engagement, social media etiquette, social media strategy

Front Yard and Back Yard Conversations

50 Comments 09 December 2009

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Social media is a public platform. More specifically, all of your Facebook updates, Twitter updates, Flickr photo tags, Slideshare comments, blog comments, and just about any other social media commentary can be found using Google or other search engines. And as of last week, Google now indexes much of our conversation nearly in real time.  I think of these public conversations as social media’s virtual “front yard.”  (Hat tip to Hildy Gottlieb for beautifully expressing this idea in her blog post.)

But for every front yard, there is a back yard. And the back yard is where relationships are made.

Where are the back yards? These are the private spaces where conversations continue, out of the public eye. Some examples: In Facebook, it’s the inbox.  On Twitter, it’s the Direct Message (DM). On Linkedin, it’s “reply privately” to a group discussion. On Friendfeed, it’s the private conversation. On blogs, it’s when the blog owner writes back to the the commenter via email.

Getting invited into the back yard is kind of a big deal, and that should also be a goal if you want to deepen engagement with some of your ties. It’s both a leap of faith and an extension of trust. The back yard invitation moves a very weak personal tie – someone you’ve just met online but never in person – to become a stronger personal tie.Over time, I’ve experienced this general progression from the front yard, to the back yard, to inside the kitchen.

I’ve diagrammed the “strength progression of social media ties” below – and I would also love your thoughts about this diagram:

strength progression of social media ties V2

After talking via Skype, or VOIP, or in person, what’s next? Besides creating personal friendships, we may also be able utilize a person’s “whuffle” (social influence, as coined by Tara Hunt) if need be, on behalf of our causes.

It’s worth repeating that social media builds relationships, and that relationships build brands and organizations. (Which is why we talk about how the number of followers doesn’t matter, but Dunbar’s number does.)  A related post on this subject is Beth Kanter’s post on measuring impact, not influence and social influence reach versus affinity. Backyard conversations build relationships. After all, the best ideas do happen over a good meal and (sometimes) a few beers out on the back deck.

Here are a few questions for you:

  • How have you seen the progression from weak tie to stronger tie to personal tie in your social media travels?
  • How can organizations capture this for their good as well?
  • What trends do you see in the progression from weak to stronger interpersonal ties?

I’m looking forward to this blog conversation!

»
  • Here’s one example of “front yard” and “backyard”: someone just sent me a personal email asking for an ad in his directory. Yes, I had glanced over his requests in general community announcements or on LinkedIn. But since he asked me personally, I might consider it. I’ve never met him in person – he started a group on LinkedIn for professionals in our area.

    [Reply]

  • Here’s one example of “front yard” and “backyard”: someone just sent me a personal email asking for an ad in his directory. Yes, I had glanced over his requests in general community announcements or on LinkedIn. But since he asked me personally, I might consider it. I’ve never met him in person – he started a group on LinkedIn for professionals in our area.

    [Reply]

  • Great post, Debra! I would add two things:

    – the layer that’s created, or maybe a filter (don’t know what to call it) when, for example, someone follows NetSquared and enjoys the updates, we might @ back and forth, then might DM, might invite them to blog on the NetSquared Community blog, etc. And even though it says in the profile of the NetSquared Twitter account that it’s @amyrsward there, they don’t really know. So they have a connection/relationship with me, but don’t know it’s really ME! And then when they do make that connection, it kind of starts some aspects over again and others keep progressing…

    – after meeting or talking, at least for me, I find that I start looking for ways to collaborate (maybe that’s the next step on the graphic).

    Thanks again 🙂

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    @Amy- that’s an interesting point to consider about adding yet another filter if the social media profile is organizational and not personal. One of the things about having an organizational profile is that it puts another barrier to moving from the front yard to the back yard. Can you say whether or not the folks you engage with as NetSquared move to the back yard – to a stronger tie that moves towards collaboration? I think you’re trying to say that it’s only once folks figure out that @amyrsward is behind the logo that the move begins towards the back yard, right? If so – then is the “back yard” of an organizational social media profile when connections begin to speak to the person behind the org profile? If so, yes, another layer to the graphic might be called for…

    [Reply]

  • Great post, Debra! I would add two things:

    – the layer that’s created, or maybe a filter (don’t know what to call it) when, for example, someone follows NetSquared and enjoys the updates, we might @ back and forth, then might DM, might invite them to blog on the NetSquared Community blog, etc. And even though it says in the profile of the NetSquared Twitter account that it’s @amyrsward there, they don’t really know. So they have a connection/relationship with me, but don’t know it’s really ME! And then when they do make that connection, it kind of starts some aspects over again and others keep progressing…

    – after meeting or talking, at least for me, I find that I start looking for ways to collaborate (maybe that’s the next step on the graphic).

