Nextdoor: The social network in your neighborhood

Trying to sell your college grad’s childhood desk? Looking for a recommendation for a weekend dog sitter or the perfect camping site? Maybe you want to give away unused school supplies or find a gently used couch for free? Head to Nextdoor, a hyper-local social media website and cellphone app designed to link you to your neighbors and alert you to goings-on in your neighborhood.

Nextdoor is kind of like Facebook, but exclusively for your local neighbors to organize community garage sales, sell home goods and ask for recommendations for a local dry-cleaning service. To ensure that users are residents of the neighborhood, they must undergo a simple verification process to determine that they live within a given neighborhood’s zip code boundary.

You can use Nextdoor to keep up to date with your community, chat one-on-one with a neighbor you personally add to your network, or take a look at the neighborhood map to find out which of your neighbors is a Nextdoor member. The service sorts community posts into pages classified as Recommendations, Classifieds, Free Items, Events, Crime & Safety, Lost & Found, Documents, General and Pet Directory.

The Nextdoor app.

Next, take a look under the People tab, featuring Neighbors, Groups and Agencies. Message a friend who lives down the road on the Neighbors page, join a book club or sign a petition on the Groups page or learn more about your police department’s on the Agencies page.

Nextdoor’s content is monitored by neighborhood Leads, who delete inflammatory posts and comments. While you’ll find plenty of information on farmer’s markets and outdoor movie nights, you won’t see any posts about family, comments about politics or funny cat videos on Nextdoor. This is one benefit of using this site over a Facebook page, which can get crowded with unnecessary information.

One of the only drawbacks of Nextdoor? Some users post on the neighborhood page to complain rather than inform. While it might be true that neighbors need to slow down on White Fawn Street or pay attention to “Child at Play” signs, a page-long post probably won’t reach those who actually need the reminder. Posts like these can be annoying and ineffective, but it’s worth it to scroll past to find the announcement on Yoga in the Park.

Still trying to decide if you want to join your neighborhood’s Nextdoor page? Here’s a suggestion: Sign up, but send Nextdoor emails to your junk folder. Use the Events page to find fun and free activities for the kids or get some date night ideas, then visit the Free Items and Classifieds pages if you’re looking for a swing set and Recommendations for vetted suggestions of Italian restaurants.

Nextdoor is a great resource for local updates and community information. You never know what might be down the street.


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