A few months ago I became aware of Nextdoor through this very publication. This new social network promised to connect me to my neighbors (of whom I know 0), help me solicit advice about local services, and provide a forum for neighborhood safety, Belmont issues and anything else that may be of concern to my fellow residents.
I soon learned that I inhabit a wonderful neighborhood called Plateau Skymont, but no one else from my area had signed up for the service so I had to wait until several weeks later, I got an email informing me I could finally sign up for Nextdoor, and I did!
Our little social network is slowly growing, but with only 58 members and and 7% of our households signed on, not much is happening. However, I love seeing who lives near me, including our "lead" - the head of our neighborhood social network - who at the time happened to be working for the same company as my fiancé. It's really quite fascinating to suddenly have a sense that you're not alone on your street, that there are people just a few doors down that share similar interests with you - and some very different ones!
Although it has yet to happen, one of my network members suggested a block party or a small meet and greet gathering, something that I was also interested in doing so I can physically meet my neighbors. However, with the small participation in our network, it's hard to get anything going. Nextdoor offers the option of sending postcards to your neighbors to encourage them to join, or printing flyers, but something about that seems a little creepy to me, sending postcards to someone you don't even know. Maybe it's just me ...
And then Nextdoor did something awesome! They opened up the lines of communication to surrounding neighborhoods, so if someone in a neighborhood near me chooses to share their post with multiple neighborhoods, rather than just their own, that post shows up in my feed! Suddenly there's all sorts of people filling up my feed, asking for recommendations for babysitters and recommending mechanics, offering items for sale and sharing local events.
Two particular posts struck me. First, someone in the Highlands offered five opera librettos for free. I immediately jumped on the opportunity, since I sing opera as part of my varied repertoire, and the next day I found myself driving through this neighborhood I didn't even know existed! As a relative newcomer to Belmont and the Peninsula, Nextdoor really has the potential to broaden my horizons.
And then today, I saw a post for a furniture item for sale, that the seller will deliver, an item of furniture my fiancé was just saying a few weeks ago he'd really like to have, constructed of wood that I particularly like. What an opportunity! As soon as the soon-to-be hubby and I talked, I messaged that person.
I'm urging other Belmont residents to try out Nextdoor. It's easy to sign up, easy to verify you actually live in your neighborhood (for security/privacy), and I believe the site has a real potential to enhance our relationships with our neighbors, as well as our own lives (through recommendations, buy/sell boards, event sharing, safety alerts, etc.).
Try it out today! www.nextdoor.com