Here’s what Facebook doesn’t do well. A social neighborhood. Your neighbors. Think of the value of knowing and connecting to your neighbors in a private social network that’s not wedded to Facebook or Twitter. All that’s required is that everyone in the neighborhood have an iPhone and the Nextdoor app.
Private Social Network
As a trend, I’m not completely convinced that social media and social networks are good for humans. If Facebook is the one that brings everyone in the world together, what does NextDoor do?
As the name implies, Nextdoor is a free, private social network for those in your neighborhood. Think of it as Facebook-like but without the whole world being involved.
Nextdoor lets you create and select a private social network. What good is it?
Well, if everyone is using Nextdoor, then it’s a good way to get the word out to your neighbors about a break in, or a neighborhood scam.
Use Nextdoor to check with your neighbors about setting up a yard sale or garage sale, of find a good babysitter.
It’s a bit like having an automatically generated email list or bulletin board for everyone in the neighborhood.
Provided everyone in the neighborhood has an iPhone and the Nextdoor app.
I like the idea and I like the app. Considering that it’s free, there’s plenty of potential here.
The problem with Nextdoor is the same problem that exists with every social network, public or private.
It’s in the numbers.
If everyone in your neighborhood or most of your friends nearby are logged into Nextdoor, you’re good to go. Use the app the organize a Neighborhood Watch group.
Or, use it to poll your neighbors about hiring a handyman, or plumber, or painter, or electrician; similar to Angie’s List.
This is a great idea which would probably do better as a subset of Facebook than a standalone app. Now you’ll be getting notifications about Facebook wall postings, and notices about a neighbor who needs help.