The New York Times recently featured Nextdoor.com, calling it “a neighborhood-based social network.” The site is not yet available everywhere, but it does claim to be in more than 2,000 neighborhoods across the country.
Harvard sociology professor Robert J. Sampson, who writes about “the enduring significance of place,” is quoted in the article, saying: “There’s a common misreading that technology inevitably leads to the decline of the local community. I don’t believe that. Technology can be harnessed to facilitate local interactions.”The Times writer then concludes with this interesting observation:
“Back in its very early days, Facebook was an exclusive social network built around a neighborhood of sorts: the Harvard campus. Residency was verified by the university-issued e-mail address.
But when Facebook expanded beyond campuses, it left the atomic unit of the neighborhood behind. This has created the opportunity for a start-up like Nextdoor to come along and create something that Facebook no longer is: an online network defined by real-life proximity.”
Is this creepy? Or is this the next great tool for being missional in the suburbs and more rural areas? What do you think? Will you try it?