Logo

Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

There are countless examples of neighbors helping neighbors on Front Porch Forum! See some recent examples of FPF members in need of specific items, resulting in a huge helping response from their neighbors!

July 11, 2019: Hey Forum Fam!!!! Need a twin size or full size matress please!!! Just found a room to move into but looking for a bed. Low on cash since most my money will be toward the room. Let me know if y’all have any leads. Thanks!!! 

July 13, 2019: The response to the mattress situation was astronomically great!!! I think the Forum is the best thing I’ve come across as far as people helping their community!!!” • David H., Montpelier, Vt.

 

“A few weeks ago, I posted an announcement about a baby boy who belongs to a young homeless couple that are “tenting” in Stowe. I asked for donations of baby items. The response was nothing short of amazing. This little boy who was born on May 3rd, he received so much love from members of our community. Diapers, formula, clothing, a stroller and so much more. Stowe Barber Shop is where he often hangs out. A rocking chair even made its way here and people waiting for haircuts will rock him and hold him. I just want everyone who contributed to know what a BLESSING you ARE!” • Regina C., Stowe, Vt.

Need some help finding an item or working on a project? In the spirit of sharing? Keep up with your local FPF!


Vermont Country Stores Reach Customers via Front Porch Forum

From Anne Wallace Allen in VTDigger yesterday…

Jack Garvin, longtime manager of the Warren Store in the Mad River Valley, which sells gifts, housewares, craft beer and other items, said that like every store, his has a group of regulars who meet every morning for coffee. Apart from participating in a huge range of events, Garvin finds it helpful to advertise on Front Porch Forum (FPF), the online bulletin board.

“Regardless of how loyal your customers are — and they love the idea of having a country store in their town — when it comes to bottom line and looking at your wallet and looking at your disposable income, they’ll by and large go to the better deals,” Garvin said. But he added he can see through FPF analytics that his ads reach people outside the Mad River Valley.

“We don’t know how that translates into people walking in the door, but people are paying attention,” he said.


“How Front Porch Forum is Empowering the Citizens of Vermont”

Front Porch Forum’s CEO and Co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, met with Patrick O’Keefe of Community Signal to discuss how Front Porch Forum empowers Vermont neighbors.

“A vibrant local community, part of it is a functional local government. You need engaged citizens, and you need a vibrant local business sector if you want to have a healthy community. … It’s hard to do that in the age of Amazon and Facebook.” -Michael Wood-Lewis

Citizens of Vermont have used FPF to get to know their neighbors, share become informed about what’s happening in their communities, and actively participate in community projects and local democracy. Listen to the full interview or read the highlights here.


Fighting Online Bullying

From Micah Sifry in Civicist 1st Post today

Katy Steinmetz reports for Time magazine on how Instagram is trying to use AI to reduce how much the platform is used for cyberbullying, but as she notes, “it’s much easier to recognize when someone in a photo is not wearing pants than it is to recognize the broad array of behavior that might be considered bullying.” Oh, and the person in charge of this whole effort, Adam Mosseri, previously was in charge of the development of Facebook NewsFeed, so this should inspire confidence. (How does your AI read sarcasm, he asked.)

One problem with Steinmetz’s article is that she accepts the frame of all the blitzscaled platforms, which is that connecting the entire world online requires massively open platforms, unfortunately creating massive toxic effects. But cyberbullying isn’t, as Steinmetz writes, “a problem that crops up anywhere the people congregate online.” It’s a problem that crops up wherever a platform has been optimized for engagement over any other value, and where there is limited to no human moderation. For example, a user of Front Porch Forum in Vermont, where each instance is centered on a neighborhood of roughly 1000 households and a paid part-time moderator helps keep the conversation civil, does not experience cyberbullying, as a recent study found.


Help spread the word in Glens Falls!

A reminder that FPF is expanding to Upstate NY! This piece from the Advokate, a native to the Glens Falls region, gives a good summary of what’s coming and how you can help spread the word.


Front Porch Forum is expanding to Upstate New York!

Residents in Warren and Washington counties, NY, will now have access to their own FPF!  If you live, work, or know anyone in the greater Glens Falls/Lake George area, across the line from Bennington and Rutland counties — ask them to sign up at FrontPorchForum.com and help spread the word!

FPF‘s mission is to help neighbors connect and build community.  Our free community e-newsletters go out daily with postings from neighbors, community organizations, and local businesses about everything from lost dogs to plumber recommendations to upcoming community events.  Sign up today, and join the conversation!


FPF Becomes an Example for Community-Building Tech in Canada

Do you speak french? Check out this wonderful piece about Front Porch Forum from our neighbors at Radio Canada. Reporter, Janic Tremblay, shares his experiences speaking to FPF members at a screening of the film “The Story of Vermont’s Quiet Digital Revolution.” Attendees share how FPF has encouraged forming positive relationships with neighbors, neighbors who bring their hyper-local forums to life.

Read Janic Tremblay’s article in french here.


Sweet Notes of Spring

Spring is in the air and folks are sharing their seasonal observations on Front Porch Forum. Among the leafy trees, fragrant lilacs and colorful, rolling hills, one Vermont neighbor spotted another, more humorous note of spring sweetness.

“I thought this might be enjoyed by more than me… ( I laughed all the way home about this…)… as I was driving to the Richmond Park, from the back way in Williston, through Fays Corners, you travel by a farm just as the road swerves left. There was a cow or a bull, large dark brown, standing in full view,… she/he had had her coat shaved with the words ………… “PROM?” : ) That made my day, and I wonder if the person for whom that was intended received the message……. Please share with your Richmond friends. : )” • Kathleen B., Hinesburg, Vt.

That’s one creative prom-posal!


“How Front Porch Forum is Empowering the Citizens of Vermont”

Front Porch Forum’s co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, met with Patrick O’Keefe of Community Signal to discuss how Front Porch Forum empowers Vermont neighbors.

Michael shared, “a vibrant local community… part of it is a functional local government. You also need engaged citizens, and you need a vibrant local business sector if you want to have a healthy community.  It’s hard to do that in the age of Amazon and Facebook.”

Citizens of Vermont use FPF to get to know their neighbors, share, become informed about what’s happening in their communities, and actively participate in community projects and local democracy. Listen to the full interview or read the highlights here.