While trying to sleep after posting about MOOCs, I lay thinking about massive distributed collaboration and about code_swarm, amazing visualisations of key open source software projects. Here’s a beautiful example of successful, distributed collaborative effort. Do watch for the explosion of participation in 2000 as the network effect really kicks in. As the product matures, it attracts more users and greater use attracts increased participation and a better and more popular product. All made possible by the open source license which acts as the basis for participation. There are more examples on the code_swarm site.
I know, it’s not a MOOC, but there are some similarities such as mass, distributed collaboration led by one or two individuals, surrounded by a core of active participants and hundreds of occasional contributors.