Tom Morris mentioned the gitjour project on the semantic web IRC channel today and it set me thinking.
Gitjour enables collaboration on a local network by tying together Bonjour (aka Zeroconf) and the git distributed source control system. It lets a developer publish the source direct from their own machine, without having to set up a public mirror. The advantages are great for camp-style hackathons.
However, I rarely get to such hurrahs and if I do, prefer to spend time talking to others and mining their brains. What I do have though is an extended, continuous "camp" that exists among a subset of my IM contacts, Twitter friends, and so on.
What I want is a version of Bonjour that works over a virtual network established from an ad-hoc list of friends and groups selectable from a social networking tool.
I know, this is starting to sound like Groove or any other number of peer-based collaborative tools. The point is I don't want to join any walled garden and get "monetized", I want to use existing Bonjour-aware tools, just among an ad-hoc group of people.
The hard bit as ever is firewall traversal, but this has been solved more than a few times now. It seems we've got the tools, we just need some enterprising developer to glue it all together.