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The Extranet project took a number of unexpected turns over the course of the last twelve months. The beginning of the year saw a great deal of activity toward the development of this tool. Progress came to a halt in May, however, when the onset of other major technical projects diverted energies away from this one. The Extranet remained dormant for five months, allowing the members of the team to focus on other creative projects, and, of course, on actually attending the event.

Apparently the unabashed vibrance of Black Rock City proved inspirational; the project started to revive itself even before the dust had settled. In the past three months we have made a great deal of progress. A dedicated team, strengthened by new arrivals, has improved the original Extranet's foundation and is currently on schedule for a first release in springtime of 2003.. The timing is auspicious, as the staff and regionals are clamoring even louder and more urgently for the collaborative team-building tools that the Extranet will provide. Due to the urgency of the need, the organization did choose to divert from an all volunteer team meeting twice a month to a smaller, tighter team consisting of volunteers and contractors driven with a tight timeline and deliverables.

The Extranet is being built as an application framework within which a number of web-based tools can be constructed. It interoperates with the Database Team's PeopleDB, and it is meant to be a means by which the people in that database can communicate with each other. Our intent is to grow the tool into a means for our participants to express themselves creatively in a fashion not unlike what is provided on the playa.

After the initial launch in springtime 2003 the team will continue building and tweaking the environment to include a wide variety of features that will appeal to all Burning Man groups organizing projects, such as regionals, theme camps and art installations. We can't wait to show the community what we've built.

Submitted by,
Rob Miller
Technology Dept Lead

Click here to read the 2001 Extranet report.