Have you ever tried to get a volunteer group of people to work together on a project? How about a group that only know one another online? How does everyone know what parts still need to be done? How does everyone give you feedback on your first draft contribution?
Kurt Luther has created a tool to make this easy: Pipeline. Teams have used it to make Flash animations, video games, collaborative art projects, movies, and even started a Minecraft texture pack. You can use it for pretty much anything where lots of people are helping. It’s free and open source.
The bigger question here is: What new kinds of things can people accomplish, working together? I believe that Open Source Software and Wikipedia are just the beginning. There are new things we all can do together if we understand those successes, and build lightweight, easy-to-use tools. And trust in people’s creativity and generosity with their time.
The creation of Pipeline was supported by the National Science Foundation. Congrats in advance to Kurt, who defends his dissertation this afternoon, and then is off to a post doc at CMU.