A crowd-sourcing approach to local government resembles a barn raising more than a vending machine as a model for serving the community. Instead of elected leaders exclusively deciding the services to be offered and setting the (tax) price of the government vending machine, a barn raising tackles shared challenges through what former Indianapolis mayor Stephen Goldsmith calls "government by network."
Citizen groups, individual volunteers, activists, nonprofits, other public agencies, businesses, and ad hoc coalitions contribute to the designing, delivering, and funding of public services. The media compatible with this model are not the newspapers—the local newspaper reporting yesterday's council meeting, for example. The new media are the instant Facebook postings, tweets, and YouTube clips that keep our shifting body politic in touch.