Welcome to Collective Detective!

Collective Detective is a small studio start-up. We're a group using our spare time to build you applications that are fun, entertaining, and socially connect you to other people in interesting ways.

Our current project:

Supporters Union
A new project related to recruiting and connecting supporters of soccer in Austin, Texas.

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Supporters Union

Supporters Union is our latest project. It's a non-profit, soccer supporter's collective working to increase the profile of Austin, Texas as a soccer ...

Supporters Union

Supporters Union was initially envisioned as a broad information center for soccer fans in North America, when we relocated CD headquarters back to Austin, Texas however, that started to change.

Austin is a soccer town that is slowly escaping the sports shadow of being only a college football town. There are passionate fans supporting teams from leagues around the globe, the city is on the radar of professional soccer leagues, but this fragmentation leaves Austin looking for a unified voice and cause to help amplify its passion and support for the beautiful game.

In keeping with our mission of connecting people and interests in fun and creative ways, we're kicking off a new project in Austin to help introduce people to the sport, supporters, and help build the community.

Keep up with Supporters Union happenings. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


From January 2008 to January 2014, we developed Collectivus, a social location game available as a small prototype. We had a few hundred physical rubber ducks, and thousands of virtual objects located all over the world — we call them "Thingies." These Thingies traveled from place to place, each recording a narrative of the places they've been and people they've encountered.

Collectivus first launched when we put about 600 Rubber Ducks out into the wild, trackable by an app where people could log their encounters, post their photos with them, and track their progress across the world. Starting from Pennsylvania, the Rubber Duckie Thingies reached as far as Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; Portugal; Australia; and beyond. Our Thingies are still popping up today.

In late 2011, we relaunched the app with a focus on virtual objects — or as we call them: Digital Thingies. With more and more applications providing location-context to status updates, Digital Thingies accent these activities, sometimes to add context, sometimes as part of a game, often as decoration. Since both Digital and Analog Thingies travel from place to place, their history contains a narrative of the places they've been and people they've encountered. This creates a unique way to randomly discover new people, places, and stories when a Thingie is encountered and a way to share tips, information, and thoughts outside of a person's established social graph.

Collectivus is currently on an indefinite hiatus.


In 1998, founder/partner Josh Babetski started a small, freelance web development shop performing full lifecycle application development called “TaxiCafe Media.”

2001 brought the rise of viral and transmedia storytelling online. Seeing the marketing and entertainment opportunity in these campaigns, Josh became involved in these immersive and interactive narratives. Frustrated by a lack of adequate online tools needed to collaborate on these complex stories and puzzles, TaxiCafe Media launched CollectiveDetective.org in 2002 as a informational hub, containing the first unified set of online applications and resources to help the hive mind of the community organize information around these mysteries and adventures.

Collective Detective participated in and created original campaigns, as well as provided consulting on ways to engage and promote audiences. With a focus on these interactive projects and a shift away from professional web development services, TaxiCafe Media became Collective Detective in 2004.

Collective Detective is headquartered in beautiful Austin, Texas.

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Made in New York, NY, and Austin TX, USA