    Thanks again 🙂

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    @Amy- that’s an interesting point to consider about adding yet another filter if the social media profile is organizational and not personal. One of the things about having an organizational profile is that it puts another barrier to moving from the front yard to the back yard. Can you say whether or not the folks you engage with as NetSquared move to the back yard – to a stronger tie that moves towards collaboration? I think you’re trying to say that it’s only once folks figure out that @amyrsward is behind the logo that the move begins towards the back yard, right? If so – then is the “back yard” of an organizational social media profile when connections begin to speak to the person behind the org profile? If so, yes, another layer to the graphic might be called for…

    [Reply]

  • Hi, Debra, beautiful post! I love the idea of front yard, back yard and kitchen – very cozy! And I absolutely agree that there is a progression of relationship building that can happen using social media channels, however, I would like to offer a slightly different take on your diagram.

    Beth Kanter and I talk about a Ladder of Engagement in our upcoming book. There are a wide array of different kinds of conversations and tools that nonprofit organizatinos can use to meet people where they are and build authentic relationships with them. So, the box you have about connecting on more than on social media platform, and the final outcome of using tools like VOIP, are less critical to me than the nature of the conversation wherever it is happening. Social media are, in part, so very powerful because deep personal connections can happen anywhere, on any platform. Although, as you rightly point out, nothing is as powerful as an in person engagement.

    One reason that it is important to steer clear, IMO, from indicators like multiple platforms is that it makes it too easy for counting people to try to “count” the nature of these relationships when we are talking about an entirely qualitative distinction.

    Thanks again for such an interesting and artful conversation here. I look forward to continuing it further.

    [Reply]

  • Hi, Debra, beautiful post! I love the idea of front yard, back yard and kitchen – very cozy! And I absolutely agree that there is a progression of relationship building that can happen using social media channels, however, I would like to offer a slightly different take on your diagram.

    Beth Kanter and I talk about a Ladder of Engagement in our upcoming book. There are a wide array of different kinds of conversations and tools that nonprofit organizatinos can use to meet people where they are and build authentic relationships with them. So, the box you have about connecting on more than on social media platform, and the final outcome of using tools like VOIP, are less critical to me than the nature of the conversation wherever it is happening. Social media are, in part, so very powerful because deep personal connections can happen anywhere, on any platform. Although, as you rightly point out, nothing is as powerful as an in person engagement.

    One reason that it is important to steer clear, IMO, from indicators like multiple platforms is that it makes it too easy for counting people to try to “count” the nature of these relationships when we are talking about an entirely qualitative distinction.

    Thanks again for such an interesting and artful conversation here. I look forward to continuing it further.

    [Reply]

  • Debra – This is excellent! So much of the discussion about social media has focused on the quantitative (how many, how to categorize, etc…) and very little on the qualitative – the real social in the social media. If we are to move beyond the “doing” to the impact of our doing, it will come from relationship building. Thanks for opening up the discussion for us all to reflect upon more.

    [Reply]

  • Debra – This is excellent! So much of the discussion about social media has focused on the quantitative (how many, how to categorize, etc…) and very little on the qualitative – the real social in the social media. If we are to move beyond the “doing” to the impact of our doing, it will come from relationship building. Thanks for opening up the discussion for us all to reflect upon more.

    [Reply]

  • I see this as the whole point of using social media – particularly in the world of the synagogue and Jewish education. If S.M. only gets people having the front yard conversation, then we are only developing acquaintances, when our goal is to build relationships.

    The various platforms are great entry points for those who see the world through a digital lens, but we need to work on inviting them around back.

    At the same time, I have found the media to be very useful in developing professional connections that often lead quickly to the back yard!

    [Reply]

  • I see this as the whole point of using social media – particularly in the world of the synagogue and Jewish education. If S.M. only gets people having the front yard conversation, then we are only developing acquaintances, when our goal is to build relationships.

    The various platforms are great entry points for those who see the world through a digital lens, but we need to work on inviting them around back.

    At the same time, I have found the media to be very useful in developing professional connections that often lead quickly to the back yard!

    [Reply]

  • @Ira- I think so too -deeper connections (especially with those people who can reciprocate in meaningful ways) do build stronger relationships. Those lead to wonderful things. And, though the post didn’t really address this, there are wonderful things that come from being in the front yard. You rightly point out that the front yard is the access point for connections. Indeed it is!

