Posted on Monday, June 5, 2023 by Gisele
People make great use of their local Front Porch Forum every day. Check out this recent posting from a mother on the Wallingford Forum:
- “As nicer weather comes, I’m wondering if anyone would be interested in joining a semi-official playground meetup? I have an almost-3-year-old who loves swinging and 9-month-old who loves hanging out.”
And another from a neighbor in the Wimington forum:
- “Wow! I received so many recommendations for local in-person book clubs! I plan to attend most of them. The support of this Forum is really wonderful. Thank you so much!”
Here’s to more real in-person connections in our increasingly online lives!
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 by Gisele
Summer begins, and, along with it, YARD SALES! People are filling up FPF‘s local Forums and Community Calendars with sale announcements. Not only do members write in to advertise the details of their yard sales, they also use FPF to ask neighbors advice on how to have a better yard sale!
- “I’m a rookie at yard sales, and earlier this spring I sent out a request for Tips for a Better Yard Sale. The neighborly response was great — useful, friendly, and often amusing. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet some of you at our Sale this spring? Do you think I should leave extra time for socializing?”
•Vance in Randolph
In response, people posted great tips — make signs, start early, use bins and tables to separate items by price, have a free pile, wash items before selling — and… “Advertise on Front Porch Forum“
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 by Gisele
FPF helps many get the word out about run away pets. We really want those pets to make it home! See how this story in Monkton, VT unfolds…
- “A small white brown dog was seen about 11:15 on Mountain Rd in Monkton near the steep rise half way down. It was trailing what appeared a leash. It disappeared rather quickly.”
- “Foster dog escaped about 11. Smallish 6 mo. white and brown with orange leash. Dogs name is Rutger. He’s very timid.”
- “The escape artist has been found safe and sound! Many thanks to Moe from Homeward Bound and next door neighbor dog, Lucy! And thanks to everyone else I called or accosted on the road. And a big thank you to FPF for getting the word out FAST!”
Posted on Sunday, May 7, 2023 by Gisele
Is FPF useful to you? To your community? According to a recent survey, more than 90% of Front Porch Forum members say YES! That’s why so many people sign up, read, and post every day.
If you’re among them, please help us continue to provide our essential civic service to every town in the state.
We need to raise $175,000 statewide from our members by this Wednesday, May 10, 2023, to meet our spring goal. Please donate today.
If you are in the position to donate, please do. We’re eager to keep FPF going strong. We need your help to get there.
Please give today and help the spring flowers bloom! https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members
Thanks from FPF’s 26 employees
FPF is a Vermont Public Benefit Corporation and not a nonprofit. Contributions are not tax deductible. Ad sales to local businesses cover most of our expenses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap.
While we prefer online donations by credit card or PayPal, we gratefully accept payment by check too.
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 by Gisele
Front Porch Forum staff work seven days a week to review the flow of postings submitted by members across Vermont. While challenging content appears occasionally, the vast majority of submissions are simple exchanges among neighbors. And many times each day we see gems that leave a smile. Here’s what yesterday’s shift looked like to one FPF staffer…
“Lost pets and wallets reunited with owners, snow shoveling and mud season angels, and tires for sale are all commonplace on FPF. We’re used to that. Then, you come across these really interesting postings… Like today, I saw ones about bat sightings as a sign of spring, someone trying to figure out what to do with a WWII uniform, and a story about losing a peacock (which — no joke — also happened to a different member last week!). I’m constantly surprised at what’s going on out there.”
When you give folks a place to communicate their neighborly needs and quandaries, they can really deliver!
What would the internet look like if it weren’t dominated by a few huge corporations? And is such an internet even possible? A few smart folks at the Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure have some really interesting ideas about what a more humane and diverse internet might look like. In a short, highly readable paper called “The Three Legged Stool: A Manifesto for a Smaller, Denser Internet”, they outline a different world and explain how to make it happen.The “three legged stool” refers to the three core principles of a better internet:
- A “pluriverse” — as in, plural universe — in which the large platforms are complemented (and challenged) by a diversity of Very Small Online Platforms, or VSOPs. “Just as we do not exclusively gather in shopping malls in the physical world, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are not the right place for every community and conversation online,” they explain.
