The Washington Post reported recently that email still trumps social media in political campaigning… “and it’s not close.”
Category Archives: Community Management
“VCRD launched the Vermont Digital Economy Project to offer free support to speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters. The project worked directly with Vermont towns affected by 2011’s floods to help businesses, nonprofits and municipalities expand their use of online tools. Together with project partners, we helped increase digital literacy and online workforce training, added Wi-Fi and other public access points, brought a community-based social network to every Vermont town, created town websites and community calendars, promoted the use of “cloud” applications, and provided customized small-business and nonprofit training.”
Check out this interactive map for lots of stories and real-world results:
UPDATE: Congratulations to our lucky drawing winner, Mary B., from Fair Haven, VT. She invited three friends who all signed up immediately and started participating on their local FPF!
People join their local Front Porch Forum when they hear about it from someone they know. Spread the word to your Vermont contacts, and be entered to win an iPad mini!
Here’s how to enter:
Use FPF’s Invitation feature to invite as many Vermonters as you like (FPF is now available in every town and neighborhood in the state). You’ll be entered into the raffle once for each person who actually signs up for a new FPF account by Dec. 5, 2014.
To get started:
- Go to http://FrontPorchForum.com and click LOGIN (if not already logged in)
- Click MY ACCOUNT
- Click INVITE FRIENDS TODAY under “Pitch In”
- Enter one legitimate email address of a Vermonter you know into each row. Click ADD ANOTHER if you want to enter more than three email addresses. Don’t worry if you’re not sure if your friend is already an FPF member… our system will NOT send invitations to email addresses already used by FPF accounts. Be sure to click SEND INVITE to finish.
We will verify that the iPad winner adhered to the letter and the spirit of this raffle (so please play nice!). It’s all about spreading the word about Front Porch Forum to more Vermonters — helping neighbors connect and build community.
Thanks to one and all.
P.S. Please keep in mind that you can always send folks to http://FrontPorchForum.com to sign up on their own.
To get the most out of Front Porch Forum, and to keep your FPF account working well, please try the following:
- See your new FPF COMMUNITY CALENDAR for local events:
- Go to http://FrontPorchForum.com and click LOGIN (if not already logged in), and click CALENDAR to see nearby events.
- Or just click the VIEW YOUR FPF CALENDAR orange button or icon in your e-newsletter.
- You also can embed this calendar into other local websites or automatically add FPF-listed events to other online calendars.
- SEARCH your FPF’s POSTING ARCHIVE for past recommendations, free items, break-in reports, etc.:
- Go to http://FrontPorchForum.com and click LOGIN (if not already logged in).
- Click SEARCH ARCHIVE to look for postings from any FPF to which you have full access.
- Check daily postings from NEIGHBORING FPFs:
- Near the bottom of your FPF e-newsletter under “News from Neighboring FPFs,” click the READ MORE link(s).
- STAY LOGGED IN to the FPF website between visits (so the steps above are easier):
- Go to http://FrontPorchForum.com and click LOGOUT (if available), then click LOGIN.
- Enter your email address and FPF password, and keep the box checked for “Remember me when I come back.” Click the orange “Log In” button.
- If your web browser asks you if you want it to remember this login information, select “yes.”
- To have your login information remembered by your computer, you may need to adjust your web browser’s preferences/settings to allow “cookies” for the FrontPorchForum.com website.
- ENSURE CONSISTENT DELIVERY of your FPF e-newsletters:
- Please add these email addresses to your email’s address book/contact list: [your FPF’s name]@frontporchforum.com (i.e., the email address in the FROM field of your FPF e-newsletter) and email@example.com.
- Check your spam filter for FPF e-newsletters. If you find any, please mark them as NOT SPAM. Please do NOT mark any email message from FPF as spam.
- Tell your email provider that messages from the following addresses are not spam and that they should be “white listed:” [your FPF’s name]@frontporchforum.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you stop using your current email addresses, please update the email address on your existing FPF account (rather than creating a new FPF account for this new email address). To do so, login to FPF and click MY ACCOUNT.
Best wishes this holiday season!
If you try to build a community for a group of people (especially within an existing boundary i.e. employees), they tend to react the same way.
First, they’re skeptical.
They don’t know you. They don’t have time for the community. They’re worried that the community will change a status quo that benefits them… You must remain enthusiastic and keep pushing. You must work with the rare believers in your vision, not those against it.
Second, they’re incredulous.
They can’t believe it’s succeeding. Why are people going along with this? Are they crazy? They set an increasingly angry tone. You must not react/respond to them… Be open to any questions they have. Don’t let them provoke a negative reaction that will undermine your efforts.
Third, they accept it.
They’re members. This is quite sudden. Once they realize they’re in danger of being left behind, they become members.
As we’ve opened up online Front Porch Forum communities for every locale in Vermont, we find many who welcome us gladly, some who are indifferent, and a few who follow Alinsky’s pattern above. But those few make a lot of noise and demand our attention. We remain open to input, concerns and fresh ideas… but we’ve also come to realize that the initial skepticism and incredulity will most likely be replaced with acceptance in a few weeks… and even blossom into vigorous use and championing of their local FPF to neighbors.
Posting today on the Barre Town FPF…
I want to publicly thank our town clerk for the great effort and use of Front Porch Forum to keep the residents of BarreTown well informed of all the deadlines and pertinent information associated with the upcoming election on November 4th.
Paul posted on the Hinesburg Front Porch Forum the other day that opinions should be kept out of FPF postings, asking neighbors to “keep things kind and helpful.”
