Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

If we’re friends or you’re subscribed to me on Facebook, you no doubt have come to learn that I’m a fan of Mashable’s business posts.  A few months ago, I came across what seemed to be a marketing piece they wrote for a startup called Nextdoor.  Well, now it appears that I’m also ready to endorse this start up. In short, Nextdoor is a private social network, with access given only if you can confirm by documentation or by entering a unique code mailed to your home address.  Once signed in, you can post status updates, recommendations, reviews, and a lot more…  [Read More Here]


Here’s why I think Nextdoor can be successful:

  • Meeting new people is hard
    • Between working all day, travel schedules, and (here in Phoenix at least) the weather keeping you indoors most of the time, it can be hard to meet neighbors.  My neighborhood can be especially tough, as it is a rather new neighborhood with many units still filling in over time.
    • With Nextdoor I can meet my neighbors when I’m not even home.  Maybe that couple around the corner is really into hiking and we can meet up to climb a nearby mountain.  Actually, that’s not a maybe – that’s something I’ve actually found to be true with my experience on the website.
  • Speak without fear of the HOA
    • Although we have a pretty good HOA, there seems to be a general hesitance to use the community forums that they provide.  This may be in part due to not wanting to share information that may be in violation of the HOA rules.
    • Knowing that folks have to verify their address ensures that people on the site are indeed your neighbors and not some corporate guy who works downtown and only occasionally swings by to see how things are going.
  • This isn’t Facebook
    • This is a key factor that took some time to sink in for me. I tried to set up a private group on Facebook for our neighborhood, but got no buy in from my neighbors.  This makes sense, though – why would you want to connect with people you don’t know on Facebook?
    • Share only what you want with your neighbors – you don’t have to invite them into your lives to be good neighbors and share useful information about your neighborhood.

We just recently reached our minimum member count for our community.  It’s definitely an experiment, and so far… So good.  I’ll be posting invitations at the mailbox this weekend in hopes to grow the online version of our community even further.

Heck, maybe I can even find someone to watch my dog next time I’m out of town.

[Visit Mashable for even more about Nextdoor]