Front Porch Forum

Is FPF for me? And other frequently asked questions

What is Front Porch Forum?

FPF is in the business of helping neighbors connect and build community. Since 2006, we’ve been hosting regional networks of online neighborhood forums where clearly identified nearby neighbors share postings about all sorts of topics. Read more about FPF here.

Why does FPF need my street address?

FPF requires your street address in order to place your account in the FPF neighborhood forum where you live. We do not share your street address with anyone (see our Privacy Policy). Your street name (but not your house/apt. number) is revealed to your nearby neighbors when you submit a posting to FPF.

Where is my archive? How do I see past postings?

Click LOGIN in the top right corner of your screen. Once logged in successfully, click the Archive tabs... then browse or search to find what you're looking for..

Is it available in my area?

FPF started in Burlington, Vermont, USA, and is growing. Click here for our up-to-date service area.

Is Front Porch Forum free of charge for users?

Yes, FPF core service is free to its members.

Is Front Porch Forum private or wide open?

FPF neighborhood forums are private, limited to just the folks who live in each area, plus local public officials.

How do I sign up?

Go to our home page and enter your street address. Follow the prompts from there.

How do I post to my Front Porch Forum?

Once you’re signed up, you may post via email or our website. Log into this website or see your FPF e-newsletter for details.

How do I announce my local event?

Once you’re signed up, you may add your event to local FPF Community Calendars and e-newsletters.

What do people post about on Front Porch Forum?

Members post on just about any topic that neighbors discuss. Common issues include lost pets, mechanic recommendations, block parties, break-ins, helping neighbors in need, group buying, politics, buy/sell/give away items, wildlife sightings, and much more.

What kind of topics are allowed on Front Porch Forum?

Most topics are welcome, although neighbor-vs-neighbor attacks are not (see FPF Terms of Use). People use FPF in lots of ways. Our goal is to help neighbors communicate, not to tell them what to talk about.

Is Front Porch Forum moderated?

Yes, FPF professional online community managers moderate all FPF neighborhood forums. But it’s really the neighbors who set the tone and keep the conversation flowing.

Many online spaces turn nasty. Is Front Porch Forum civil?

FPF is typically civil and constructive... and fun! Each posting is automatically signed with the author’s name and street name, and each neighborhood forum only includes nearby neighbors. Most people behave themselves in this setting. For the occasional time when a discussion starts to derail, FPF moderators step in and help keep it rolling in a neighborly direction.

Can I trash my neighbor on Front Porch Forum?

Well... we wish you wouldn't! 99% of postings to Front Porch Forum are downright neighborly. But occasionally someone sets aside their manners and attempts to publicly humiliate, bad-mouth, or otherwise take an e-swing at a neighbor via FPF. This seldom ends well for anyone involved, and we hear from e-bystanders asking us to curb such exchanges. So, when posting about a contentious issue, please focus on the ISSUE rather than the neighbor. And, if the neighbor IS the issue, then consider running your posting by a calming influence or letting it cool overnight on the kitchen counter before sending it in. Or, if you're especially interested in moving the issue toward resolution, consider gathering folks together for a face-to-face discussion. Online tools can only go so far. Front Porch Forum hosts online conversations among neighbors in dozens of towns and we've seen hundreds of challenging topics taken on... it CAN be done successfully and with civility. It's up to each participant.

Can I share my posting with neighboring FPFs?

Yes! In most FPF areas, look for a check box on the COMPOSE POSTING form that will allow you to share your posting with neighboring FPFs. When you make that selection, FPF members of nearby areas will be able to read your posting via our website. Also, look at the FPF postings from your own neighborhood for links to shared postings from surrounding FPFs.

Has it really come to this? Using computers to talk to people next door?

Kinda crazy, eh? But here’s what we find... many people are so busy that they don’t have time to meet or talk with their neighbors. FPF puts a little trickle of neighborhood news and discussion into people’s normal online routines, so that, over time, people feel more connected to their neighbors. When they do bump into each other in person, the ice is broken and there’s plenty to chat about.

Will I get spammed if I sign up?

No, FPF does not sell member information to other entities and we take seriously our responsibility to protect our members’ information. See our Privacy Policies for details.

Will you bring Front Porch Forum to my area?

We’d love to expand to your area. First, enter your address here. If we don’t currently serve your town, then fill out the form and we’ll follow up.

How do I advertise my business or nonprofit on Front Porch Forum?

FPF depends on businesses, nonprofits, agencies, and others who sponsor our regional networks of online neighborhood forums. FPF ads get amazing results for our advertisers and they reap widespread appreciation for sponsoring this community asset. Click here to learn more.

My local Front Porch Forum is quiet. How do I liven it up?

In many successful FPF neighborhood forums, a small group of local boosters makes all the difference. Give it a shot where you live. First recruit neighbors to sign up, then show them how to make good use of FPF by posting frequently. FPF staff have tools and tips to share... please contact us.

How can my business or nonprofit use FPF?

Thousands of small Vermont businesses and nonprofits put FPF to use daily to reach customers and listen for feedback and opportunity. Here's how to get started.

May I use Front Porch Forum in the upcoming election?

Yes. FPF is a powerful medium for reaching voters. However, please see our Terms of Use (point 19) for limitations and other details. Running for office? Try the FPF Paid Campaign Posting option.

How do I unsubscribe from Front Porch Forum?

If you're moving within FPF's service area, there's no need to close your current FPF account and open a new one for your new location. Rather, just go to your account page and change your street address and FPF neighborhood forum (see right column). If you'd like to unsubscribe altogether, you can do that on your account page (see right column).

I’ve got a problem. How do I contact Front Porch Forum?

We’re eager to help. Contact us here. We welcome feedback too.