I gave it some more thought (after work of course) and I think a wiki would really be the best way to go. It should be fairly easy to embed (I only have basic HTML knowledge but if you can make a cool page like YM already is, it shouldn't be too difficult for you) and easy to use.
Then there's the transition from an idea to a project. There should be some way to convert an idea into a project without losing any of the content. Shouldn't be much more than renaming the thing from "idea" to "project" and maybe add more tools like a project plan, resource management, assignments and to do lists, I don't know... Maybe remove the comments at that point.
And I think it's important that the person who started the idea / project has "admin" rights for it, being able to moderate the content and giving other users rights for the project. Also, only he (or moderators he choses) should be able to delete content from the wiki. Or even better, enable only people to contribute to a wiki if they are "members" of the project that were chosen by the founder.
In my opinion, being the founder (that initiates a project / idea) is a reason to have these rights.
If that's too much restriction, make it a difference between ideas and projects: Ideas are open for everyone, projects are "members" only. If everyone can apply to be a member (which makes sense) then this is not a hurdle. But if you want to work on a project, you can't just let anyone mess around with your files and informations.
*look at my avatar and imagine some smoke coming out of the head*
Maybe we have to go much more basic...
I learned my business at an ISO9000 company (just had to bring that) where you work after a thoroughly (is that word correct? that looks weird...) thought out scheme called the "work flow" (or something).
Man I just read that last sentence three times, it sucks... I'm gonna leave it for you to have fun with it...
Maybe it's too late already (hot day in Switzerland) but what I actually wanted to write was that I'd like for YM to provide a workflow and a toolset to keep things organised.
I'm one of the many people who needs this in order to stay focused. Otherwise I'll just lose track or interest at some point and quit. There are many examples like robot-creator forums where cool projects rise from nothing and, after some weeks, disappear back into nothing. If you want YM to work, then you have to counteract that!
1. Idea stage, brainstorming
2. Member and resource gathering. Organising members, contributors, moderators.
3. Make plans, make a project schedule (very important if you want to get somewhere), make forecasts
4. Get to work, by schedule
5. Complete the project by publishing the final project documentation and results
6. Maintain, improve, support, evolve...
Every stage needs it's tools. A wiki (I keep bringing that until you make one) already covers a lot. Shoutbox is good for brainstorming, too. Then some member management. A simple tool to make plans like timelines, schedules and stuff shouldn't be too difficult to create / implement from existing solutions. And then that's pretty much it...
All this is useful for larger projects (still thinking about the vacuuming-bot) but not for small stuff. So maybe the way to go is to have the project founder enable / disable all the tools as he sees fit.
Ok, that's enough for the moment
Some valid points right there, good thinking.
It definitely should be better organised, so you can find the info you want very fast.
Less time reading stuff, more time making/contributing, yaay!
People should be able to follow a project, so you automatically CAN get updates.
Something like a chatroom could also be convenient, for quick discussions or just small talk.
Good ideas usually come in such situations. It is also about fun
I see a lot of people already responded which is great.
Personally i would like to click their names and see something like a profile that tells me something about their skills and interests.
'Ideally, the creator of the idea should be able to make a "wanted" list of what kind of contributor he needs like "electronics designer", "3D artist", "expert on vacuuming technology' yes!
I saw another good line.. what was it again... mmmmmm.. Ah, found it!
'Yikes, now I really have to get back to work o.O'
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