Do you know your neighbor? According to a Pew Research Center survey, 29 percent of all Americans don’t.
Nextdoor is a private social media site devoted to change those dynamics. The free site establishes an online community and allows users to discuss neighborhood issues that range from crime and safety to planning a neighborhood block party.
In Arizona there are more than 1,000 neighborhoods using Nextdoor. Charity Enniss, a Tucson stay-at-home mom of four, recently became a member of Nextdoor to stay connected with her community.
“Nextdoor will help bring neighborhoods closer together, I get to know my neighbor without any awkwardness,” Enniss said. “Neighborhoods are not as connected as they used to be, this will change that.”
Jeremie Beebe, Nextdoor’s director of partnerships, says that before Nextdoor, “there was no form social media out there to connect people with their local communities.”
Along with neighborhoods, public agencies are now using this site to keep residences up to date. According to Nextdoor nearly 20 percent of all posts revolve around topics of crime and safety.
The Tucson Police Department is the most recent agency in Arizona to partner with Nextdoor in hopes to launch a new platform of staying connected with citizens.
“This is a more sophisticated form of what TPD is already doing on other social media sites,” said Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor. “We are just adopting the new trend of technology.”
Along with Tucson Police, Nextdoor has partnered with Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix Fire Department, and Peoria Police Department. This partnership allows for these agencies to post and communicate targeted updates for specific neighborhoods.
Public agencies can now partner with Nextdoor with just a click of the mouse. The company announced late September that agencies can now sign-up online and create their local agencies page.
This new addition to Nextdoor will allow local agencies of any size and capacity to “engage and interact with residents when it matters most,” says Beebe.
The company is based in San Francisco and launched in October 2011. Nextdoor has more than 43,000 neighborhood websites nationally.
Enniss explains that being able to interact with local agencies as well as staying informed is a necessity for every resident. “It gives citizens more security knowing what’s going on in your own backyard,” Enniss said.