Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum


Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2008 by 1 comment

Front Porch Forum is two years old!  Thanks to everyone helping this local invention grow… 11,000 local household subscribing and counting.  Recognition continues to roll in… PBS just included Front Porch Forum on its short-list of great examples of local community building online, and we’re a finalist for a national award from the Rural Telecom Congress.

We get questions…

QUESTION – My friend Sally is not on Front Porch Forum yet, and she swears she’s never heard of it!  But I know I told her to sign up months ago.  What gives?

ANSWER – We hear this kind of thing every day.  While one in five Chittenden County households subscribe to FPF already, that leaves LOTS of people who are not on board yet.  And we depend wholly on our members to spread the word.  Most people need to hear about something like this 7-8 times before they actually register.  So please… reach out today to everyone on your local e-lists (any resident of the 19 towns within Chittenden County are welcome to join this free service)… send them a note encouraging them to join FPF at Thank you!

QUESTION – Does FPF really work?

ANSWER – Oh yes!  Quotes from FPF members…

  • “Because of Front Porch Forum we found our lost cat! Home safe and sound now!”  -Ila Abramson
  • “Front Porch Forum exponentially multiplied our community’s response to the fundraiser for a neighborhood child battling cancer.”  -Vince Brennan
  • “I was overwhelmed with 15 offers to loan a post hole digger… thanks to Front Porch Forum!”  -Doug Graver
  • “We sold our minivan today to a neighbor through Front Porch Forum. More people called from FPF than from the Burlington Free Press, and Craigslist combined.”  -Wolfgang Hokenmaier
  • “More than 80 people turned out for the Neighborhood Planning Assembly… thank you Front Porch Forum.”  -Linda Deliduka
    Lots more…

QUESTION – How can I reach people beyond my own FPF Neighborhood Forum?

ANSWER – Join the FPF Neighborhood Volunteer Forum.  More than 350 local FPF members/boosters participate in this online exchange of county-wide postings… and many volunteers forward what they find there on to their neighbors via FPF.

QUESTION – Can FPF really make a difference?

ANSWER – Well, PEOPLE can and do make a difference when they have easy access to their nearby neighbors.  Some recent discussions on FPF…

  • Essex Junction shooting leads to a neighborhood watch forming and a block party getting organized to help nearby neighbors get to know each other.
  • About 40% of Westford households participate in discussion about town meeting vs. Australian ballot through FPF.
  • Richmond rallies to deal with bridge closure.  Local officials, businesses and citizens turn to each other through FPF.
  • Winooski residents debate City leadership issues.
  • A South Burlington neighborhood starts sharing “Local Secrets”… under-appreciated restaurants, “hidden gem” tailor, etc.
  • Burlington Old North End residents challenge police response to car break-ins.
  • Burlington South End neighborhood debates offensive/clever name of new pizza joint.
  • Burlington New North Enders use FPF to question development of little-known disc golf course being built in Leddy Park.
  • Burlington Hill residents work with police through FPF to catch vandals.

QUESTION – How does FPF pay the bills?  And, can businesses reach customers through FPF?

ANSWER – Front Porch Forum sells ad space to local businesses to generate much of its income.  And we’re hearing back from these advertisers (75 and counting) that they are getting solid results.  We have a handful of ad slots still open for this fall for any businesses or nonprofits interested.  And to everyone else reading, please support the FPF sponsors by clicking on the links in their ads and checking out their offerings.  Learn more…

QUESTION – I’m not receiving my FPF neighborhood forum anymore.  Help!  [okay, that’s not a question.. ]

ANSWER – Please check your FPF account and keep your email address current.  Also, check your spam filter… PLEASE train it to allow/whitelist incoming messages from  Details..

Here’s to a colorful fall!

Posted in: Community Building, Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Media, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Watch, social capital, Social Networking, Stories, Updates and Admin

One comment

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for all the lovely notes we’ve been getting regarding FPF hitting its two-year mark!

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