Kluster - Social Networking for Projects
Kluster is a new effort to harness the power of online social networks to collaborate and work together on projects. At its core, the system involves a virtual currency ("watts") which are invested in projects started by community members. Projects can be "sparked" with ideas, and users collaborate in work phases to build a product online.
Some projects are financed by real-world money, which makes it way back to the community members who invest their time, "watts," and ideas into the project. The site gives the example of a logo design -- I could put up a challenge to design a logo, back it with $500, and let the community go to work for me. At the end, my $500 is distributed among community members who took a stake in the project, and I get the design (or designs) they created. Neat, huh?
Kluster is currently making a splash at TED, creating a brand new product in just 72 hours -- and offering $15,000 in rewards to fund the work. The product is still under development (until tomorrow), and currently it's shaping up to be an educational game. Currently work is proceeding on creating the game cards; the next phase will design the packaging, then the marketing campaign, and so on.
You can sign up for free at Kluster.com. Because there's a lot of lingo involved ("sparks," "amps," "watts," and so on), it's a good idea to take a video tour of the site first. You can also read a bit more about the site's origins at ReadWriteWeb.