Back when I was interning at AT&T Labs, I had an idea for a collaborative online mosaic. I tried to implement it with applets on the frontend and a persistent java server behind the scenes. It was all too complicated and brittle (and slow) for such a simple idea, and so I shelved it.

Time passed, AJAX matured, and I met Julia Schwarz, who was interning at HCII for the summer. Looking to flex her web programming muscles, I suggested the project. Within a few hours, she had gotten a version up and running. Later, additional colors were introduced and an archive of the mosaic over time was created.

The video below shows what strangers did with our online experiment from roughly September 2008 to February 2010. The site went offline sometime in 2014.

© Chris Harrison