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Category Archives: Social Media


Help in a hurry in Warren

“Thank you everyone for your interest in helping me with my moving/unpacking project. I found someone in 10 minutes after posting! I thought I would get zero replies! Front Porch Forum is amazing.”
• Grace, Mad River Valley FPF


Lost Fitbit in Middlebury? No problem

“Another win for community facilitated by our Front Porch Forum!  I went for a lovely walk on a section of the Trail Around Middlebury Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, I lost my new Fitbit somewhere in a two-hour stretch.  With no time to search, I headed home resigned to my loss.   Later, a friend suggested posting on FPF.   Wow!  Within hours we had three responses, including one from someone who had picked it up and was holding it for me.  Reunited with the Fitbit today.  Thank you FPF friends.”
• Tom, a Burlington FPF


Click local! When will “local first” arrive on digital shores?

I couldn’t agree more with former Vermonter, Dan Gillmor’s recent piece…

Journalists: Stop complaining about Facebook, and do something about it

Dan focuses on Facebook’s growing dominance as a news distributor…

How should we respond? From my perspective, two primary schools of thought have emerged. One is to embrace that dominance, albeit with some unease, and fully participate in Facebook’s ecosystem. Another is to persuade Facebook to take seriously its growing responsibility to help get quality journalism in front of as many people as possible.

Both of those approaches assume that Facebook is too big, too powerful to resist—that we have no alternative but to capitulate to its dominance. But if that is true, the consequences will be disastrous. We will be living in the ecosystem of a company that has repeatedly demonstrated its untrustworthiness, an enterprise that would become the primary newsstand for journalism and would be free to pick the winners via special deals with media people and tweaks of its opaque algorithms. If this is the future, we are truly screwed.

I say: no. Let’s not give up so easily. Instead, let’s resist—and find a way out of this trap… (click to read the full article)

And… to add to Dan’s call… let’s go beyond journalism.  Let’s click local for retail, for discussion, for classifieds, for reviews, for sports, for entertainment, for networking and more.  Many communities have local efforts underway, and they struggle to capture people’s attention as so many of us habitually scroll through our Facebook feeds, go to Amazon, Yelp, etc.  Why not try local efforts?  While the internet and mobile devices still hold the promise of decentralization of power, we now know that the digital juggernaut is also acting as a giant concentrator of wealth into a small number of pockets.  Thousands of local taxi companies replaced by Uber and Lyft.  Thousands of local bookstores replaced by Amazon.

To quote Dan one more time…

I say: no. Let’s not give up so easily. Instead, let’s resist—and find a way out of this trap.


Little cork cottage in Monkton

“If anyone has a collection of corks that they no longer need or want, I would be happy to take them off your hands :) I am making my daughter a cork board and would prefer to scavenge around for them, rather than buy them from Amazon or a chain store. Thanks!”
• Linda, Monkton FPF

“I received SO MANY responses to my request for corks that I could build myself a little cork cottage. There were offers of bags, drawerfuls, cartons, several years worth, 10 years worth, 40 years worth… Thanks to everyone for being so responsive. And thanks to the people that keep Front Porch Forum going. It’s a great community resource that allows us to meet and support each other in all kinds of interesting ways.”
• Linda, Monkton FPF, next day


Need complete fly fishing set-up? Try neighbors

“Owing to great success, Front Porch Forum has become my “look here first” place for finding props for various productions I’m involved with. Currently, I am producing a feature film for a Burlington area filmmaker. We are seeking a complete set of fly fishing gear (rod & reel, waders, etc.) and possibly the expertise of the owner to consult on the film. Production of this scene will happen in late May or June, likely to be a one-day shoot. We are providing credit in the film. Thanks!”
• Kenric, Montpelier FPF




Firewood raffle in Starksboro

“I am especially grateful for Front Porch Forum this year. Granted, our winter was not an especially cold one, but my husband loves to have a fire going in our wood stove, no matter what the weather. We were running dangerously low on firewood, when I saw the Aurora School’s posting about their firewood raffle. I bought 5 tickets, and we won a cord of the best firewood we’ve ever had. Thank you, FPF and Aurora School!”
• Katy, Starksboro FPF


Local TV news… fear-mongering or reporting on crime? (Burlington burglaries)

One day and 3,000 miles apart, two local TV newscasts took diametrically opposed approaches covering crime and local online forums.

KGET20160310KGET-17 in Bakersfield, CA asked multiple times in their story (Neighborhood safety apps and websites, are they actually safe?) if services such as Front Porch Forum, NextDoor, EveryBlock and AmericanTowns are safe to use.  While a local police sergeant advised caution about what a user shares — which is good, common sense, advice — his point that the Bakersfield Police Dept. has “only seen the programs used in a positive way” was buried in the closing sentence.

WPTZ20160311Meanwhile, in an unrelated story the next day in Burlington, VT (Police see city-wide spike in burglaries), WPTZ-5 reported that the local police chief had just posted on Front Porch Forum — to which more than 75% of local households subscribe — about a string of burglaries.  The Chief provided details and told his FPF readers that “the department is using plainclothes, unmarked and patrol units to track down those responsible.”

We’re pleased that law enforcement in Vermont finds value in Front Porch Forum, and that local media here mine FPF for story leads.  FPF is part of a healthy local media ecosystem and we’re glad to play our role.