Many neighborhoods are using Front Porch Forum to get organized in the face of shared challenges… proposed highways, landfills, convenience stores, etc. Others have gone beyond playing defense to using their neighborhood forum to plan constructive changes… new playgrounds, block parties, strengthening communication with elected officials and more.
Now some of our area’s more innovative community organizers are figuring out ways to use Front Porch Forum to reach hundreds and thousands of local folks across multiple forums. Several options are being used successfully:
1. Develop an email list of local contacts. When you have a message to get out, send it to your list and ask each of them to post it on their neighborhood’s forum… kind of like an old fashion phone tree. Organizers report a more favorable response to their message, because people are getting the pitch from a neighbor vs. a stranger. Some of your local contacts may need to sign up first… send them to Front Porch Forum. Here’s a recent example:
Build Burlington’s Future. Our schools need you! Please volunteer to post updates to your neighborhood FrontPorchForum.com. There are approximately 40 neighborhood Front Porch Forum’s in Burlington and we want to get the word out in EVERY neighborhood. Reply to this email to find out more.
2. Join Front Porch Forum’s network of neighborhood organizers. In our first few months 175 people signed up for this designation across our 130 neighborhood forums. This group has it’s own forum where these organizers swap tips for successful neighborhood forums, as well as share interesting messages that organizers may choose to pass on to their own neighborhood forums. Any members can log onto Front Porch Forum (password required) and select the Neighborhood Volunteer status on their Account page.
3. Some local officials have access to multiple forums across their district/ward/town for “official business.” In some cases, an official is asked to share a message across several neighborhood forums.
4. In the first part of 2007, we plan to test a new feature that will allow members to post messages in neighborhoods other than their own, for a fee… something like a paid classified ad. Stay tuned!