Is the Killer App for Being Missional in the Suburbs?

Nextdoor.comThe New York Times recently featured, 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?

  • Jesse

    For someone who lives in a suburban area like me this is interesting. It has taken my wife and I almost 6 years to get to know some of our neighbors, and some still stay behind closed garage doors and high fences.

    While I think this site is intriguing, like most social networks ilthe success would depend on the amount of use of neighbors, and it’s no replacement for face-to-face interaction.

  • Rick

    Yes, creepy and a possible tool. But I’d lean towards the creepy side, if only to say that if any of this replaces actually getting to know neighbors or is used in “marketing”… I think anything beyond “this is just our neighborhood” makes it less missional and more adversarial.

  • Bruce Reyes-Chow

    We use it in urban San Francisco and it has been a great experience.

    • Steve Knight

      Bruce, I should’ve known you would be all over this new technology! I’m glad to hear is working for folks like you in urban areas too.

  • Ginny

    How does the site “confirm” that someone has the address they claim to have? Does anyone know?