Yearly Archives: 2009

Do you value FPF? Become a supporting member!

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by 3 comments

Where do you turn when your car is broken into? Or when you need to borrow a stroller, find a reliable mechanic, sell your couch, or track down your AWOL dog? Increasingly in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, people turn to their nearby neighbors through Front Porch Forum (FPF).

After just three years of FPF’s service, 16,000 local households are participating. We publish in 140 neighborhoods across 25 towns in northwest Vermont… week in and week out. Local residents have posted 75,000 messages to their neighbors through FPF.

Our small band of committed staff are working day and night to keep this all going. We’re grateful for our local business partners and their support of our community-building mission. Their ads cover many of our expenses, but not all. If you enjoy and value Front Porch Forum, please become a supporting member today. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW to maintain, improve and expand FPF. Please go to this web link to make your contribution via credit card, PayPal or check:

Considering that the local newspaper costs $15/month and a daily coffee drink can exceed $60/month, what is FPF worth to you? To your community?

It’s our privilege to offer our community-building service — a Vermont original — to so many people. We want to build on the success that you have made of FPF. As we grow, our business model is evolving to include this, our first annual member appeal. We have high hopes that FPF users like you will each contribute $12, $24 or $36 right now — or choose to make an automatic monthly contribution. Any amount is welcome and will make a difference. Please become an FPF supporting member here (credit card, PayPal or check):

Or send a check, payable to:
Front Porch Forum
PO Box 64781
Burlington, VT 05406-4781
(FPF is not a charity and contributions are not tax deductible.)

Your contribution is critical to keeping FPF going strong — and will be enormously appreciated. We look forward to serving you and your neighbors in the coming year.

Your FPF team,
Michael, Nina, Linda and Jamie

Long, cold winter coming to Vermont

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009 by No comments yet

How do you tell what kind of winter is coming to Vermont?  Check your cat’s coat?  Read the pattern of fall foliage?  Me?  I read Front Porch Forum.  Postings like this one in Huntington today tell me we’re headed for a long, cold one…

A friend of mine, on Texas Hill Road, had his tank of home heating fuel siphoned and stolen. This happened sometime last Thursday night. The state police were notified of the robbery… The tank was recently filled so there was about 275 gals of fuel, therefore a large truck would have been needed to transport the fuel.  The owner heard a sound and the automatic flood lights went on but was unable to see anyone.  If anyone has any information about this please contact the Williston State Police.  It’s a shame that someone would steal fuel from a long-time neighbor of ours. Especially when the fuel was to keep him warm this winter!!

I hope they find the bums!  Bundle up.

Email ain’t dead (WSJ, you lunkhead)

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009 by No comments yet

Andy Schroepfer at Rackspace wrote recently about the future of email vs. social media, texting, etc.  Some, like today’s nutty Wall Street Journal article, declare the demise and coming death of email.  Oh, puh-lease.  And we all have paper-less offices, and radio disappeared the day after TV arrived, and the U.S. Postal Service is closing up shop tomorrow.  We definitely have a rapidly evolving communication and media landscape, but seldom do the stalwarts just disappear.

In fact, email dominates the field over the likes of Twitter, FaceBook, texting, RSS, etc.  Email is the default.  That’s why Front Porch Forum uses it as a primary distribution path… we’re trying to reach EVERYONE in a local community, not just one clique or another.  Anyway… here’s an interesting bit of data from Forrester Research…

Social Change 2.0

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 by No comments yet

I had the pleasure of introducing David Gershon’s work to Portland, Oregon more than a dozen years ago.  So Mike Lindberg’s quote about David’s new book caught my eye…

Social Change 2.0 exhilarates. David Gershon has not just laid out a compelling and coherent blueprint for social change, but the vividly written stories he shares make us realize that what we thought was impossible can actually be achieved. Having been a political leader in Portland for twenty years, where I worked closely with David, I saw firsthand the power of his work to change the lives of thousands of people. He may well be the number one expert on social change in our country.”
– Mike Lindberg, former Commissioner of Public Utilities and city council member, City of Portland, Oregon

David’s work has some interesting parallels to Front Porch Forum.  I look forward to reading it.  (Buy the book here.)

Reaching beyond social media’s “Big Three”

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by No comments yet

Inman News columnist Gahlord Dewald posted a piece today aimed at real estate professionals about how they might make the most of social media tools.  This clip caught my eye…

… If you expand beyond the “Big Three” social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you might find very specific platforms that align with your goals. For example, in Burlington, Vt., we have an awesome forum system called Front Porch Forum. This platform is highly targeted by neighborhood and operates via (wait for it …) e-mail.

Not what you might think of when you think super-new-cool technology. But FPF is a highly valued resource in our town. About 40 percent of the local population are members (and this is a college town). The neighbors talk about the neighborhood. Pretty relevant for a real estate professional.

Spending the time to locate active social media platforms that are topic-focused — to round out your me-focused Facebook-LinkedIn-Twitter participation — is a good idea…