Alternate Title: "How to start a collaborative writing project or die trying,"
Step 1: Lock yourself in your office, fire up Emacs, and write an initial draft from beginning to end yourself.
Step 2: Post it on the Internet.
Step 3: Encourage contributions and hands on feedback from your collaborators. Have a piece of cake.
You may thing that I'm kidding, but it's true. I think there's a misconception that the way to write something with other people follows a path that might look like: having a meeting to establish the common goals and an outline of what needs to get said, and then another meeting to divide up who is going to write want, and then people go back and write their little parts, and then you mash them all up and everyone rewrites their part till it meshes with the other parts, and then you pray it says what you need it to say, and doesn't need further revising--except it sort of dose, so you repeat the whole process over again, to revise the text, except with editing instead of writing.…