Dave Winer alerted me to the Knight News Challenge, a source of funding designed to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation. I've been thinking for a few hours now about ways a project done with Fargo might foster expression and innovation.
One of the big strengths of Fargo, in my opinion, is that it enables quick entry of organized information that can be published in an open way (i.e., via OPML and HTML). This makes it a powerful tool for scientists. Behavioral researchers like myself spend a great deal of time (1) writing and debugging experiment programs and software, (2) conducting data analyses with different statistical programs (e.g., SPSS) and programming languages (e.g., R, Python), and (3) writing and disseminating the resulting findings. To do all of these steps well (and in an open, reproducible way), good documentation is a necessity. Fortunately, like I've said, Fargo enables good documentation.
So an initial idea is to build services that strengthen Fargo as a means for academic and research documentation. Right now I am visualizing this as a "Fargo for academics," but of course, Fargo is already for academics (and programmers, poets, etc.; everybody else), so when I say "Fargo for academics," I mean that in an abstract way.
One tangible link/possibility: I have become an interested follower of the Center for Open Science (COS) stationed in Charlottesville, VA. The COS built and supports a tool called the Open Science Framework, which encourages open documentation of research and other academic collaborations. Right now the Open Science Framework uses a wiki-like system to record researcher notes. This system might be enhanced considerably by a connection to a tool like Fargo. It would be really neat to link up Fargo and the Open Science Framework for better research documentation, where you publish a note in Fargo and the OPML gets sucked up by the Open Science Framework.
So that's one fuzzy idea. Since I don't much know the folks at the COS (I do have a few connections, though), some more conversation there would be required. Since two of the six implementation objectives of COS involve strengthening infrastructure, though, I bet they'd be into it. The end goal would be to use Fargo to strengthen the internet for expression and innovation through open science -- something that'd be good for all of us.