Many thanks to Wired’s Jeff Howe who’s 2006 article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” put an effective label at what the internet was doing to business. Building from Web 2.0 applications focused on social media like Facebook and on-line communities, it’s become a popular and controversial term in tech circles. For those not as familiar with the idea, let’s consult the most often used example of crowdsourcing – Wikipedia. “Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions.
In thousands of planning and zoning laws across the nation, official announcements are required to be published in the local newspaper of "general circulation." In an era of newspaper decline and expanding diversity of media, are these laws becoming obsolete? Furthermore, should we be concerned with newspapers at all if a newer, more universally accessible medium is available: the Internet?
A variety of announcements are legally required to be published in a local periodical of "general circulation," sometimes in addition to being published in an official government gazette. The practice entered the planning world through the U.S. Department of Commerce's highly influential standard zoning and planning enabling acts.
During my term of office as president of the American Planning Association, I made my theme “telling the planning story.” My point then – and today – is that we need to do a better job of explaining to our many publics what it is that planners do and why it makes a difference.