Steve Urquhart, a Utah state rep. who I met at the PDF conference had these wonderful things to say on his blog…
One of the most interesting projects I saw at PDF was FrontPorchForum (FPF). FPF is using online community to build real community. According to FPF co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis, about 20% of the people in Burlington, Vermont, are FPF members. Membership groups are limited to neighborhoods and sign-in is by real name. By using the forum to help match needs with resources for things like shoveling snow, moving furniture, obtaining emergency firewood when a furnace failed, selling old cars, staffing neighborhood watch programs, etc., FPF is using the Internet to help build better neighborhoods in Burlington. Way to go, Michael!
UPDATE (Later): My friend Arjun Singh, the bloggingist city council member in all of Kamloops, British Columbia, paid me a visit in the comments. It’s really funny how people see the world. As far as I know, Arjun and I were the only two elected officials at PDF (at least he’s the only one that I met, I should say). And we both work on the local level (though city and county council types might challenge me on that assertion). While there were lots of famous and important people there and lots of cool things to catch someone’s attention (I’ll blog about some in the coming days), if you look at his blog, you’ll see that Arjun and I both lasered in on a not-so-flashy site doing worthwhile things at the local level.
Ghost of Midnight is an online journal about fostering community within neighborhoods, with a special focus on Front Porch Forum (FPF). My wife, Valerie, and I founded FPF in 2006... read more