Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Rant and Rave vs. Neighborhood Miracle

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by 1 comment

Feedback from Front Porch Forum subscribers is overwhelmingly positive.  So today’s complaint submitted by a member in Burlington’s Old North End got my attention…

Every day it seems as though Front Porch Forum, well all of us that subscribe, continue to become more and more like the “Rant & Rave” section of craigslist – as a result Front Porch Forum is increasingly more petty and negative.  It seems as though everyone climbs on a particular stream and loudly wines – Burlington Telecom is our latest victim of this electronic faceless diatribe.

So I bid FP adieu and cancel my account.  The incessant complaining is  just too much for me.

Well… that’s regrettable.  I take this feedback seriously. I also think that a thick skin is required to engage in public discourse.  And, frankly, the tone on the FPF neighborhood forum in question is nothing like the nastiness of many online comment areas… no name calling, e.g.  Several recent postings in the neighborhood forum in question have been complaints about city services, litter, crime, etc.  But I’ve seen them as primarily constructive and civil… but I guess that’s subjective.

For the record, the other four postings this morning to accompany the one above in that neighborhood are… two follow-up points about local telecom options, a call for volunteer basketball helpers at the neighborhood school, and this gem of a follow-up of an earlier post from Matt…

Last night a miracle happened.  7 people, strangers until last night, put aside their excuses and braved the cold Vermont winter night to clean up our neighborhood.  We walked south on Elmwood, west on Peru, north on Champlain, then back to Elmwood by way of North.  Along the way we collected and disposed of 10 bags of garbage.  Despite the cold it was a good time.  Tara’s brownies flowed like a chocolate river in high flood.  The laughs were continual and of a high quality.  No cheap jokes in this bunch.  Just straight shooting zingers all the way.

Next time we’ll do a different block.  Next time we’ll have even more people, and I’ll bring prizes for the best find.*

*Prizes may consist of a high five, but it will be quality.  Seriously I have a no miss system, yes it cost me, and yes the price was worth it.

Definitely not “incessant complaining”… makes me proud to be associated with FPF’s members.

Posted in: Citizen Journalism, Community Building, Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Neighborhood, Online Civility, social capital, Social Media, Social Networking, Stories

One comment

  1. Michael says:

    And here’s one neighbor’s response to Matt’s Clean Up Brigade…

    “Thanks for cleaning up our neighborhood! What a great post to read. I’m inspired and proud. Maybe we’ll (or at least part of my young family) will join you. Kuddos to some great civic action.” -Tiffany

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