The majority of Front Porch Forum members that we talk with list the small scale of their forum as a leading attraction… “how could I not subscribe to my neighborhood’s forum?”… especially when the forum area includes just a few hundred nearby households.
That said, some areas are difficult to parse into reasonably sized neighborhood forums, e.g., tightly packed urban areas and thinly spread rural locations… where does one “neighborhood” end and another start?
We also are finding that while most of our now 4,000 local subscribers are happy with the service as is, some would have us rework their neighborhood forum’s boundaries… bigger, smaller, cut in two, join with the next one over. In fact, in some forums we hear each of these views from various members. That doesn’t make them invalid – no, no. All of this feedback is important and we’re soaking it in and working toward the best next steps we can take. This is the case in Charlotte, VT where we’re hearing every different angle.
Also, the ONE East Neighborhood Forum in Burlington has seen a surge in popularity and now has more than 200 households on board out of about 1,000 homes there. The 200 are great… it’s the 1,000 that’s too big. People tell me that they don’t know and don’t imagine that they’ll ever meet many of the people who post messages… 1,000 seems too big of an area for our mission of helping neighbors connect and foster community within the neighborhood.