Instant innovation. Voilà.

This week, McClatchy’s Howard Weaver linked to my suggestion for the infrastructure project, mobilizing the public to gather information about crumbling public assets and sharing them on a map or wiki. The online editor of the Merced Sun-Star (newsroom staff: 25) saw it and two hours later, voilàla, the paper added a Platial/Google map to a regular feature in which readers tell the paper about problems in town and the paper reports on what’s happening and who’s responsible. Next week, they’ll tell the readers about their opportunity to use the map to share what they know.

Note that innovation didn’t take a lot of time or a big staff or any geeks writing complex programs to complex specs. Somebody saw an idea and used available tools to just do it and then the paper will add what it can: promotion and reporting. Voilà.