A man moved to a new town. He asked a local resident whether the people there were friendly or not.
The resident asked the man, “What were people like where you used to live?”
The newcomer scowled and said, “They were really an unfriendly and rude bunch, and I couldn’t wait to get away from that place.”
The resident said, “Well, I’m afraid you’ll find the people here are pretty much the same.”
A week later, another man came to town. He happened to meet the same resident and asked him the same question. The local asked this second newcomer the same question: “What were the people like in the town where you used to live?”
This newcomer smiled and said, “Oh, that town was the friendliest place you could ever imagine.”
The local returned the smile and said, “Well, I’m glad to hear it, I think you’ll find people here are very friendly too.”
With 24,000 local members and much success in our pilot community, Front Porch Forum is not without its critics. We’re always open for constructive feedback. When we hear a complaint about a recent topic or tone, or lack of postings, in a given FPF neighborhood forum, I always check the posting history of the person making the complaint. Typically, they’ve never posted… never contributed to the conversation… just complained offline to the moderators that some how we should police things differently. In response, we encourage these few critics to help set the kind of tone and vibrancy they want by posting frequent and positive items… and to encourage more of the same from their neighbors. Sometimes this works… but other times it feels like the parable above.