Beth Noveck's work in public service using the Net has strongly influenced a lot of people, including myself.
(You can check it out in her new book, Wiki Government.)
Her work reminds me that the American people have always wanted to pitch in to help out each other, to help others in need.
Some people express that in public service, like serving in the armed forces, becoming a teacher or investigative reporter, or any of the many forms available to Americans. This is a high form of patriotism.
However, many of us serve in other ways. Americans often have the time, expertise, or cash to help out.
Often, time and expertise are the most valuable of contributions. Sometimes, it's cash, though the need for that is often overstated. (I guess we're all getting too many requests for money.)
How do we, as a country, as a people, unleash this potential and all get involved?
Is it this "craigslist for service" thing?