    [Reply]

  • @Ira- I think so too -deeper connections (especially with those people who can reciprocate in meaningful ways) do build stronger relationships. Those lead to wonderful things. And, though the post didn’t really address this, there are wonderful things that come from being in the front yard. You rightly point out that the front yard is the access point for connections. Indeed it is!

    [Reply]

  • @Allison- Thanks for stopping by! I think the term of Ladder of Engagement is actually quite appropriate for the graphic. That’s really what I was trying to get at when I wrote about moving from weak ties to stronger ties. The point of talking on more than one social media platform stems from my own experiences: strong interpersonal engagement on Twitter often will lead to someone inviting me to be their Facebook friend or Linkedin connection. I absolutely, 100% agree that connecting on multiple platforms has no meaning in and of itself. I meant that it is an indicator of growing trust. However, after reflecting on your comment, I’d modify that box to say “connection on other platforms that will further strengthen the interpersonal engagement” with a note that this is NOT a necessary step, just a possible one. Great point, and going to modify that graphic shortly.

    [Reply]

  • @Allison- Thanks for stopping by! I think the term of Ladder of Engagement is actually quite appropriate for the graphic. That’s really what I was trying to get at when I wrote about moving from weak ties to stronger ties. The point of talking on more than one social media platform stems from my own experiences: strong interpersonal engagement on Twitter often will lead to someone inviting me to be their Facebook friend or Linkedin connection. I absolutely, 100% agree that connecting on multiple platforms has no meaning in and of itself. I meant that it is an indicator of growing trust. However, after reflecting on your comment, I’d modify that box to say “connection on other platforms that will further strengthen the interpersonal engagement” with a note that this is NOT a necessary step, just a possible one. Great point, and going to modify that graphic shortly.

    [Reply]

  • Robyn Silverstone

    Definitely weak to stronger: I recently had a chat via Skype for a position I was interested back home in Cape Town. I had never met this person before but immediately a connection was established via him following me and visa versa. Immediately we started connecting via many platforms such as Twitter, Google Reader, accessing and reading his blog and developing the conversation online and now frequently have the conversation on topics that both interest us.

    For me it’s about the engagement and these platforms allow us to break down those yard walls and have that conversation face to face – figuratively speaking – and am most definitely sure that when I move home next month, our paths will definitely cross and collaboration on a business level will most likely happen cause I am genuinely interested in the work that he does and the articles he posts.

    That is one recent conversation that has developed but I have met and learnt from so many talented and passionate people in the industry via these platforms that it really excites me; with the opportunity to create lasting connections.

    May have gone a little off topic but the idea is there.

    [Reply]

  • Robyn Silverstone

    Definitely weak to stronger: I recently had a chat via Skype for a position I was interested back home in Cape Town. I had never met this person before but immediately a connection was established via him following me and visa versa. Immediately we started connecting via many platforms such as Twitter, Google Reader, accessing and reading his blog and developing the conversation online and now frequently have the conversation on topics that both interest us.

    For me it’s about the engagement and these platforms allow us to break down those yard walls and have that conversation face to face – figuratively speaking – and am most definitely sure that when I move home next month, our paths will definitely cross and collaboration on a business level will most likely happen cause I am genuinely interested in the work that he does and the articles he posts.

    That is one recent conversation that has developed but I have met and learnt from so many talented and passionate people in the industry via these platforms that it really excites me; with the opportunity to create lasting connections.

    May have gone a little off topic but the idea is there.

    [Reply]

  • Debra –

    I really like this analogy a lot – I often use the example of bars – cocktail parties – dinner parties to describe the same thing. Back when I was an analyst, I was working on linking relationship development with tools and features. Different communications modes add meaning and increase intimacy. If you’re interested, I posted some of my thoughts here: http://www.thesocialorganization.com/2008/02/creating-intima.html

    As others have said too, I think there will be more and more private online spaces because of this front yard/back yard dynamic you so nicely illustrate.

    [Reply]

  • Debra –

    I really like this analogy a lot – I often use the example of bars – cocktail parties – dinner parties to describe the same thing. Back when I was an analyst, I was working on linking relationship development with tools and features. Different communications modes add meaning and increase intimacy. If you’re interested, I posted some of my thoughts here: http://www.thesocialorganization.com/2008/02/creating-intima.html

    As others have said too, I think there will be more and more private online spaces because of this front yard/back yard dynamic you so nicely illustrate.

