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Category Archives: Start ups


Front Porch Forum Now Statewide in Vermont

FPF_birds_squareFront 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

Thanks much!

-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


Facebook vs. Housework? Foursquare on the Ropes?

#VT - Not everyone is rosy about all social media.  First, from Information Week

A recent study from The University of Canterbury at New Zealand shows… What was a bit surprising was how Facebook fared: It placed 29th out of 30 daily behaviors that study participants were asked to rank. In fact, it would seem, the only thing that makes people happy less than Facebook is recovering from illness. Facebook ranked 28th in engagement and 24th in pleasure. It ranked dead last in meaning…

Ranking higher than Facebook on the happiness, meaning and engagement meter were housework, studying, and paid work… I’m not a huge housework fan, but when it comes to happiness, meaning and engagement, I get more out of housework than I get from Facebook. After I clean the kitchen, for example, I am happy with how nice it looks. There’s meaning in what I did: My family has clean dishes and a clean workspace. We don’t worry about food poisoning… I think the point is that activities with purpose give us happiness, meaning and a sense of engagement — and Facebook all too often seems to serve none of these areas. That should worry businesses who hope to use Facebook to their benefit.
 And from Forbes
Here’s a prediction: Foursquare will be the next highly-funded casualty in the social media sphere… Rather than be disruptive, Foursquare is being dysfunctional. The company is trying desperately to follow industry leaders instead of leading an industry. They are stuck in social media no man’s land.

Foursquare was founded in 2009 as a local “check-in” service. To-date, the company has raised more than $70 million (the last funding valued the company at $600 million). In 2010, FacebookGoogle and Yelp added their own version of Foursquare’s most compelling feature – the check-in. This summer, after getting crushed for two years by competitors, Foursquare decided to finally de-emphasize check-in and the game it had created around becoming “mayor” of a location. Only geeks with dreams of being the Michael Bloomberg of the Soho Starbucks were playing…

Don’t get me wrong; checking in is useful on a user’s primary social platform if they don’t mind the privacy implications. Many people want to let friends know where they are or brag about being at a cool event. But like the GPS was to TomTom, the “check-in” is to Foursquare. It was their one trick. Satellite navigation went into both cars and phones – bruising TomTom. Similarly the check-in was built into Facebook, Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor. Will it be the death of Foursquare’s pony? By the time Foursquare realized they were becoming irrelevant, it was too late. I estimate that the company has cash for 12 more months of operation with its current 150 employees. There may still be time for a fix.


FPF is hiring: Seeking ad sales reps.

#BTV #VT - Front Porch Forum is growing.  Join our exciting start-up: http://bit.ly/FPFsalesopening



Burlington Ruby Conference July 28-29

#BTV #VT - Vermont’s emerging web application development community will gather at Main Street Landing in Burlington to hear from top developers across North America, including engineers from Twitter and several leading dev. shops. All are welcome. Register today: http://bit.ly/BURUCO

Front Porch Forum, Main Street Landing, Engine Yard, Intridea, and Agilion Apps are sponsors.



Do tech start-ups belong in Vermont?

#BTV #VT - Sometimes we get this question from out-of-state folks who think all tech start-ups should be born in Silicon Valley.  Well, Burlington and Vermont have been great to Front Porch Forum.

And we’re not alone.  CNN today reported that the Kauffman Index ranks Vermont the 8th most entrepreneurial state, and the top state east of the Mississippi River.  And Richard Florida’s latest research puts Burlington 11th on a new Technology Index of U.S. metro areas.

I’ll take it one step finer… from state, to city, to neighborhood.  Our Five Sisters neighborhood in Burlington’s South End boasts several tech start-ups, including

Thanks to Fresh Tracks Capital and Vermont Business Magazine for some of this information.