A friend jokingly refers to Front Porch Forum as the “anti-internet” and he got me thinking. I ended up with the chart below comparing conventional wisdom for much of “Web 2.0” vs. FPF.
FYI, Front Porch Forum hosts networks of online neighborhood forums that blanket metro areas. In our Chittenden County, VT, pilot, 11,000 households subscribe, including one-third of Burlington. People connect with neighbors and build community through the exchange of postings among clearly identified nearby neighbors.
It’s counterintuitive, but during an up cycle people accept conventional wisdom, and during a down cycle people challenge it. That’s good. Very good. And the cycle will winnow competition.
Well… an upside to our economic crisis! A year ago during good times a few Web 2.0 experts took a look at Front Porch Forum and each, in his way, told us that we needed to get in line and look more like the left column above. And just in the past week I’ve heard from some folks in the same crowd and they’re showing up with open minds and probing questions.