Front Porch Forum

Is FPF for me?


What is Front Porch Forum?

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.

FPF puts 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 already broken and there’s plenty to chat about.


What do people post about on FPF?

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.


Can I get FPF in my area?

If we don’t currently serve your area, please enter your address here, fill out the form, and we’ll take this into consideration as we plan our next expansion.


Is FPF free of charge for users?

Yes, FPF’s core service is free to its members.


Is FPF private, or wide open?

FPF Neighborhood Forums are limited to folks who live in each area, plus public officials. Members can also choose to share their postings with neighbors in adjacent Forums.


How do I sign up?

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


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 full 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.


How do I post to my FPF?

Once you’re signed up, you can post from our website. Log in, or see your FPF e-newsletter for details.


Are any topics off limits?

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.


How do I announce my local event?

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


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.

You can also advertise with us. 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, who reap widespread appreciation for sponsoring this community asset. Click here to learn more.


Is it okay to use FPF for political campaigning?

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.


Is FPF 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 FPF 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 FPF?

Neighbor-vs-neighbor attacks are not welcome on FPF (see FPF Terms of Use). 99% of postings are neighborly. But occasionally someone forgets their manners and attempts to publicly humiliate, bad-mouth, or otherwise take a swing at a neighbor via FPF. This seldom ends well for anyone involved, and we hear from other members 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! 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 in nearby areas will be able to read your posting via our website. Also, look at your own Forum for links to shared postings from surrounding FPFs.


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.


Has it really come to this? Using the Internet 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. On the other hand, FPF members, when surveyed, reported knowing and trusting more of their neighbors than national averages, resulting in closer-knit communities.


Will I like it? Will it be fabulous?

We think so! And many of our members sure do!...

“What did we ever do before FPF? I can't remember! What a great way to communicate with our neighbors. From lawn sales to lost pets to meetings, or just your opinion – it's all there." –Denise in Calais


I have a different question. What should I do?

We’re eager to help. Contact us here.

More Questions?

For further inquiries, feel free to contact us at: membersupport@frontporchforum.com