Nextdoor: Social Networking for Neighborhoods

May 21st, 2013

Imagine for a moment that you have just moved in to your dream house in your dream neighborhood. You’ve gotten through the packing, moving, unpacking process and you’re starting to settle in. Maybe you have said hello and shared a few pleasantries with your new neighbors but you haven’t really had time to “meet” them. Then one morning you look outside to see your black lab racing around the backyard with a collarless golden retriever puppy that definitely doesn’t belong there. You think maybe you’ve seen someone walking the dog on your street but can’t remember who or what house they might live in…so you ask your neighbors next door and across the street and next door on the other side. You spend an hour walking up and down your new street, meeting your neighbors and trying to find the dogs owner, with no luck. And then you spend another 3 hours taking the dog to your vet to scan for a microchip, calling all of the local shelters, putting an ad on Craigslist and making up a flyer. At this point you’re thinking, “man, I really wish there was an easier way to get in touch with all of the people in my neighborhood…”

That’s where Nextdoor comes in. The idea is that someone in your neighborhood, a “Lead,” joins Nextdoor (for FREE) and configures your neighborhood boundaries. (At this point many neighborhoods in the Portland metro area have already been set up so it’s likely yours is too!) Then this “lead” can invite neighbors to join (for FREE) via other social networking sites (Facebook), email or even just a note on their front door. Addresses within the neighborhood boundaries are verified using your cell phone billing address, credit card billing address or a postcard in the mail with an access code. Real names are used on the site but users do have the option of making only their street name public (visible only to people in their neighborhood) and not their house number.

Once the neighborhood has been established and neighbors have joined, the networking can begin. The site can be used to post notices about garage sales, block parties, the best babysitter or house cleaner, or in our imagined case a missing golden retriever puppy.

On their website it says:

“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.”

We think that’s a pretty cool idea…

For more reading on Nextdoor, check out:

THIS article from Forbes Magazine

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