Nextdoor.com is a neighborhood-based social network. It facilitates local interactions; it is defined by real-life proximity.
Since its launching last October, it has set up over 2,000 such neighborhoods in the United States, each containing about 500 to 700 households.
Nextdoor’s site provides:
- A house-by-house map of neighbors who are members
- A forum for posting items of general interest
- Classified listing for buying, selling away things
- A database for neighbor-recommended local services
- Post by e-mail –immediately or in daily digest- or text alerts
Pages are private, so the information does not appear on search engine results. Everything, including the directory of members, is visible only to members.
To keep out marketers, Nextdoor requires new members to prove that they actually live at their claimed residences, either by allowing a one-cent transaction to be processed on a credit card tied to the address, by having an existing neighborhood member vouch for their identity, or by other means.
Backed by investors, the service is free and, for now, carries no advertising, despite it plans to enlist local businesses to give members special offers.
Is Nextdoor.com something totally new?
Well, at the beginning, Facebook was an exclusive social network built around the Harvard campus. Residency was verified by the university-issued e-mail address.
Why then a network for neighborhoods?
The CEO of Nextdoor.com says: “As you get older, the community that is most valuable to you is the one in which you live (...). The neighborhood is where you buy a home, where your kids go to school, where you spend the majority of your physical life.”