When was the last time you baked a cake for your neighbors? And why did you not borrow that lawn-mower from your neighbor when you needed one? Neighborhoods have become alarmingly anonymous. Nextdoor is in the process of changing this with a private social network specially catering to neighborhoods.
Their goal is to build stronger and safer neighborhoods and in the age of media the easiest way to do this is, unfortunately, no longer with a chat across the fence but simply online. You can register for free and get access with a specific password uniquely assigned to your neighborhood. Once your name and address has been verified you can participate in the debates on current break-ins, organize a neighborhood watch, find trustworthy babysitter contacts, help finding a lost pet, get rid of your old bike you have been meaning to sell for weeks and start calling your neighbors by their first names.
Nextdoor was launched in 2011 in San Francisco, California and from there has spread to over 100 cities in the U.S. with over 17,000 neighborhoods actively participating. In the beginning, no marketing and only word-of-mouth helped boosting this success story but now one press coverage follows another promoting “online chats that lead to more clothesline chats”.