All of these technical abilities could be a great help to maintaining value for the contributors. It's a particularly interesting idea to count "link-backs"-- like references in publlications. I'll be curious (and hopeful) to see if curriculum "popularity" can be valued as much as research references.
I agree that many people (like all of us in this challenge) enjoy contributing to educational programs and learning materials. The issue is just how to keep everyone focused on the Cookbook versus posting their curriculum content elsewhere.
One of the functions I oversaw at Stanford was case writing for entrepreneurship and innovation cases. We distributed Stanford business school cases through the Harvard case distribution system. Faculty around the world know to go that source for content (written by many schools/professors), and schools around the world know to go there and expect to pay per-case-per-student for use of the cases. While I was at Stanford we discussed, but didn't decide, how we were going to distibute curriculum modules that didn't follow a case format but included experiential learning exercises, video, etc.
So, while I feel you are smart to focus first on what the students, instructors and contributors need and want in terms of the recipes, you will need to eventually focus on becoming a known and trusted source of curriulum and will need to provide incentives for everyone to go to, and then stick with, the Cookbook. The "business model" will have to be prototyped and tested too.
I love the Cookbook. Because I have been hearing about this project from a member of the team for the past year, I know some things you didn't emphasize in your description here but that I am impressed by. My understanding is that you are open to many people/organizations contributing recipes, which could be seen as being generous and/or a practical tactic to ensure success.
It will be extremely valuable to have curriculum units, which are based on real-world challenges and experience, available to instructors. I completely agree that most do not have time to update a significant amount of course content every quarter or semester. And making the content available in small units lets the instructor select whatever is appropriate while retaining control over the course curriculum.
My question is how to make the Cookbook sustainable. Even though I feel that companies and skilled designers SHOULD want to contribute to educating future workers (or citizens, broadly), the reality is that priorities change and people get busy with other projects. What is the incentive for people to contribute recipes after the initial excitement?