Burlington's Front Porch Forum Expands Statewide | Tech | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Burlington's Front Porch Forum Expands Statewide 

mwl-2006.jpg

How do you share hyper-local news with your neighbors? If you live in Chittenden County, you've probably been using Front Porch Forum to spread the word about break-ins, lost cats and municipal meetings. The Burlington-based online community building service, created in 2006 by Michael Wood-Lewis (pictured) and his wife, Valerie, has become part of the fabric of civic life in many Vermont communities.

But the service hasn't been available in many parts of the state. Though FPF is free to users, the company has been charging towns that wanted to launch the service a one-time set-up fee to cover the cost of building the digital infrastructure and providing a community moderator. And some cash-strapped municipalities have been reluctant to pay.

Now those Porch-free towns are going to get connected for free. The Vermont Council on Rural Development has directed $300,000 in federal disaster relief funds from the Economic Development Administration to help upgrade Front Porch Forum's capabilities. 

In a blog post announcing the award on the VCRD website, executive director Paul Costello lauded FPF's usefulness to communities looking to organize volunteer efforts in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. “It was amazing how people shared tools and lent each other aide through this vehicle,” says Costello. “We’ve been talking to FPF co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis for three years about how we could help bring Front Porch Services to every town in the state…and today, with the support of EDA we are doing it.”

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags:

More By This Author

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation