Category Archives: MacArthur Fellows

Budding farmer seeking stick shift lessons

Posted by Hillary this week on her Winooski Front Porch Forum

Hey friends!

I’m new to the neighborhood — I’ve loved FPF since I joined… I’m hoping you can help me!

I’m a young farmer and am applying for my absolute dream job. I have made it to the 2nd round of interviews and just found out that I must know how to drive manual. And I don’t… yet. Hopefully that’s where you come in!

Would you mind helping me learn how to drive manual? I’m a quick study and understand the way a manual transmission works. I’ve used many tractors and am familiar with shifting and clutches… I’ve just never had the chance to learn!

I’d be happy to rent a manual transmission car if you don’t feel comfortable driving yours. I can offer lunch at Pingala (my favorite place!) or some beers for an hour or so of your time.

Hoping to hear from you! Thanks!!

What’s on your FPF?

EveryBlock back at it with Comcast at the wheel

From the Washington Post today

The cable giant Comcast is reviving the once-future of local online news, announcing on its corporate blog that it has expanded its relaunch of the news and social site EveryBlock to include its home city of Philadelphia, at the same time the company is digging into its potential nation-wide merger with Time Warner Cable.

“EveryBlock,” writes Comcast’s director of local media development Paul Wright, “is a personalized news feed that allows users to stay connected with neighbors, interact and share what’s happening on their block, and discover great content and information from around their area.  The hyper-local site aggregates news, reviews, events, local blogs and other web content, civic data (like crime reports and 311 requests), as well as user-generated questions and comments, and packages it into a personalized feed for users.”

While the relaunch of EveryBlock Philly is new, Comcast revived the Chicago edition of the site in late January…

Friend of Front Porch Forum, Adrian Holovaty founded EveryBlock in 2007, and received Knight Foundation funding (as FPF did a couple years later).  From the Post article…

Holovaty, in an e-mail, describes himself both pleased and doubtful. “I’ve enjoyed having EveryBlock back because it helps me know what’s happening in my neighborhood,” he says. “But I’m very skeptical about Comcast’s ability to maintain the site well. They’ve given a lot of lip service to putting resources into it, but behind the scenes they aren’t doing much moderation, resulting in off-topic discussions on the site. Plus, more broadly, they don’t have a vision for it.”

Before Adrian left EveryBlock, their Chicago site enjoyed great traction and engagement.  It’s not clear if they can get that back… especially across many different metro areas.