Social networks can help us in many ways today. We can find old friends and family, set up high school reunions and more on Facebook. We can “check in” at our favorite places on Foursquare. We can connect professionally with people on Linked In. We can even “follow” anyone we want on Twitter. Now there is a social network that can bring your neighborhood closer together, help prevent crime, and organize neighborhood events, among other things. It’s called Nextdoor, a private social network built for neighborhoods that connects residents, and it’s growing fast. It currently encompasses more than 1,700 neighborhoods in 46 states.
Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood, one of the most important communities in each of our lives. The site is free to join and it’s a great way to connect with neighbors about a variety of things. Here are just some of the things one can do on Next Door:
- Find a new home for an outgrown bike
- Track down a trustworthy babysitter
- Quickly get the word out about a break-in
- Find out who does the best paint job in town
- Organize a garage sale
- Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
- Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.
- Get referrals for great tenants looking to live in the neighborhood
- Ask your neighbors about real estate professional referrals
- Planning community events or block parties for the neighborhood
The site is less than a year old and has grown fast. While Nextdoor has a great concept, security is always an issue with any social network. He recently told Bloomberg News that people cannot create fake names and street addresses on the website, which is a great security filter. While this may seem like an invasion of privacy, it’s necessary to keep the site honest. In addition, Nextdoor also says that only your neighbors in your neighborhood will be able to see what you’ve shared, and that it never shares personal information with advertisers or third party sources.
So what is the most common search on Nextdoor? According to founder Tolia, about 55% of all posts and requests are for people looking for recommendations for professionals. If you haven’t done so already, check out Nextdoor and take a look at what it’s all about. It’s free to join and can help new neighbors better adapt to the neighborhood, as well as bring neighborhoods together in an easy-to-use forum. It’s also a great way to learn about houses that may be coming up for sale or rent in the neighborhood. It’s always nice to be able to choose your neighbors by telling your friends and family members which houses will be on the market in the near future. Nextdoor provides a great service to neighborhoods and communities.