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Vermont-created community website connects neighbors statewide


BURLINGTON, Vt. —It's the latest way to connect with your neighbors, and now it's in every community across Vermont.

Front Porch Forum is the brainchild of a Burlington man, who created the online meeting place after finding it difficult to communicate with his neighbors in such a busy age.

“Front Porch Forum helps people connect with their neighbors,” Front Porch Forum CEO Michael Wood-Lewis said.

But instead of going outside to connect, you log on from anywhere, at any time.

“I think there's always just been 24 hours in a day and increasingly those are being taken up with commuting and working, and if there are two parents in a house, they both work and there's not as many stay-at-home parents anymore,” Wood-Lewis said.

While sitting on his own front porch, Wood-Lewis tells Newschannel 5 why he created the site seven years ago to connect people first in his neighborhood, then Chittenden County and now all of Vermont.

There are 60,000 users right now.

“We'd love to get beyond Vermont next year, but right now we're focused on Vermont,” Wood-Lewis said.

Once you’re on Front Porch Forum’s website, log in and you're instantly connected to other users in your community.

When you peruse the posts, you’ll likely read about lost pets, yard sales, school budget details and warnings about break-ins or other crimes in the area.

“It's always with a clearly identified nearby neighbor. It's not anonymous. It's not the worldwide web, it's just your neighbor,” Wood-Lewis said.

Find the original article and watch the video here.