rubber-duckie-thingieWe have this document that we lovingly refer to as the Collectivus Manifesto. In it, you would find the entire vision of what Collectivus is, will be, and a roadmap of how to get there — but we're not going to let you read it.

In January of 2010, we turned on our first experiment in social objects. We sent a few hundred physical Rubber Duckie Thingies loose on the world and tracked their Encounters all over the globe. And all over the globe they have traveled. Today, they're still popping up and people are still looking for them.

On Monday, October 3rd, we began rolling out the next chapter of the manifesto and soft-launched the second prototype version of Collectivus. If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you got an early start playing with our new web application and our new Thingies. Today, we want to give you a heads-up and expand the number of testers.

you-are-beautiful-sign-thingiesock-monkey-thingiethingie-hashtag-thingie

With this new version, we're also introducing virtual objects to the mix. We call these: "Digital Thingies." Digital Thingies act the same way our Analog Thingies (the Rubber Duckies) do: You can pick them up, drop them, give them to people and carry them from place to place — well sort of. Different Thingies have different attributes. Some can't be dropped, only given and vice versa. Some have prerequisites that have to be met in order to Encounter a Thingie. We'll have more on these features in the future, in the meantime, just fire up Collectivus and start looking.

We've also made it easy to connect Collectivus to you foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, or Twitter accounts. It's still a work-in-progress, but the goal is to alert you to Thingies near your location when you check-in or post geotagged status updates to these services. You can also optionally check-in and share your Thingie encounters to these services right from Collectivus.

As we mentioned before, this is our second prototype. We're releasing it to get feedback and to get testing help from the community. If you're the type that likes a finished product and doesn't like their cheese moved, you may want to wait a bit. Collectivus is apt to break and have odd things happen, it doesn't work well on all browsers, and we'll be changing and moving things often based on your feedback.

For those of you who like to bang on betas and such, this is for you!

To all our original users:

  • Version 1 of the prototype is retired. We rebuilt everything; no going back.
  • Your account and encounter history was migrated.
  • If you're having trouble logging in, please try reseting your password

To newcomers: Thank you for taking an interest and welcome!

To everyone:

Thank you for your interest in our Thingies. Have fun on your encounters!