

It is interesting that this “community of interest” gathers on CD to discuss the other websites.

CD is certainly a top candidate but I think to make it top notch a couple of changes have to be made, but I’d rather get into that after the CMP and our presentation.


I don’t think that would work quite as well as we’d like it to. FIRST is going to want better control over things than they’d get here. My best-case scenario would be something like an inter-forum link, where posts on a FIRST-controlled site were accessible through that site and through a Chief Delphi subforum connected to it.

Any idea where I can find summary of this presentation?


Please bear with us a few more days. We should have had it posted a month ago and it looks like it will be a few more days before we get that done. Sorry. busy. busy…

I’m a guy and I want a keychain too… :frowning:

It seems like control is the main dish with everything. I like the idea of a sub-forum, if CD will allow. Expanding on the already available resources (White papers, sub-fora, etc) on CD will yield greater benefit to FIRST in the long run. I do not know of a larger FIRST community gathering than CD.

The other issue with control is that the community does not feel as though they are a part of something. CD allows for people to post their thoughts reasonably freely and it is maintained by people who are a part of the community. It is good that people such as Mark McLeod post the email blasts on here. When I used to be signed up for the email blast (I don’t know what happen), sometimes the emails never got to me. This is just an example of how information from FIRST got to me. There are many points to debate here but the bottom line is CD is a great information pipeline and it feels as if FIRST is trying to fight it by putting up many other resources which are designed to be notoriously hard to use.

FIRST’s concern is with FIRST and with how to continue to improve and develop communications and impact for everyone involved, including their clientele. Any successful program is interested in continual development and in implementing opportunities to reach an ever-expanding and rich diversity of cultures, backgrounds, needs, and realities. As the FIRST competitions grow, so do the areas that they impact and it looks like the powers-that-be are trying to target and address the areas.

I’m interested in seeing how all of this plays out and supporting the efforts to continue to reach out to teams. Hopefully, some of the initiatives being discussed, introduced, and hinted at, will help ease the increasing feelings of being totally overwhelmed by information provided in ever-increasing and confusing places.

Just an idea, but what control does FIRST have over the information posted anywhere… If we the community want Chief Delphi to be the site to go to, why post on the other sites. Why play into FIRST’s hand, simply refer here. Maybe there could be a sub-forum for all information coming directly from FIRST. (Is there already?) The ball is in our court. We ultimately have the final decision on where to find information. The community just needs to pull their heads together and decide what to do. Have a poll or several polls to decide what to do.

Just a Thought