    [Reply]

  • Ellen Rossano

    I like this analogy – at our house, we have “kitchen door” friends. We have a proper front door and a side door that opens directly into the kitchen. If you come in through the kitchen, you’ve probably been here before. I have great examples of moving through your illustration, which is a great visual to explain how these platforms can and do work.

    I also have examples of people who have burst through the “kitchen door” without an invitation-shocking at best and irritating at worst. I like the way you have defined the progression of relationships; I at least hope people will knock first!

    [Reply]

  • Ellen Rossano

    I like this analogy – at our house, we have “kitchen door” friends. We have a proper front door and a side door that opens directly into the kitchen. If you come in through the kitchen, you’ve probably been here before. I have great examples of moving through your illustration, which is a great visual to explain how these platforms can and do work.

    I also have examples of people who have burst through the “kitchen door” without an invitation-shocking at best and irritating at worst. I like the way you have defined the progression of relationships; I at least hope people will knock first!

    [Reply]

  • @Leora – thanks for sharing your experience and example. That’s exactly what I was hoping people would share.
    @Bonnie -couldn’t agree with you more! I think people are moved to act based on relationships – and this is informed through experience in my former life as a community organizer. I used to say that “people joined organizations because their friend asked them to.” Organizations need more friends, and the back door is a great way to get them!
    @Robyn – what a wonderful example! I hadn’t even thought about the shared Google Reader, which is a great way to connect and discuss interests. I am so happy you stopped by to share that back door experience. And I hope you get the position!

    [Reply]

  • @Leora – thanks for sharing your experience and example. That’s exactly what I was hoping people would share.
    @Bonnie -couldn’t agree with you more! I think people are moved to act based on relationships – and this is informed through experience in my former life as a community organizer. I used to say that “people joined organizations because their friend asked them to.” Organizations need more friends, and the back door is a great way to get them!
    @Robyn – what a wonderful example! I hadn’t even thought about the shared Google Reader, which is a great way to connect and discuss interests. I am so happy you stopped by to share that back door experience. And I hope you get the position!

    [Reply]

  • @Ellen – your comment made me think about our house back in Boston when we had a front door and back door off the driveway (now we’re in an apartment building). I remember being astonished when someone I hadn’t yet met would knock on the back door. After all, that back door led straight into our kitchen! I think your comment is so on target. Thanks for sharing that great visual image.

    [Reply]

  • @Ellen – your comment made me think about our house back in Boston when we had a front door and back door off the driveway (now we’re in an apartment building). I remember being astonished when someone I hadn’t yet met would knock on the back door. After all, that back door led straight into our kitchen! I think your comment is so on target. Thanks for sharing that great visual image.

    [Reply]

  • @Rachel – thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate you sharing the link to your article. One could easily overlay the Relationship Evolution Stages you describe onto the graphic I created to create a very rich explanation of social media interactions. The difference is that my graphic is completely focused on social media. That said, the point is the same – using appropriate means of communications to create more intimate relationships.

    Btw, last night I used the party analogy as well – I was explaining participating in Linkedin Groups to a client: it’s like going to a party and walking around the room to find the discussion that most interests you. All these tools are actually replicating real life social interactions virtually. And bars/parties/homes are where those social interactions do take place the most!

    [Reply]

  • @Rachel – thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate you sharing the link to your article. One could easily overlay the Relationship Evolution Stages you describe onto the graphic I created to create a very rich explanation of social media interactions. The difference is that my graphic is completely focused on social media. That said, the point is the same – using appropriate means of communications to create more intimate relationships.

    Btw, last night I used the party analogy as well – I was explaining participating in Linkedin Groups to a client: it’s like going to a party and walking around the room to find the discussion that most interests you. All these tools are actually replicating real life social interactions virtually. And bars/parties/homes are where those social interactions do take place the most!

    [Reply]

  • Debra, really like the analogies. Thanks. You mentioned in some of your recent tweets about having more DM type interactions. I assume some of that is conversations moving to the “back yard”. Do you feel as if some of these should be “front yard” conversations from the stand point of being more open, public, and/or transparent?

    Do you have any particular criteria that you adhere to when deciding to take some thing more direct or personal?

    When responding to a mention in Twitter for example, I have found myself on a occasion wondering whether a public reply, DM, or combination is the best approach. In part trying to assess the value of the response to a wider audience as criteria I guess but if all communication goes “back yard” and “kitchen” seems like we would lose some of what is nice about social media.

    [Reply]

  • Debra, really like the analogies. Thanks. You mentioned in some of your recent tweets about having more DM type interactions. I assume some of that is conversations moving to the “back yard”. Do you feel as if some of these should be “front yard” conversations from the stand point of being more open, public, and/or transparent?

    Do you have any particular criteria that you adhere to when deciding to take some thing more direct or personal?

    When responding to a mention in Twitter for example, I have found myself on a occasion wondering whether a public reply, DM, or combination is the best approach. In part trying to assess the value of the response to a wider audience as criteria I guess but if all communication goes “back yard” and “kitchen” seems like we would lose some of what is nice about social media.

    [Reply]

  • @Seth- You’re right about the tweets. I was trying to crowdource some thoughts about times that people decide to have private conversations vs. public on social media. Unfortunately, the answers folks gave me weren’t really aligned with what I was trying to find out.

    I think you’ve hit on the other side of the private conversations – they’re great for relationship-building but can also hinder public learning. For me, I move to the back yard (especially on twitter) when I don’t want the comment to be heard by all, when it’s a personal question for a specific person, when I don’t want it to be indexed by Google, and also when I think everyone doesn’t need to “listen” to a long conversation/back-and-forth between two people. (It also means that I trust the person to keep our conversation private.) That said, I found myself in a DM conversation today that I thought would have been beneficial to others and both of us instinctively moved the conversation back to the public sphere – the front yard.

    So – you’ve hit on another meaning for front yard and back yard: when it’s of public benefit vs. private benefit. Makes me think another graphic is in order to talk about this. Thanks for getting my gears going!

    [Reply]

  • @Seth- You’re right about the tweets. I was trying to crowdource some thoughts about times that people decide to have private conversations vs. public on social media. Unfortunately, the answers folks gave me weren’t really aligned with what I was trying to find out.

    I think you’ve hit on the other side of the private conversations – they’re great for relationship-building but can also hinder public learning. For me, I move to the back yard (especially on twitter) when I don’t want the comment to be heard by all, when it’s a personal question for a specific person, when I don’t want it to be indexed by Google, and also when I think everyone doesn’t need to “listen” to a long conversation/back-and-forth between two people. (It also means that I trust the person to keep our conversation private.) That said, I found myself in a DM conversation today that I thought would have been beneficial to others and both of us instinctively moved the conversation back to the public sphere – the front yard.

    So – you’ve hit on another meaning for front yard and back yard: when it’s of public benefit vs. private benefit. Makes me think another graphic is in order to talk about this. Thanks for getting my gears going!

    [Reply]

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  • Debra:

    Great post and analogy. I drafted a comment and then realized it was too long for the comment section.

    So I posted it on my blog. You analaogy of front and back yards to relationships got me thinking about porches, porticos, “Refrigerator Rights” and social media.

    http://jeffhurtblog.com/2009/12/10/porches-greek-porticos-refrigerator-rights-social-media/

    Amazing what social media blogs–our neighborhood yards–can do to create deeper relationships.

    [Reply]

  • Debra:

    Great post and analogy. I drafted a comment and then realized it was too long for the comment section.

    So I posted it on my blog. You analaogy of front and back yards to relationships got me thinking about porches, porticos, “Refrigerator Rights” and social media.

    http://jeffhurtblog.com/2009/12/10/porches-greek-porticos-refrigerator-rights-social-media/

    Amazing what social media blogs–our neighborhood yards–can do to create deeper relationships.

    [Reply]

  • Thanks Debra,

    As always I find your posts (and our discussions) insightful and I like the way you have framed this.

    Your parenthetical comment, “(Which is why we talk about how the number of followers doesn’t matter, but Dunbar’s number does.)” touches on something I have been thinking about lately.

    With an ever-increasing convergence of SMM and SEO, and the constant underlying humming of ROI, I have been thinking about the feasibility of using Dunbar’s number in forecasting ROI when creating campaigns in SM (even if using an exponential sequence of relationships) and whether that may produce more accurate results than basing conversion estimates on a percentage of followers.

    I would think that if one was to launch a campaign to those in the “backyard” it would be more successful since it is based on stronger ties. They may even pass it on to their own backyards.

    My thinking here is that cultivating 150 activists who then may be evangelists to another 150 activists (or even 50 given overlap) may yield a higher ROI with a lower investment and a higher conversion rate than if the originator of the campaign had a first level reach of 7650 [150+ (50 x 150)]. This would be very significant for those organizations with a limited presence and limited resources.

