Getting to know the neighbors next door

“The neighborhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person’s life.”

That statement is the mission of the neighborhood social media company, Nextdoor.

I found out about Nextdoor from a post card sent to my grandmother asking her to join.

The thing that separates this new social media network from others more familiar, like Facebook, is that Nextdoor seems to be geared more to homeowners and renters rather than teenagers.

Nextdoor is a private social network designed for neighborhoods. It allows neighbors to stay up to date with what’s going on in the community. Unlike other major social networks, Nextdoor has separate private groups for each particular neighborhood.

Each neighborhood has its own network and members are verified within the network by one of several requirements: a credit or debit card billing address, social security number, land line or mobile phone number, neighbor invitations or a post card with the neighborhood’s unique code on it.

Being registered in multiple neighborhood networks isn’t allowed, but there is an option for a user to send messages to a nearby neighborhood based off of their location.

What neighbors share on the secure network is not accessible by other users who are not registered in that specific neighborhood.  Like the typical social network, users registered with Nextdoor can share pictures, send messages and update statuses.

A key benefit with Nextdoor that other social media do not have is that it makes it allows communities to build a stronger neighborhood while getting to know one another better. It helps keep the neighbors informed about special events, neighborhood planning, activities and other local information.

Safety also plays a big role in the use of Nextdoor. It allows neighbors to stay up-to-date with issues that affect them personally such as crimes like recent break-ins. It can also be helpful for finding lost pets. Many people also use the network for sharing recommendations, discussing issues within the community and helping each other out.

According to Nextdoor’s website, over 28,000 neighborhoods in cities are currently taking advantage of the service across the country such as Dallas, San Jose, CA, and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Locations also include neighborhoods in Durham like Old North Durham, Lakewood, Grove Park, Walltown and Parkwood.  

In reviews about Nextdoor, people are saying their primary use of it is to keep up with what is going on in their neighborhoods and to remember each neighbors’ names. Some people are referring to Nextdoor as their “missing link” within the neighborhood.

Nextdoor is available for the iPhone, Android or online at

Northeast Central Durham has several neighborhoods where people barely recognize each other. This can be a problem because it stops neighbors from simply being neighborly.

Recognizing each other could help lead to better relations.

This may be a technological way for our neighbors to get to know each other and become involved in their communities.

Getting involved is a good way to become an active citizen and to share your voice.