New network launches
The trend of years past was to launch a social network and go global with people from all walks of life coming together to meet each other and expand each others’ horizons. Now that the globe has taken to social media, there is a frequent feeling of loneliness in a full room, especially for people with natural social anxieties. Various startups have launched to solve this problem and bring people back home and neighbors are encouraged to connect.
This spring, Everyblock announced they were opening their one way news information source to a two way hyperlocal social network that encourages neighbors to connect. GeoMeme launched in 2009 to help people search Twitter trends locally and Zaarly.com recently launched as a modern classifieds site where locals can sell their items to other locals. Loku.com launched yesterday and serves as a means for anyone to feel like a local by obtaining hyperlocal information, deals, news and the like. Facebook has secret groups as well as pages that neighborhoods can set up for their neighborhood, and Zillow launched “Neighborhood Pages” way back in 2007.
All of these tools seek to solve the disconnected feeling of a highly connected web life, especially on a neighborhood level, but the gap in the market is a robust private network for communities. Several companies have given it a shot, but the design has been shoddy or it has been overrun by advertisements, or it was overly complicated, or just didn’t offer enough options.
Enter NextDoor.com which Zillow co-founder Rich Barton has helped launch as a Board Member and investor. As demonstrated in the video above, NextDoor seeks to bring neighbors together in a secure environment that offers simple organization and with functions similar to existing social networks that consumers should easily comprehend. The service is available in 200 neighborhoods and each user must verify their address – no anonymous users named “JoeMama2009″ at NextDoor.