#BTV #VT – I don’t think of myself as a blogger, yet this blog turns five years old today… guess it kinda snuck up on me. Hard to imagine I’ve written 1,150 postings over that time. I started blogging a month or two after launching Front Porch Forum, which now has 30,000 households participating, including half of Burlington.
Thanks to the blog’s many regular readers. Our frequent back-and-forth (mostly off-blog) about the quickly heating up “neighbor conversation” online space is fascinating. Dozens of start-ups are now aiming to help neighbors connect. We’re glad for the company. I invite more of them to contribute to the field by frequently blogging about what they’re learning. Hosting sustainable neighborly online discussions across many neighborhoods is not trivial!
Many of the pundits who focus on adjacent spaces — hyperlocal journalism, social networking, daily deals, etc. — are slowly waking to the staggering potential of online neighborhoods. We’ve seen it first hand in our super successful pilot. Neighbors, local businesses, public officials, nonprofits… they all flock to Front Porch Forum and put it to excellent use.
There’s monster demand across North America for connection to place and neighbors. The opposite — which too many of us experience now — is untenable… living with a neutered sense of community, being surrounded by strangers for years on end, not knowing what’s going on in the neighborhood, not feeling a sense of ownership of your place. Ugh.