Getting to Know the Folks Nextdoor
When neighbors share information and look out for each other, they strengthen social cohesion and help create more resilient communities. To facilitate these connections, a group of San Francisco-based entrepreneurs started Nextdoor, a private social-networking platform that is building a sense of shared ownership and agency among neighbors.
Nextdoor gives people a safe, easy and free ‘meeting space,’ where they can share information and discuss community concerns.
More than 49,000 neighborhoods now use Nextdoor technology to share information on topics such as neighborhood watch groups, clean ups, babysitters, contractor searches and items for sale. Groups are also using it to share details on break-ins or other safety concerns, and to advertise events like neighborhood barbecues, multi-home garage sales, or occasions where children are at play.
The Nextdoor site has special protections making it safe for participating households: every user must verify their address and use their real name. The site is also password protected and information is never shared. Every user has to follow standard ground rules for respectful language, stay focused on issues, avoid personal attacks or political arguments, and try not to dominate conversations.
NextDoor also has a blog where it shares stories on how groups are using the tool to enhance community relationships. For example, the blog recently highlighted how Nextdoor is collaborating with several city agencies and the Philadelphia police department to help them engage residents and strengthen communities by providing them with a safe and easy way to communicate neighborhood needs.
Through this collaborative effort, 265 neighborhoods are now connected, making Philadelphia the largest Nextdoor initiative in the country. Other city-wide projects have begun in Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Oakland and San Diego.
What do you think of Nextdoor? Would something like this be beneficial to your community? Are you using other social media tools to foster connections among residents?
To learn more about Nextdoor, click here!
Logo Courtesy of Nextdoor and Around Anderson Township