    Does anyone have any data on such things? That is, is anyone aware of data comparing the success of campaigns on social media focusing on a limited number of supporters compared to campaigns targeting a wide audience?

    [Reply]

  • Thanks Debra,

    As always I find your posts (and our discussions) insightful and I like the way you have framed this.

    Your parenthetical comment, “(Which is why we talk about how the number of followers doesn’t matter, but Dunbar’s number does.)” touches on something I have been thinking about lately.

    With an ever-increasing convergence of SMM and SEO, and the constant underlying humming of ROI, I have been thinking about the feasibility of using Dunbar’s number in forecasting ROI when creating campaigns in SM (even if using an exponential sequence of relationships) and whether that may produce more accurate results than basing conversion estimates on a percentage of followers.

    I would think that if one was to launch a campaign to those in the “backyard” it would be more successful since it is based on stronger ties. They may even pass it on to their own backyards.

    My thinking here is that cultivating 150 activists who then may be evangelists to another 150 activists (or even 50 given overlap) may yield a higher ROI with a lower investment and a higher conversion rate than if the originator of the campaign had a first level reach of 7650 [150+ (50 x 150)]. This would be very significant for those organizations with a limited presence and limited resources.

    Does anyone have any data on such things? That is, is anyone aware of data comparing the success of campaigns on social media focusing on a limited number of supporters compared to campaigns targeting a wide audience?

    [Reply]

  • @Charlie- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think this comment is very intriguing, but it really depends on what the action is that the campaign is asking people to take – a serious commitment such as calling a US Senator, or just voting for a nonprofit online to win a prize?

    I suspect that only a percentage of each person’s Dunbar number would participate, but that percentage would be quite small. After all, not everyone is interested in the specific cause or campaign. If the campaign is limited, targeting deep involvement such as recruiting others or writing a blog post, then your idea is really intriguing to play around with. If the campaign asks folks to take a more casual step, then people way beyond the Dunbar number will take action (and many within still will not).

    I actually think the real ROI measure might be how many people who have “back yard access” take action. For example, I participated in Tweetsgiving because John Haydon, who has “back yard access” to me, asked me. I then asked others to do the same – all people with whom I have those same, stronger ties.

    [Reply]

  • @Charlie- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think this comment is very intriguing, but it really depends on what the action is that the campaign is asking people to take – a serious commitment such as calling a US Senator, or just voting for a nonprofit online to win a prize?

    I suspect that only a percentage of each person’s Dunbar number would participate, but that percentage would be quite small. After all, not everyone is interested in the specific cause or campaign. If the campaign is limited, targeting deep involvement such as recruiting others or writing a blog post, then your idea is really intriguing to play around with. If the campaign asks folks to take a more casual step, then people way beyond the Dunbar number will take action (and many within still will not).

    I actually think the real ROI measure might be how many people who have “back yard access” take action. For example, I participated in Tweetsgiving because John Haydon, who has “back yard access” to me, asked me. I then asked others to do the same – all people with whom I have those same, stronger ties.

    [Reply]

  • @Jeff- What a nice compliment to extend the post on your blog. I left a comment on your blog, and I look forward to reading the comments there as well!

    @Randi- glad Jeff pointed you my way, and welcome! The front porch community is right here, in the comments. Love that you are reframing it in this way!

    [Reply]

  • @Jeff- What a nice compliment to extend the post on your blog. I left a comment on your blog, and I look forward to reading the comments there as well!

    @Randi- glad Jeff pointed you my way, and welcome! The front porch community is right here, in the comments. Love that you are reframing it in this way!

    [Reply]

  • Randi Sumner

    Well said!! And, special thanks to Jeff Hurt for pointing me in this direction as I have never read your blog.

    I have been thinking along these lines myself for many months. I was resentling listening to an radio interview with an author discussing his essays about the demise of the front porch community in american culture.

    It seems to me said author got it a bit wrong. Its not the demise, its the reinvention.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    [Reply]

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  • Randi Sumner

    Well said!! And, special thanks to Jeff Hurt for pointing me in this direction as I have never read your blog.

    I have been thinking along these lines myself for many months. I was resentling listening to an radio interview with an author discussing his essays about the demise of the front porch community in american culture.

    It seems to me said author got it a bit wrong. Its not the demise, its the reinvention.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    [Reply]

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  • I am happy now to know it.
    I would think that if one was to launch a campaign to those in the “backyard” it would be more successful since it is based on stronger ties. They may even pass it on to their own backyards.
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

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Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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