So, we've been busy working on lots of things, but I'm spending the day getting caught up on a few paperwork and administrative to do items. One "to do" was to share with you some recent mail, both electronic and postal:

Traces of Hope

We received an email from one of the organizers of an interactive project called "Traces of Hope" by the British Red Cross. The experience is designed to help bring awareness to conflict zones around the world, in this case Uganda.

I wrote back with some suggestions and feedback based on things we discovered when working on campaigns focused on real world issues in the past as part of

Check out the site and we wish the team the best in taking a different approach toward bringing attention to a noble cause.


We also received a package at the Collective Detective Compound containing promotional materials for a viral marketing campaign around the movie Blindness. The package contained a card embossed with "i am blind" in text and also in braille, two pairs of wrap around shades (like you'd get after having your eyes dilated) with "" printed on them, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a PO Box in Toluca Lake, CA.

It was very awesome of the campaign organizers to track us down (we've moved recently) and send this to us. We started in '02, so it's nice that six years later, colleagues and friends still send us stuff as part of their campaigns.


The last notable piece out of the mailbag is from a member of the original

It's great to see CD back online and to read about your plans. It sounds very exciting.

I was wondering if the old forums are archived somewhere. So much wonderful brain power and hard work was reflected on it, and it serves as a history of that genre's gaming community. It would be a shame if it was lost. If you have a chance, could you please drop me a link to it, that is if it still exists.

We archived that version of the site in '05 and it was available until late '06 I believe. We recently changed servers and did some massive updates and the site is archived, but no longer publicly available.

It's amazing the longevity and interest in the community and what we all participated in, accomplished, and the experiences we took away. It's a great feeling to have been a part of something like that. We appreciate it and thank everyone who ever stopped by.

At least once a year we get an email asking about buying the archives or an inquiry into putting it back online. Due to the privacy of the detectives, selling the archives is highly unlikely to happen. Putting up the old site up for even nostalgic reasons would involve massive upgrades to the application to get current with dependent software packages and to secure it against security vulnerabilities. Besides, the Internet is full of tools that are generations ahead of the 2002 custom-built ones on

  • Our Trail system, could now be set-up with free wiki software like pbwiki
  • Our IRC network could be done over Twitter or any IM chat software
  • There are plenty of feature-rich forums and comment systems out there -- you can even set-up a WordPress meta-blog and use distributed comment systems like Disqus

Of course, having a web application which unified all of these tools was a great reason for the success of CD, but in today's internet, distributed tools, information, and multiple communities are a better way to go. Get the info "up in the cloud" as it were.

What These Things Have in Common

The thing that loops all of the above together is that we wanted to thank everyone in Collective Detective's past, from our most awesome supporters, to our critics, friends, lurkers, and customers. However, our future is in a much different direction than our past; we're a different organization on a new mission. We'll occasionally have something to say about past projects and we're happy to dispense advice to anyone who wants to learn or hear about the things we've learned and experiences but we're not focusing on the types of viral marketing promotions we've promoted, created, or consulted on in the past.

For the nostalgic, if you look closely you will be able find a lot of CD influences in Collectivus, our next project. We've also taken and applied a lot of the lessons learned from and beyond. We look forward to writing more chapters about our the projects ahead, now that we've closed the chapter on what came before.