Pew keeps cranking out the internet data. A recent report shows…
Of those online…
So, if I understand the data, Pew is saying that 26% of the 74% of American adults online participate in online auctions… that’s 19% of all American adults. So, here’s the list for all American adults (not just those online)…
Front Porch Forum aims to have as many residents of a neighborhood as possible subscribe and participate on the associated FPF neighborhood forum. In a sense, we host non-stop online block parties… and the more the merrier, as long as they live in the neighborhood.
Because FPF is an online service, we’re already limited, on average, to just 74% of the adult population. If we had selected a platform/distribution channel such as a Facebook application or instant messaging or Twitter… well, we’d only be able to get, at best, about one quarter of the neighbors on board. Of course, these numbers will change over time.
So, for now, we use email newsletters and a web-based archiving system. This allows us to reach, on average, 67% of the adults in each neighborhood. In our pilot region, more than 20% subscribe, with 40% on board in the City of Burlington. We’d never have been that successful if we had limited ourselves by going with one of these other, sexier platforms.
I had to share a posting from Sarah Judd tonight on her FPF neighborhood forum in Burlington’s Old North End…
Please join us for the opening of the ONE Woman photography show this Friday, January 30th, at the Burlington College Community Gallery, 95 North Ave. in Burlington. The Gallery will be open from 3-9 p.m., with a reception from 6-8 p.m. If you can’t make the opening, you can see the show at the dates and times below, or by calling Burlington College at 862-9616 to make an appointment:
Friday, January 30, 3-9 p.m.
Saturday, January 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, February 1, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
Monday, February 2, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, February 3, 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
Friday, February 6, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
The ONE Woman photography project is a display of 200 photographs taken by 170 women living, working and learning in the Old North End. Project participants included women who have lived in the ONE for two months and women who have lived here all of their lives. Our youngest participant was 10, and the oldest was 85. The project, I hope, is a document of women’s lives in the ONE, illustrating who our unique neighbors are and how we live, and shows connecting links between the diverse groups of women from many backgrounds living in the same community.
This project was inspired, in part, by a Front Porch Forum post by Bridget Burns, who witnessed a group of children throwing rocks at a Somali family last April [emphasis added]. I thought if I could show who we are living in the ONE, the things we all care about like our families, places we love, pets, streets, etc., this commonality and familiarity with each other would hopefully prevent things like the rock throwing incident from happening again. We live in a great place, filled with great people, and I hope the show reflects this. So thanks, for your post, Bridget.
I also got several participants for the project through a post on the FPF, so thanks FPF ONECentral and the ONE women who participated!
This makes my day (week, month!). The posting that inspired this artist has haunted me for months. This is the power of a tool like Front Porch Forum. The problem was shared on FPF and much discussion ensued. Out of that (and other sources of inspiration) came this art project. The artist used FPF to pull her project together and bring in collaborators. And, now, she’s using FPF to share word of it with hundreds of nearby neighbors.
UPDATE: Mike Ives filed a good piece about this show for Seven Days. In part…
Judd’s inspiration came last April, when she read a post on the local listserv Front Porch Forum titled “Neighborhood Bigotry.” The post’s author, a twentysomething Old North End woman, reported seeing a group of boys throwing rocks at a family of Somali refugees. Judd, 42, a Connecticut native who grew up in a multiracial family, wondered if the incident would have occurred if the boys had known more about the immigrants they chose to terrorize.
[grr… can’t get the video to load here or onto YouTube… hopefully WPTZ will keep them accessible on its site for awhile.]
And some newspaper coverage of our journey is here.
It’s always a kick when our baby, Front Porch Forum, helps deliver something particularly amazing to our lives… like this whole DC experience.
A couple of deserving media darlings are in the news again this week…
EveryBlock, the six person Adrian Holovaty “micro-local” project funded to the tune of $1.1 million by the Knight News Challenge, is preparing to go “for profit” when the two year Knight grant ends in June.
Kevin Harris posts from the U.K…
Last month HBOS released another in this entertaining series, finding that 6% of respondents thought that good relationships with new neighbours were ‘not at all important’ and would prefer not to have any contact with them.
So not everyone is gungho on the concept of community and neighborhood. So be it.
UPDATE: Click here for some TV news coverage of our journey.
Joel Banner Baird wrote a piece in today’s Burlington Free Press about a little community adventure my wife is organizing. Should be wonderful! Good, bad or otherwise, you can follow along as the Free Press will be reporting live along the road.
Vermonters take bus ride to history
By Joel Banner Baird
Burlington Free Press
January 19, 2009
Her preparations include flag-topped cupcakes and sensible shoes; pillows and a back-log of reading.
She anticipates sleep deprivation and full-tilt improvisation.
Valerie Wood-Lewis’s inauguration itinerary for the next 48 hours falls somewhere between a no-frills rough guide and a magical mystery tour.
This evening, she and 56 other bus passengers will board the red (and white, and blue)-eye to Washington, D.C. They plan to take in the presidential-elect phenomena, then re-board the bus Tuesday evening and head for home.
Anything more is anybody’s guess. Amid ever-shifting security regulations and crowd estimates, the logistics of pilgrimage continue to evolve. Fervor is the constant.
