While online file sharing protocols like BitTorrent have their uses, if you want to discover and share cool files with the community, a new project called Dead Drops—in which you leave files on flash drives scattered about—may offer inspiration.
The idea behind Dead Drops is that people can share their favourite files and data through USB flash drives embedded into walls and buildings, and can discover other people's files in the same way. Each dead drop is installed empty except for a readme file explaining the project. It's a neat idea, and while it isn't without flaws, could serve as inspiration for similar smaller projects.
Obviously, my first issue is with the publicity of these drives—anyone can come along and install malicious software onto one and infect others. Also, embedding it into a building only works if you have permission to do so—which I can't imagine is that widespread. All that said, the idea of an offline peer-to-peer network is interesting, and could certainly give birth to smaller, similar ventures—perhaps in your closer, more trusted group of friends, a college dorm, or other small community. Hit the link to read more about it, and then come back and share your thoughts. Are there any instances in which this would be a project you'd want to start? Or would you just as soon stick with BitTorrent, Google Docs and other online file sharing methods? Let us know in the comments.