Around Christmastime, Vermont resident Erin Wagg had a problem. Her family had received a card from a friend in Italy — someone from an old exchange program — and it was written in Italian. "I don't read Italian at all," says Wagg. So she posted about it on a network called the Front Porch Forum, asking if anyone could read and translate the card for her. From her town of Richmond, Vt. (population 4,000), she received more than 20 offers of help.
At a time when many people are connected to hundreds, if not thousands, of people on social media, Front Porch Forum is building smaller networks — of neighbors. Every day, participants get an email including all the postings from other people in their town or city. People report lost dogs or break-...Read more