Posted on Monday, December 26, 2011 by Michael
Dennis posted the following today on the Cambridge #VT FPF…
When, a couple of years ago, a small group of us got together and submitted Cambridge’s e-Vermont application we didn’t realize how integral Front Porch Forum would become to the day-to-day life of our community.
We’ve had a few controversies but there seems to be a self-correcting mechanism in the common sense of FPF subscribers. “It was on the Forum”, has become a fairly common response in town when asked how someone learned of a new business or community service. The Cambridge Front Porch Forum now reaches into more than half of the households in town and I expect that the number of households served will increase yet again when our long promised 100% broadband coverage becomes a reality by next summer. Our Cambridge FPF membership seems to have reached a critical mass and new members join almost daily even though there has been no organized membership drive, that I know of, since last year’s 4th of July celebration. Word of mouth seems to be working! Congratulations to all Cambridge Forum subscribers for making it a valuable community resource and thanks to our local businesses who utilize the Forum with restraint to offer special value opportunities to our community.
Music to my ears! Thanks for sharing, Dennis. We see the points made above happen again and again in other FPF towns, namely…
- People don’t realize how much value FPF will bring… six months into it they are amazed.
- After an early effort to prime the pump, word-of-mouth keeps new members walking in the virtual door.
- FPF typically has the occasional controversy, but it doesn’t go so far as to poison the conversation and drive people away. I’m glad this appears to be “self-correcting”… we’ve worked hard for years to refine our process with this end in mind.
- Universal broadband availability isn’t necessary for FPF to get started and make a big impact, AND with widespread broadband adoption FPF becomes even more valuable to local folks.
UPDATE: From another Cambridge FPF member…
A bunch of people were gathered last night in Jeffersonville, and the subject of FPF came up to great kudos for the work you are doing. In fact, some lamented on behalf of friends who live nearby and do not have FPF.
Posted in: Civic Engagement, Community Building, Community Management, Democracy, e-Vermont, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Neighborhood, social capital, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont