Posted by Allison Boyer

nextdoor private social network

Get to know your neighbors! Nextdoor is a new way to create your very own private social network for your local community.

One of the things I love about my current neighborhood is that I know my neighbors. The area where I live is up-and-coming, but not without its problems. I like knowing that I can rely on the people who live in the houses near mine to call me if they see anything weird going on, especially when they know I’m not at home.

Now, connecting with your neighbors is a whole lot easier with a new social network called Nextdoor. If you’re interested in supporting your community and building a safer place to live, this is a tool you need to check out! It’s a safe way to meet your neighbors in a private online setting so you can support one another and better enjoy the area where you live.

Nextdoor allows you to:

  • Send out alerts to everyone in your community if you see something suspicious
  • Organize community clean-ups
  • Communicate about lost pets and other items
  • Warn others about roadwork in your area
  • Find people to mow your lawn, babysit, and more
  • Learn about neighborhood events
  • Sell or trade items
  • Get recommendations for local services

In addition, if you’re the first in your community to sign up for Nextdoor, you can invite others via email or printed postcards/fliers and welcome new members of the community. Currently, this app is being used by over 12,000 neighborhoods across the United States.

I like that each neighborhood has its own private online network within Nextdoor and members need to be verified that they do live in the community so it isn’t a free-for-all where everyone can see what’s going on.

However, although I love some of the people living on my street, I don’t necessarily trust everyone in my entire neighborhood. I don’t want to advertise, for example, that I’m looking for a petsitter, because it tells others that I’m going out of town. Depending on what your neighborhood is like, you might even want to be careful about the suspicious activities you report, as people could lash out against you.

There are some great features, though, and I especially like the sense of community an app like Nextdoor gives to a neighborhood where people might otherwise never get to know one another. That’s what my last neighborhood was like. It was a nice enough area and I always felt safe, but people didn’t really know one another. I guess, like with everything you post online, the key is to be safe and when in doubt, say things to your neighbors in person once you trust them instead of posting it online. Even if the whole world can’t see it, the whole neighborhood can.

Nextdoor is available for iPhone and iPad, and you can also sign up and log online via your favorite web browser if you don’t have any i-devices.

Learn more [via]

Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator and Content Creator for New Media Expo (NMX), a conference for bloggers, podcasters, web TV producers, and social business leaders. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.