#VT – Thanks everybody who posted or emailed with ideas for keeping our backroads safe for the all of us. Because of Front Porch Forum, the word got out, and community pressure seems like it is going to have an effect on changing the reckless driving. I am hopeful about it. We’re lucky to have this forum and lucky to live here in this great community.
Posted by Diane on the Moretown FPF today in response to an ongoing conversation about speeding there. This is a popular subject on several FPFs around the state. Vermonters continue to impress with their ability to tackle challenging topics with civility… while getting results.
I am blessed to live in Vermont for many reasons, but as a bookstore owner, one of them is access to an amazingly responsive free [service] called Front Porch Forum. FPF is an internet-based “regional network of online neighborhood forums.” It connects people with their neighbors.
It’s so simple, it’s brilliant. Make it easy for neighbors to talk to each other and they talk. You can only join the forum for your town, and this is great because then I’m reading about my town. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors from this. I’ve posted about a swarm of bees in my tree and what to do about them, asked for mechanic recommendations, and more importantly, used FPF as way to talk about the bookstore to people who live close enough to care.
This kind of targeted discussion is so beneficial to the bookstore. We can announce events, book talks, parties, etc. to just about every household in five towns because everyone on staff is a member of their neighborhood forum… There is something about the friendly nature of this type of free-ranging discussion with your neighbors that makes the FPF one of the [things] everyone reads daily. You can follow the saga of the missing Malamutes from the frantic posting that the dogs were lost on the coldest night of the year to the triumphant “they’re home!” posting three days later.
All of our events get posted to the forum and it generates a lot of attendance at events. The nature of the forum works best for spontaneous folks who only need three days notice to come to an event. What’s so great is the wide range of people who read the forum. Folks who’ve never been to the store will come to events because of a posting and then get on our mailing list to find out about future ones. This is a win-win.
The response to my offer of free packing materials was a bit overwhelming as my first outing on FPF. Apparently lots of people are moving around! I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to all of you personally, but want you to know that the boxes have now found new homes.
An interesting FPF connection story:one woman suggested I take some boxes to the Williston library to help with the transport of books for the July book sale. When I took a load over to the library, the very same neighbor was volunteering at sorting books! We met face-to-face and had a chance to chat and hope to see each other around the village again. Sounds like just what FPF is designed to do!
#VT – Neighbors are using their Waterbury Front Porch Forum to discuss their new municipal civic center. This type of potentially controversial topic often elicits conflicting responses from FPF members.
Member A: “The Waterbury Forum was NOT meant for politics; the newspapers, radio and TV take care of that… Now lets all get back to basics and the purpose of this forum – to help each other NOT preach at each other. I and most of us could care LESS about your opinions. I for one will discontinue use of this forum if it continues.”
Member B: “It’s been great to watch the discussion about our new Municipal Civic Center take hold here on FPF. This is really what Front Porch Forum is all about, the (civil) conversation!… Thanks everyone for weighing in and keep those thoughts coming! We believe in a community where everyone has their say.”
FPF encourages the neighborly exchange of facts, opinions and ideas about local issues. FPF is a great place to introduce this information and increase interest in the topic (since so many people read their FPF). In some cases after the initial discussion, moving off-line to in-person facilitated dialogue is recommended.
UPDATE: Here’s one more perspective shared today…
Member C: “I am in favor of using this forum for information, political or otherwise. This isn’t just a neighborhood Craigslist. There are views in this forum that you just don’t get in the newspaper or the news. Sometimes there are topics that I am not interested in reading about, so I don’t read them. I think FPF is a great thing!”
#VT – Thank you Lisa! Thank you Front Porch Forum! Holly the yellow lab is back home thanks to a kind neighbor and a great communication resource. We’ve never contributed financially to FPF before, but we will now. We are believers 🙂
Pets find their way home via FPF nearly every day in Vermont. The sample above was just posted today by Karen on the Richmond FPF.
#VT – Nancy posted on the Hinesburg Front Porch Forum yesterday…
Making chive vinegar and need chive blossoms. If your chives are flowering and you would like to share, please contact me and I will come cut them. Thanks.
Followed today by…
Thank you to the over twenty people that responded. I have tried to answer everyone, but if I missed you, know that I really appreciated the generous offers. Planning to cut more in the next couple of days. Husband is off buying more vinegar.