A neighbor Frank replied…
There are few forums for expressing opinions, besides at coffee shops, hair salons/barber shops and… on our front porches. I say, keep ‘em coming [on our Front Porch Forum]. It’s part of what makes us a community. Indeed, as I am writing this on the 4th of July, I dare say the freedom to express ourselves is uniquely American.
Followed by another perspective from Craig…
I cannot disagree enough that we should not express our opinions or share news & information that affects us as community members on Front Porch Forum. The word “forum” itself expresses the goal of open discussion on matters that affect us on a broad level. It’s disappointing to see people suggesting that one of the only forum left to us to discuss community issues be limited to the innocuous and unimportant.
It sure would be sad if we had to rely only on government official announcements and the so-called “news” for information impacting us as citizens. Most of the important issues don’t get aired through those one-sided and for-profit venues. Democracy and freedom need a channel unfettered by government and corporate interests, like Front Porch Forum.
I find some of the most cogent and important information tome as a Hinesburgian on this site…
In days of yore, it was the public space — the Common or the Green — that was the place we gathered and expressed (and heard) uncomfortable opinions. In Providence, you can still see the speaker’s pulpit (the soapbox). In Boston, 200 acres were set aside for the purpose. And, yes, some of those viewpoints are potentialy offfensive to some, even repugnant. In the vaccuum of true journalism in mass media today, we need an electronic version of the public forum, and I am thankful a channel like Front Porch Forum exists to provide it.
I give money regularly to FPF to keep alive a public forum. I would not provide financial support to a non-forum where no ideas or opinions are shared.
Like all other media… if you don’t like it, don’t consume it. If you don’t like what the guy on the soapbox is saying, take another path, or block your ears. Hide your kids’ eyes. But don’t inhibit his freedom.
Then Jane posted…
I agree with [Craig] about Front Porch Forum being a valuable venue to express our opinions and ideas and I thank him for taking the time to express his feelings.
And it ended with a remarkable follow-up posting by Paul… a rare act of open-mindedness in this era of partisanship….
Sigh, still growing and learning. As I read posts and REALLY thought about it, I realized this IS a forum for ideas and opinions. Thanks for making me think again. It just caught me on a day when I was really tired, had read too many negative things in different forums, and I let those feelings spill out before thoroughly considering. Unfortunately, I wrote before fully thinking it through and realize that is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping others would not do. Hmmm, still growing and learning. Thanks, everyone.
Front Porch Forum is now available in every town and neighborhood in Vermont! Check out the media coverage here.
Please tell friends, family, co-workers, schoolmates and others to join at FrontPorchForum.com. Share the news via email lists, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter… all channels are appreciated!
We’re especially grateful to the Vermont Council on Rural Development for supporting FPF’s expansion to the entire state.
We depend on word-of-mouth from FPF members to spread the news to others… so please pitch in. Send people to: http://FrontPorchForum.com
-Michael and the FPF team
UPDATE: Responses are pouring in from around Vermont…
- CONGRATS FPF – THAT IS QUITE SOME ACHIEVEMENT! You have a lot of fans out here! -Will, Burlington
- Congratulations to you and your team for making FPF part of our way of life! -Mickey, Cambridge
- You have done a great service for Vermont. Thank you. -Barbara, South Hero
- I cannot thank you enough for starting the FPF !! It has been such a wonderful way of neighbor helping neighbor! We get so much more news this way than any other source!! -Ginger, Williston
- I saw this announcement as GREAT news, as I enjoy my FPF. Thanks for all the work you do and the Staff does behind the scenes. This truly is a great community resource. – John, Fairfax
- I love FPF and look forward to reading it every day. -Kitty, East Montpelier
- I think FPF is great, and read every Ferrisburgh issue. Thanks, and keep up the good work. -Don, Ferrisburgh
- Congratulations on reaching Every Vermont Town and Neighborhood with your awesome Front Porch Forum. This is an enormous community and Vermont strengthening accomplishment. Your significant contribution, using technology to build and enliven people’s lives and our neighborhoods via FPF, has greatly increased my neighborly collaboration and sense of belonging, and I’ve lived in the same house for over 30 years. Who’ll ever know the extent of positive social change that you all have catalyzed? Thank you one and all. Gratefully, a FPF regular… -Jean, Burlington
#VT - Neighbors are using their Waterbury Front Porch Forum to discuss their new municipal civic center. This type of potentially controversial topic often elicits conflicting responses from FPF members.
Member A: “The Waterbury Forum was NOT meant for politics; the newspapers, radio and TV take care of that… Now lets all get back to basics and the purpose of this forum – to help each other NOT preach at each other. I and most of us could care LESS about your opinions. I for one will discontinue use of this forum if it continues.”
Member B: “It’s been great to watch the discussion about our new Municipal Civic Center take hold here on FPF. This is really what Front Porch Forum is all about, the (civil) conversation!… Thanks everyone for weighing in and keep those thoughts coming! We believe in a community where everyone has their say.”
FPF encourages the neighborly exchange of facts, opinions and ideas about local issues. FPF is a great place to introduce this information and increase interest in the topic (since so many people read their FPF). In some cases after the initial discussion, moving off-line to in-person facilitated dialogue is recommended.
UPDATE: Here’s one more perspective shared today…
Member C: “I am in favor of using this forum for information, political or otherwise. This isn’t just a neighborhood Craigslist. There are views in this forum that you just don’t get in the newspaper or the news. Sometimes there are topics that I am not interested in reading about, so I don’t read them. I think FPF is a great thing!”
Ghost of Midnight is an online journal about fostering community within neighborhoods, with a special focus on Front Porch Forum (FPF). My wife, Valerie, and I founded FPF in 2006... read more
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