Take a deep dive into Front Porch Forum on The Verge.
Online Community Network Brings Neighbors Together Offline
Front Porch Forum opened its free online service in 30 New York towns across Warren and Washington Counties this June. Now, people in these towns can easily connect with neighbors.
“FPF has served Vermont towns since 2006,” said co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis. “And people use FPF for all sorts of things. This brief daily connection helps neighbors become better informed and more involved in the life of their towns.”
People use their local FPF to find lost dogs, give away extra tomato plants, report break-ins, recommend roofers, announce school events, debate town budgets, organize block parties and farmers markets ... and much more.
“Front Porch Forum is one of the best things to happen to Cambridge. I look forward to every single issue!” said Connie Brooks, owner of Battenkill Books.
Members submit their own messages to their neighborhood forum, which FPF distributes to nearby residents as an online e-newsletter. Because the service is moderated and real names accompany postings, the discussions remain civil, engaging and relevant.
Susan Clark, a Vermont town moderator said, “Technology can be used to divide us or bring us together. I really admire the way Front Porch Forum uses the Internet to bring us together. It’s not formulated to keep you in front of your screen. FPF urges you to read the local postings and then get going, and go out and be with your neighbors. That is really important and constructive in terms of building community and building democracy.”
FPF now serves all towns in Warren and Washington counties, New York, in addition to the entire state ofVermont. Towns included in the New York service area are: Argyle, Bolton, Cambridge, Chester, Dresden, Easton, Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Glens Falls, Granville, Greenwich, Hague, Hampton, Hartford, Hebron, Horicon, Jackson, Johnsburg, Kingsbury, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Moreau, Putnam, Queensbury, Salem, Stony Creek, Thurman, Warrensburg, White Creek, and Whitehall.
The mission of Front Porch Forum is to help neighbors connect and build community. We do that by hosting regional networks of online neighborhood and town forums. In Vermont, more than 165,000 people of the state’s 260,000 households participate.
To learn more and to sign up for your local FPF, go to https://FrontPorchForum.com.