“The lost pug, Buddy, has been found this week. The assistance of friends, strangers, and — most importantly — Front Porch Forum subscribers, resulted in the location of Buddy. Apologies for not responding to this helpful forum earlier — this was the group that resulted in Buddy’s location. Thanks to all for your vigilance.”
• Margaret, Mad River Valley FPF
“Thank you to Jeff Poulin on Gilbert Road who called to say Jasmine was seen on his porch a few times! He told her she was grounded and sent her home!! Thanks to Front Porch Forum!!!”
• Jeanne, Williamstown FPF
“Vermont is awesome! We have this thing called Front Porch Forum – like a neighborhood Craigslist. I posted seeking to borrow a GPS unit with UK maps, and, low and behold, someone came through! Saved $150 on renting one with the car. Being able to trust a small subset of local strangers is great. Front Porch Forum has restored some of my faith in the good of humanity. Seriously.”
“I posted on Friday with two requests… got someone to mow right off, and, as of today, have my lost cat back… both thanks to Front Porch Forum and some wonderful people on Carver St.”
• Judy, Brandon FPF
“Or dog Sarah is back. Many thanks to everyone who kept an eye out for her, and to Joel and Dale who took her to the hospital for the quills. I love that we have moved to a community with Front Porch Forum and caring neighbors. Thank you, everyone.”
• Laura, Waterbury FPF
“New to the forum and felt this is the next best thing to the cops doing their due diligence. Yesterday, my wife arrived home to find that our house was broken into and a number of things were taken. I’m waiting to hear back from the Post Office to see if the carrier noticed any suspicious vehicles. Looks like we’ll be purchasing an alarm system to at least help deter them during the day. Any other suggestions please let me know. Thanks for all you do on Front Porch Forum!”
• Patrick, Williamstown FPF
“Another win for community facilitated by our Front Porch Forum! I went for a lovely walk on a section of the Trail Around Middlebury Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, I lost my new Fitbit somewhere in a two-hour stretch. With no time to search, I headed home resigned to my loss. Later, a friend suggested posting on FPF. Wow! Within hours we had three responses, including one from someone who had picked it up and was holding it for me. Reunited with the Fitbit today. Thank you FPF friends.”
• Tom, a Burlington FPF
Dan focuses on Facebook’s growing dominance as a news distributor…
How should we respond? From my perspective, two primary schools of thought have emerged. One is to embrace that dominance, albeit with some unease, and fully participate in Facebook’s ecosystem. Another is to persuade Facebook to take seriously its growing responsibility to help get quality journalism in front of as many people as possible.
Both of those approaches assume that Facebook is too big, too powerful to resist that we have no alternative but to capitulate to its dominance. But if that is true, the consequences will be disastrous. We will be living in the ecosystem of a company that has repeatedly demonstrated its untrustworthiness, an enterprise that would become the primary newsstand for journalism and would be free to pick the winners via special deals with media people and tweaks of its opaque algorithms. If this is the future, we are truly screwed.
And… to add to Dan’s call… let’s go beyond journalism. Let’s click local for retail, for discussion, for classifieds, for reviews, for sports, for entertainment, for networking and more. Many communities have local efforts underway, and they struggle to capture people’s attention as so many of us habitually scroll through our Facebook feeds, go to Amazon, Yelp, etc. Why not try local efforts? While the internet and mobile devices still hold the promise of decentralization of power, we now know that the digital juggernaut is also acting as a giant concentrator of wealth into a small number of pockets. Thousands of local taxi companies replaced by Uber and Lyft. Thousands of local bookstores replaced by Amazon.
To quote Dan one more time…
I say: no. Let’s not give up so easily. Instead, let’s resist and find a way out of this trap.
“Hello all – Where in the world is Linda T.? Am I dreaming that I saw something on FPF that she is doing alterations again? I was a regular customer over the years, but then she took in the shingle. Linda… are you out there? From a short guy whose pants are always too long!”
• Norm, Northfield Front Porch Forum
“Hi all, Well, with the help of many people who contacted me, I found Linda! From the very bottom of my hemmed pants, I want to thank you all for your help. Though the literal front porch, a la To Kill a Mockingbird, is no longer extant, it’s great that we can have this digital replacement. I always pull up a smile when I see people sitting and jawing on the Roxbury Country Store front porch, regardless of what the may be talking about. I hope it’s not me! Living history.”
• Norm, Northfield FPF, next day
“If anyone has a collection of corks that they no longer need or want, I would be happy to take them off your hands 🙂 I am making my daughter a cork board and would prefer to scavenge around for them, rather than buy them from Amazon or a chain store. Thanks!”
• Linda, Monkton FPF
“I received SO MANY responses to my request for corks that I could build myself a little cork cottage. There were offers of bags, drawerfuls, cartons, several years worth, 10 years worth, 40 years worth… Thanks to everyone for being so responsive. And thanks to the people that keep Front Porch Forum going. It’s a great community resource that allows us to meet and support each other in all kinds of interesting ways.”
• Linda, Monkton FPF, next day