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Front Porch Forum

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As part of the Vermont Digital Economy grant, every town in Vermont now has access to a Front Porch Forum.

Front Porch Forum (FPF) provides a simple way for neighborhood connections to begin. This service creates an online place for neighbors to communicate in conversations that spill over into the sidewalks, general stores, and actual front porches of our communities. In fact 93% of survey respondents reported increased civic engagement after signing up with FPF.

People use the service to find lost cats, report car break-ins, give away strollers, debate speed bumps, and rally volunteers for park clean-ups. Successful areas grow into more challenging topics: from school budget debates to addressing drug-related crime to supporting a terminally ill neighbor.

Front Porch Forum is different from a typical list serve. It is built around neighborhoods, where everyone uses their real name and where online postings become real world conversations. The staff of FPF manages information flow so that messages arrive in timely digests, not a flood of e-mails. And moderators make sure that online discussions maintain a civil tone.

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Stories About Front Porch Forum

Using The Internet To Connect With Vermont Neighbors
One of the many ways that the Vermont Digital Economy Project has worked to foster resilience and create community engagement in the past 18 months was by enabling Front Porch Forum to expand to each and every Vermont community. The following... more
How a Community Garden Went From Online to On-the-Ground
Small organizations are at the heart of most communities, and they are often born directly in response to a community’s need. This relationship only deepens once these organizations are established. They depend on their community to help raise... more
How Can Technology Affect Sustainability Practices?
This past Saturday at the ACORN Sustainable Living Expo, I presented with Michael Wood-Lewis, co-founder of Front Porch Forum, on the question of how technology interacts with community to create sustainability. The discussion was rich with concepts... more
Why Community Calendars are Important, and How Front Porch Forum Created One
Every community in Vermont now has access to its own online calendar, thanks to Front Porch Forum and the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Vermont Digital Econony Project. This just-released innovation comes from years of listening, planning... more
Cities & Towns Learn How Digital Tools Create Community Resilience, In Good Times and Bad
Killington Resort was near its peak foliage color when it hosted more than 400 people at the Vermont League of Cities & Towns Town Fair 2013 on October 3rd On October 3rd, I had the great pleasure of moderating an educational panel at the... more