Category Archives: Community Building

More than Just a Garden Cart

Posted on Monday, April 18, 2022 by No comments yet

What a lovely reflection of FPF’s use in this recent posting:

Need fulfilled, money saved, carbon footprint reduced, and neighbor connection created.

Many thanks for all the suggestions and offerings regarding my query about getting myself another Garden Way Cart. Mine lasted 43 years, and doesn’t owe me a thing, but is now saying “goodbye” by falling apart. Thanks to Donna, I now have an even larger cart that will allow me to get garden jobs done just that much faster. When hubby and I went to pick up the cart, we had a nice time chatting as a thunderstorm rolled in! It’s nice to get to know our neighbors and also nice to not have to shell out full price for something new when something used is right near by! Thank you!! • Devin in Grand Isle

A Big Shout Out to Local Business

Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 by No comments yet

A recent posting to the Williston Forum by FPF member Jeff:

I would like to take a minute to say thank you to Corey and Jake at JC Property Management.

On a recent early Sunday morning, on our way to go to a ski race at Sugarbush, we stopped at a parking lot in Hinesburg to grab something out of the back of our Suburban. Unknown to me, one of our bags fell out of the back. When we got to Sugarbush, we discovered the bag was missing.

After getting home and not finding the bag, we realized what had happened. After driving back to check the parking lot, we called the Police hoping someone turned it in. We also posted on Front Porch Forum. That was the best thing we did.

About a week later I received a call from Kory. He and his partner had found the bag while plowing that snowy morning. He had been searching for the owner. But, there was no identification tags on the bag. He was told by a friend to look on FPF.

Thankfully, he did. We were reunited with the bag. We had offered a reward for the safe return of the bag. Kory would not take the reward. He was just doing a good deed.

I want to thank Kory and the guys at JC Property Management. They are really good, honest guys. If you need work done at your property, I highly recommend giving them a call.

A Kinder, Gentler Social Network

Posted on Monday, February 7, 2022 by No comments yet

Big Tech and social media giants are under the microscope more than ever. Front Porch Forum continues to draw attention from news outlets as the more friendly alternative among sites that are meant to connect us.

Julia Angwin, Editor-in-Chief of The Markup, a popular publication investigating Big Tech, recently spoke with FPF’s co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis to learn more about how FPF keeps conversations neighborly and kind, while other social media sites seem to be losing civility.

Read the full interview here.

Healthy Digital Discourse

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2021 by No comments yet

The Aspen Institute just issued its Commission for Information Disorder final report.  We’re humbled to see Front Porch Forum recognized among a short list of approaches that are making real progress instead of feeding the spread of disinformation.  The commission includes celebrities like Craig Newmark, Katie Couric and Prince Harry, along with an array of national experts. 

FPF was held as an example of how to

Develop and scale communication tools, networks, and platforms that are designed to bridge divides, build empathy, and strengthen trust among communities.

Learn more here.

An Evening of Courageous Conversations

Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 by No comments yet

On November 18, FPF participated in a virtual event celebrating Vermonters taking One Small Step. VPR and StoryCorps have spent the last several months connecting residents with different views who might never talk otherwise for a simple, personal conversation. Hear voices from the project followed by an interactive conversation with participants and experts, including Front Porch Forum’s co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis. Learn about the project’s intentions and how to incorporate “courageous conversations” into our daily lives. Listen to the show here.

Front Porch Forum and Braver Angels joined the panel to share how we help facilitate these conversations, build community and provide the tools to do have these conversations.

Do You Value FPF? Please Donate Today

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2021 by No comments yet

Today we are launching Front Porch Forum’s annual fall Supporting Member Campaign. If you are able, please support FPF by donating now by credit card, PayPal or check: https://frontporchforum.com/supporting-members

With the pandemic and other challenges, more people are using FPF than ever before to stay informed and to reach out to neighbors.  Our workload continues to increase, and our costs and staff have grown accordingly.

We know that many of our members are not in a position financially to make a contribution this year. Regardless, please DO keep using your local FPF.  Your engagement makes a big difference — it’s more important than ever to build community among neighbors.

If you value FPF, please support our work by participating and by donating today.

Thank you.

FPF is a Vermont Public Benefit Corporation and not a charity. Contributions are not tax deductible. Ad sales to local businesses cover most of our expenses, and your Supporting Member contribution helps close the gap.

FPF to Speak on Panel: Reimagine the Internet

Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 by No comments yet

Detail of Civic Logic, by Fiammetta Ghedini, RIVA Illustrations

Front Porch Forum‘s co-founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, will speak on a panel for the virtual conference, Reimagine the Internet, on Thu., May 13 at 12:00 p.m. The event is co-hosted by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the soon-to-be-launched Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

FPF will be joined by many notable panelists, including Cory Doctorow of Electronic Frontier Foundation, Evelyn Douek of Harvard Law School and Katherine Maher of Wikimedia Foundation.

Front Porch Forum will be part of Thursday’s discussion:

Lessons from Experiments in Local Community-Building

Thursday, May 13, 2021

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This panel will focus on lessons learned from local communities and the implications of these lessons for online spaces. Sara Lomax-Reese is the CEO of WURD, a family-owned talk radio station in Philadelphia that serves that city’s Black community. Michael Wood-Lewis is co-founder of Front Porch Forum, an online community of mailing lists that serves every town in Vermont. Individually and in dialog, both will address lessons learned in building hyperlocal media and the ways in which online communities build trusted relationships.

Panelists

Moderator

  • Ethan Zuckerman, Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

Learn more about the virtual conference or RSVP here.

“Why Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 by No comments yet

Front Porch Forum was recently featured in an episode of the podcast “Home. Made.” It tells the FPF origin story, and also gets into the behavioral science of what happens when we feel like we finally belong somewhere. Give it a listen! 

Learn more about the episode or read the transcription here.

 

Lost Home, Found Community

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021 by No comments yet

When a tornado struck an Addison County family’s home, so much was lost. In the wake of the disaster, the community came together to help offer support. See this beautiful message of gratitude shared on their FPF, after having shared their initial story:

“My son and I want to thank all the people who read our original FPF posting and responded with such sincerity and caring. Whether offering us a place to stay, coming over to help clean up, letting us know you’re willing to lend a hand down the road or sending messages that continue to lift our spirits, your presence is being felt, and it is comforting and reassuring.

Our deepest thanks to Randy and his wife (of Randy’s Service Center.) One of the first calls I received was from Randy, offering us the loaner car in his shop. He’s given us the gift of ease in the midst of much that is challenging.

I wish I had the capacity to respond to each and every one of you. Your poems, stories and heartfelt words have encouraged us as we get our bearings along a new and different road. We want you to know that your reaching out in these creative and caring ways is quite literally brightening our days.

The further we get from the “event,” the more we’re appreciating that we’ve not been forgotten by the people around us. My son and I are grateful for your continuing companionship.”

As they start to envision their next steps forward, the family reflected on “the new normal” and the transitional state that most in the world are facing. They bring to their community an imagination circle to bring new hope, ideas, and possibilities for the future.

Strength and hope can be found in difficult times when a community comes together. FPF is happy to be a resource where neighbors can connect in times of need as well as in times of hope.