“People are just pumped up,” Wood-Lewis said last week. “Everyone’s pretty much going to go their own ways, then regroup for the trip back.”
Valerie Wood-Lewis of Burlington chartered a bus with her friends and neighbors to travel to Washington, D.C., on Monday evening for Barack Obama’s inauguration.
She organized the trip on a whim. It began at her mother’s home, while watching inaugural preparations on television.
“It was an epiphany-type thing,” she said. “It became real to me for the first time that people were travelling from all over the country for this thing. I thought — how exciting, just to be in that crowd — and I wondered if I could pull it off.
“My mother said, ‘You wouldn’t catch me dead there,'” Wood-Lewis continued. “I said ‘Aha! I’ve got to be there. I’m going.'”
After investigating several bus services, she settled on Bristol Tours — a company she said has considerable experience with quick trips to Washington, and is “wonderful, unflappable,” she said.
She envisioned a neighborhood field trip. She posted a note on the Front Porch Forum e-mail network, and the reservations swarmed in. She turned aside requests to charter a second bus. The list of standby passengers grew longer.
When Wood-Lewis got word that strollers would be forbidden along parts of the parade route, families with young children bowed out. Their seats filled within minutes.
Wood-Lewis and her husband, Michael, decided to wing it. She wrote out a three-page list of instructions for relatives who will watch over their four kids.
“We’re looking forward to a ton of walking,” she said. “We lived in D.C., in the years after college and before children. We didn’t own a car and we’re familiar with the Metro and bus lines. We’re feeling almost like it’s a little honeymoon.”
She packed and re-packed. Then word arrived that backpacks, too, would be restricted in the Capitol area. She put out another appeal on Front Porch Forum, this time for a fanny pack.
“Some of them were big enough for a camping trip. Others just had room for a Chapstick and a $5 bill.”
She settled for one that could manage a water bottle, power bars and a small digitial camera.
Aboard the bus, she plans to dig into a stack of neglected “New Yorker” magazines and read a couple of books. She brought re-runs of “The West Wing” to share with her fellow passengers.
“And hopefully, people will sleep,” she said.
When the bus arrives at RFK Stadium (sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday), she and her husband will hoof it to a friend’s office with windows overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue — with the understanding they might be turned away at security roadblocks.
Or they’ll take a shuttle to the parade route.
They will have to choose between glimpses of the parade or staking out a few square feet on the Mall, where the swearing-in will be screened on a series of giant television monitors stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.
“It won’t feel as daunting for us as it will seem to for someone coming all the way from New Mexico, for example,” she said.
At the end of the day — whenever that is — Wood-Lewis and the other 56 passengers will return to RFK and the bus that will ferry them back north.
Has launching the Obama-mobile inspired her to organize more calls to community-action?”This is mostly a personal undertaking,” she said. “It’s been a ton of work. But it’s upping my excitement levels.”
Contact Joel Banner Baird at 660-1843 or email@example.com
Live Blog: Follow the bus ride and the complete Inauguration coverage by The Burlington Free Press right here at the Free Press Web site (http://burlingtonfreepress.com). Join the moderated conversation when it opens at 6 tonight. We welcome your comments and feedback. Reporters Lynn Monty and Mark Gould will report live from the bus ride to D.C. as well from all the festivities in our nation’s capital.
We’re proud to announce a new set of telecom specials made available to eligible Burlington Front Porch Forum members via Burlington Telecom. If you live in Burlington in an area served by Burlington Telecom and are interested in top-of-the-line internet/cable TV/telephone service options, please check this out. Also, existing BT subscribers can get special discounts via FPF on various upgrades.
As a recent FPF member said… “I can think of no reason not to sign up with Burlington Telecom as soon as possible… and now it’s even cheaper through Front Porch Forum.”
Every person who mentions Front Porch Forum when signing up or upgrading with BT will get their special deal and will earn a referral fee for FPF that will help keep our community-building service free of charge.
A bridge is infrastructure designed to connect people to each other for social and economic growth. Digital bridges can do the same for a fraction of the cost.
Across the United States, a quiet revolution is connecting some local people to one another online. Let’s make it most people. Americans are using technology to:
• Create electronic block clubs to deter crime and keep their children safer.
• Establish online neighborhood and community forums, blogs, and social networks that promote community problem-solving, support for local small business and are beginning to be used for mutual benefit and support during these difficult economic times.
• Promote reuse of goods and materials through open exchange primarily at a regional level.
• Promote awareness of volunteer opportunities in local community and non-profit groups.
• Connect the public to local government services through e-mail newsletters, customized alert services, and other online systems.
Wow! Once Front Porch Forum members got the hang of our “Nine Words for 2009” contest, the entries started to roll in… 990 at last count! And more than half were submitted from subscribers who had never posted before. Hopefully, their neighbors will be hearing from them again, now that they successfully posted their first message to their neighborhood forum.
I intended to write a thorough blog post about the nine-word entries, but the 25 pages of brief missives proved overwhelming… there’s a book hiding in there. So here’s a random sample of nine-word wonders… there’s more where these came from…
And on and on! Here are a few more…