I recently sent a postcard to twenty of my closest neighbors asking them to join me on Nextdoor, a private social network exclusively for our neighborhood. While the service is completely free, they do require that you validate your residential address in order to sign up. I chose to validate by phone, which was quick and painless, then went about drawing lines on a map around my neighborhood. After removing a few of the homes that didn’t belong, I was pleasantly surprised to find the option to send my neighbors a postcard at the end of the sign up process. I mean really, when was the last time you sent a friend request via snail mail?
What I find so exciting about Nextdoor is its similarity to the private social network we use at LexisNexis called Yammer. It’s a lot easier to validate our professional network as we all share the same email addresses, but the benefits to the company over the lat two years since we adopted it has been amazing! People share their ideas, collaborate on projects, celebrate their successes, and announce upcoming events. It’s like taking all those conversations out of your mailbox and circling them around a water cooler.
But the best part, apart from being free, is that any neighborhood can sign up for their own private social network on Nextdoor. Just imagine the ability to connect with your neighbors to find a babysitter, or to share an upcoming garage sale, or simply to get rid of an old couch. If there is ever any trouble, you can send a message to your neighbors to warn them, or to recommend a good repair guy in the aftermath. As they say in their manifesto, “We’re all about online chats that lead to more clothesline chats.”
If you would like to connect with your neighbors online, sign up at Nextdoor and send them a postcard of your very own!