Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In this fast-paced world there seems to be little time to really get to know your neighbors. In fact, a Pew Research survey shows only 19 percent of Americans know all of their neighbors.
A new social networking site called Nextdoor is hoping to change that.
There was a time when meeting your neighbors was as simple as walking down the block, but now that initial greeting isn’t so easy.
“Unfortunately, in today’s society, that’s not always received well,” said John Gibbons, a Nextdoor member.
That’s why Gibbons turned to his laptop to get to know those living around him. His neighborhood in St. Louis Park is a member of Nextdoor.
It’s a site that allows residents to build a private social network for their street, block, or housing development. The goal is to get to know your neighbors.
“It’s through the website, I think it brought us closer and helped us meet some of the folks we never had a chance to meet on the street,” said Gibbons.
Once you’re signed in, Nextdoor works as discussion board. Neighbors can post everything from babysitter recommendations to planning the next neighborhood function. It’s a one-stop shop to get the word out to everyone.
Anna Brausch started her Nextdoor network three weeks ago. More than 50 people have already signed up.
“A trickle every day, but it keeps growing and growing,” said Braasch, whose community of Brookview Heights is using the site to work together to update a sign leading into their community. “Someone posted the idea so now people are starting to talk about that. It would have been hard to do that before.”
It is a high-tech version of the old neighborhood watch mentality, connecting a community without leaving the home.
To join a Nextdoor community you do have to prove you actually live in the neighborhood.