Nick Saint, Nextdoor
by Chase Collum
Dec 31, 2013 | 2224 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After Hurricane Sandy decimated many coastal areas in New York City, especially Breezy Point in Queens and Red Hook and Coney Island in Brooklyn, it became clear that local communities and their local government officials needed a more efficient way of communicating on specific local issues with specific local people.

That is why the Bloomberg administration turned to San Francisco-based startup developer Nextdoor.com with their locals-only approach to social media, explained Field Organizer Nick Saint at a recent campaign drive.

“Nextdoor is a two-year-old company based out of San Francisco, and we’ve recently entered a partnership with the city,” Saint said. “Mayor Bloomberg was interested in the site after Hurricane Sandy, when it became clear that in one neighborhood, everything is okay, and another neighborhood needs to evacuate.”

With most social media, the aim is broadcast and mass sharing. It is easy to miss important information if too many posts are flooding the newsfeed. What’s more, it can be hard to know who is looking in on what one may be posting, since community groups are for the most part open access through most social media platforms.

That is why a small team of techies created Nextdoor.com, a social media platform where information is only visible to people who live within a certain distance of the user.

“By going ultra-local, and essentially having separate sites for each neighborhood,” said Saint, “Nextdoor can become more than just a time pass for its users. This website can be used to stop crime, find health information and connect neighbors.”

The outgoing mayor recognized how this website could be an asset to the city.

“Partnering with Nextdoor is another step forward in our adoption of strategic technology that better serves New Yorkers,” Bloomberg said in a June press release announcing the partnership. “Nextdoor gives New York neighbors an easy way for members to connect and communicate with those who live around them.”

There are more than 1,800 neighborhood pages in the city, and only members who verify physical address via snail mail can participate on community pages.

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