This question is inspired by the success and more importantly, the democratizing affect of the polymath projects and Mathoverflow. I put the idea in my NSF proposals a few times, but the panels don't seem to like it these days. So this year, instead of asking the government for help, I will appeal to my fellow MO readers! (-:
So, my dream is to build up a website where people who like to think about, say, commutative algebra and related questions, can gather, propose and work on different research questions, from undergraduate level all the way up. So, anyone can start a thread about some question/project they like to do, and people can discuss, develop and hopefully produce research-level results. Or, if you want to set up a MRC type summer school but don't want to bother applying for it. Or, if you want to study a paper but don't want to do it alone.
Other features may include:
Links to good survey articles/freely available text/insightful MO anwers/blog posts on various topics.
Articles on the history of the area.
News on interesting connections to related areas.
I think such a resource would be quite useful and as mentioned above, make math more democratic. For instance, it is important for young people to take part in research as soon as they can, but if you come from a small school or a poor country, opportunity for such experience might be non-existent. Even for more senior researchers, funding/invitation to conferences are increasingly difficult to obtain and depend sometimes on who you are friendly with.
So my questions are:
Question 1: Do you know of any such attempt in any area (mathematics or other)?
Question 2: Do you have any technical advice on where to host the website, what new (hopefully cheaply available) software to help making it, potential funding partners? Any experience to share, or potential problems you can foresee?
PS: I was away from MO for a while, where is the community wiki button now?
PPS: if you are interested in such a project for commutative algebra, let me know in the comments or email.