This is a response to volume 1, John Card Number 16 ("A Wider Circle")...
Different strokes for different folks, I guess. It seems to me that the Archipelago "kit" idea would appeal most to those with more of a "technical/creative" orientation (what I would call the Bill Gates/Steven Jobs orientation).
For those types I can see that there would be quite alot of satisfaction in seeing your technically creative creation get a wide audience. I can also see quite alot of applications for this type of communicative vehicle. Of course, the audience for the various "kits" would be smaller, and you would be surrendering editorial participation with regards to what the content of the "kit" would be like.
Speaking for myself, being of a non-technical creative orientation (what I would call the Pablo Neruda/
J.R.R. Tolkien orientation -- [John's genius is that he is of both orientations]), most of the fun for me comes in creating the "kit" content and in reading/responding to the "kit" content that others have created. And of course every writer likes an audience.
Therefore, what appeals to me is the idea of keeping relatively centralized the creative/ technical infrastructure that enables ALL the various types of creative activity to blossom (i.e.,Archipelago), while at the same time I like the idea of widening the audience that can be exposed to this creative activity.
Does that make any sense?