Here is an interesting example of collaboration over the Internet, with the collaborative parties not even talking with each other. A fine example of how the connectivity sparks inspiration and creativity, allowing for people to try and do new things.
I was inspired to build by my own homemade lens after reading about Justin Ouellette's homemade lens, who was inspired by John Perkinson's homemade lens, who was inspired by Mark Tucker's plunger lens. A lot of inspiration going around.
When I built my lens, I didn't discuss it with any of the above people, I simply saw their examples on their web site, and thought "hey, that gives me an idea, I could do that." I have since built my lens, built my web page and sent a link back to them in a way of saying thanks for the inspiration and maybe encourage them on to other new ideas. Or for whoever may wonder by.
This is what the Internet gives us, connecting people and ideas in a some what random manner which spurs on new ideas. It gets people to think in different ways, it combines items that normally wouldn't be combined. Each of these people come from different areas, different ages and who I will probably never meet, yet I still learned some thing from them.
The same goes true for the multitude of photo blogs out there, as well as other mediums, arts, and creative endeavors. People are seeing and trying new things, making links that historically wouldn't exist which in turn spurs on even more new ideas. We live in exciting times.