In November of last year a local news station ran a special report on a new online community that is passionate about building stronger and safer neighborhoods. Nextdoor.com is a private social network that is designed to help you and your neighbors build an online community. It is completely free and anyone who is willing to take the initiative to map out a neighborhood around his or her home can set up a private, independent online community. Think Facebook but limited to the people who live around you.
Since setting up the NW Kismet Community I have had more interaction with some of the people in my neighborhood in the last few months than I have in the previous 10 years. We have exchanged helpful information about proposed construction work in our neighborhood, about some petty crimes, seasonal events and even some photos of local scenery. Just today, another neighbor whom I had invited to join back in December asked me to help him get signed up.
My fellow pastor, Tim Brister, has started a Nextdoor community for his neighborhood and has written a helpful description of how he hopes to use it to connect with his neighbors. Some of our neighbors are about to start a neighborhood watch organization through our local police department.
The recent growth of Nextdoor has caused them to launch a 2.0 version that makes it easier than ever to use. In fact, as an incentive to get more people involved, Nextdoor is giving away Starbucks gift cards to everyone who starts a new community through their website. If you sign up through this link, you will get a $50 Starbucks card and so will I. So, check it out…and enjoy a frappuccino on me.