Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Traditional Media Covers FPF Member Appeal

Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2009 by 2 comments

Dan McLean wrote a solid piece about Front Porch Forum‘s first membership appeal for today’s Burlington Free Press.  Here’s the letter we sent to our local subscribers and the page where anyone can become an FPF supporting member.

Social media venues such as Front Porch Forum, which are offered as free services to the public, are not spared the fiscal realties of business. Revenues must exceed expenses… Founded in 2006 after operating informally under a different name for several years, Front Porch Forum is being forced to adapt, Wood-Lewis said. “As we grow, our business model is evolving,” Wood-Lewis wrote to the forum’s 16,000 “subscribers” in kicking off the “first annual member appeal”…

“We are grateful for our local business partners and their support of our community-building mission,” he wrote. “Their ads cover many of our expenses, but not all.”

While the Free Press did find a “social media expert” to offer criticism of FPF, they regrettably didn’t print comments on the matter from any of the thousands of local folks who use it daily.  I’ll cull some of those messages out of the neighborhood conversations to share in the next blog post.

UPDATE: This just in…

I disagree with the comment attributed to Joe Mescher in the article published on November 1st that FP forums “be shared more widely on the Internet instead of keeping the contents confined to each neighborhood.” The beauty of such “confinement” is knowing the information has relevance to me and my close neighbors. I occasionally submit information to my neighbors regarding actions of the Lake Iroquois Association – actions that matter to those near the lake and not necessarily to the residents of other areas or the Internet world at large. To remove such “confinement” just means everyone’s mailbox fills up with unwanted stuff – just another blog or tweet – stuff that I merely trash. The value of something like FPF becomes lost. I’m will support FPF financially and I strongly encourage others to do the same.

Keep up the great work, Michael.

Roger Crouse, President
Lake Iroquois Association

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


  1. Who decides relevance? Is a notice about the Town Library relevant? What about the Advertising, is that relevant? What about a Coyote in an adjoining neighborhood, is that relevant?

    I do not disagree that there are certain topics, ones which you point out are important only to a small set of people. From a technology perspective, I believe FPF is marginally good for a small set of people, but creates an isolation from their neighbors who are just down the street – not across the world.

    Is it really good to have Williston carved up into 5 pieces? Winooski into 4? FPF is highly successful in certain areas, but an abysmal failure in others – why is that? Because Social Media and Communications is not a one size fits all problem. The generation behind us will likely stop using email within a few years. Boston University stopped assigning email addresses to its students…. just some examples.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Mitch… I’ve lost count, but I think this is perhaps your 12th online comment about FPF… and my 12th response. Please see some of my past remarks for my reply. I’m sorry FPF isn’t fulfilling your expectations and we appreciate all the time you must be taking to provide feedback. Cheers.


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