Posted on Thursday, March 4, 2010 by Michael
Amazing! It’s not every day that an author of Bill McKibben‘s statue writes a feature story about Front Porch Forum… let alone with a subtitle of “How New England can save the world!” But there it is… in the March/April 2010 issue of Yankee Magazine. Here’s a snippet…
Susan Comerford, a longtime community organizer and now associate dean for academic affairs and
Credit: William Duke
research at the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services, calls it “the best community organizing tool that’s come along in the last 30 or 40 years.” To understand its importance, says Comerford (who started posting on the forum the day she needed a recommendation for a carpenter), you have to think about what’s happened in the American economy in recent decades.
“It’s not that people care less about community,” she notes. “It’s that the economy has shifted how much people have to work to keep up their standard of living. You don’t have one of the two partners home during the day making all those social connections, providing some sense of safety to the neighborhood. People have less disposable time than they used to.”
In a world like that, a system that lets you sit down for 10 minutes at the end of the day and learn what’s happened to your neighbors should, in Comerford’s view, earn Wood-Lewis one of those MacArthur “genius” grants.
UPDATE: The media coverage of Bill’s look at FPF is growing. Check it out here, starting March 1, 2010.
Posted in: Burlington, Case Foundation, Civic Engagement, Clay Shirky, Community Building, Democracy, Front Porch Forum, Good Government, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Media, Neighborhood, social capital, Social Media, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont