Steven Clift has some good insights into neighborhood community building via online tools at E-Democracy, including this list of existing neighborhood forums and resources. Lots of neighborhoods have self-organized online… websites, Yahoo Groups, blogs, etc. This hints at the hard-to-quantify demand for a more organized effort to provide this service, such as what Front Porch Forum is offering.
Congrats on your service. Neighborhood forums are the revolution no one knows about if they are outside the lucky neighborhoods with one. Ultimately, someone or a group of someones puts local lilfe into the tools of their choice.
We are exploring online neighborhood “life” forums within the context of our city-wide “Issues Forums.” Our online townhall style forums for discussion of local public issues and politics are our main focus. As folks use the Front Porch tool and others at the extremely local level, feel free to check our our advice on facilitating online civic engagement: http://e-democracy.org/if