The real power of civic hacking lies in the delicate balance that schoolcuts.org is starting to show us. On the one hand, the great potential-- and the thing that can make civic hacking so much more powerful than conventional advocacy-- is that objectivity, that trustworthiness, that comes from the emphasis on transparency and open data. Frankly, that's a power, a level of standing, that those of us who have been advocates wish we could claim.
The other side, though, is that enabling that change to happen, living up to that potential, is going to require determination and consistency-- and an internal personal or organizational answer to a tough question:
How do I sustain this effort, keep investing my limited time and energy, if I don't have a personal stake in the outcome?