- A “loyal client” that allows people to follow, read, and post as they wish, across multiple platforms. They describe this as analogous to how your email client — whether you use Gmail, or Outlook, or something small like Hey — allows you to email anyone, regardless of what email client they use. And the “loyal” part means you get to both pick a client and adjust its settings to align with your own preferences.
- A “friendly neighborhood algorithm store” where VSOPs can pay a reasonable price to access capabilities that, at present, only the big guys can afford: things like recommender systems, spam detection, and anti-abuse tools. Just as small businesses have access to high-powered tools for accounting, payroll, and other core functions, small online platforms should be able to provide high-quality experiences without having to spend billions to develop it all from scratch.
Front Porch Forum is a strong believer in a diverse and people-centric internet. We’re pleased to be working towards that future in the company of smart and committed folks like these. Let’s build a better internet together!
Posted on Friday, April 7, 2023 by Gisele
The internet is an amazing tool, but sometimes you just want advice from the folks who live in your community! Here’s 2 recent of examples of members turning to Front Porch Forum instead of Big Tech:
- “We had a new 8’x10′ shed installed on our property this fall. We erroneously assumed it would remain level if set on some cinderblocks and wood on gravel. The beginning of mud season has shown us otherwise! If you step one foot into the shed the whole thing rocks forward because the mud has sucked the back corner in so deep. What should we do? How do we fix this? We’ve been googling but I trust my neighbors’ thoughts more. Open to any and all suggestions! Thank you!” • Molly in Middlesex
- “We had our third or fourth dogsitter move out-of-state, so we are looking for someone else to watch our tribe (four dogs of different shapes, sizes, and ages – all healthy!) We are looking for someone who is very experienced with dogs/ does this for a living. … If this sounds like you or someone you know, please be in touch! I have had way more luck on here than through any app like Rover, so I appreciate the help!“ • Erin in Moretown
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2023 by Gisele
At FPF, we don’t see how many off-Forum replies members get to their postings. We see a lot of responses in individual Forums, or we get hints, like the one below, revealing just how much activity is happening off the Forum between members.
“My recent request for hearing aid recommendations was a rousing success. 30+ people responded! (Costco was the overwhelming favorite.) Thanks one and all.” • Fred in Brandon
Wow! And, no, Costco did not pay us to share this 😉
Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 by Gisele
Even as extremism and disinformation have pushed their way into political discourse across the United States over the past several years, Vermonters continue to use Front Porch Forum to engage in constructive conversation leading up to Town Meeting Day and local elections.
Here are some recent unsolicited FPF postings from various parts of the state:
- “As a born-and-bred Vermonter recently returning to the state after 40 years of military and government service, I stand in awe as an observer of the vibrant discourse leading up to today and of the democratic process kept alive by the good citizens of Calais. … Today was my first town meeting, and I’m almost 60 years old. We are honored to finally get to join you. So regardless of who wins or loses today, please be thankful that you have a democratic process to be part of and a way of life worth fighting for. I can tell you that the majority of the people in our country can’t conceive of this level of belonging.”
– Ross in Calais
- “I am very impressed with the extent of the debate about reviving our local police force, whether for or against. This is a public forum, and I have learned a lot by reading the opinions of others. This is America, and ideally we should approach issues with civility and respect. Kudos to all who have expressed their insights in like fashion.”
– Nancy in Randolph
- “I would like to express appreciation to the moderators of Front Porch Forum. You have been the gatekeepers of civil discourse among neighbors passionately exercising their freedom of speech.”
– Joan in South Hero
- “On the eve of Town Meeting I’m reminded once more of the countless hours our Town Clerk and members of the Selectboard have given to Calais these past years, and, in some cases, decades. Many thanks to them all as well as to the incoming group.”
– Nel in Calais
- “FPF is doing us a valuable public service by publishing [these] letters. It lowers candidates’ costs so that it is not only the wealthy that can successfully run for office. It informs voters about the issues involved and where each candidate stands on those issues. It also serves to keep candidates honest or at least on their toes by pointing out missteps – normal campaign protocol. Finally, it is only a short period of time that this happens prior to elections. That is how democracy works.”
– Raymond in South Burlington
- “This is way better than putting signs everywhere. It’s actually green, as compared to signs. Please vote, I do appreciate the sentiments for your candidates. Voting, if you have not, allows you to complain… all the best!”
– Dahan in Grand Isle