Finding your community in Silicon Valley

By Karina Rook

There’s an interesting new social network called Nextdoor that recently launched in our area – it’s all about getting to know your neighbors. There are defined neighborhoods which you can join once you verify your address, and you can view a map of the area labeling who lives at which house. A bit creepy? Maybe, but it is a convenient way to communicate with your neighbors and share local information without having to wait until you next see them in their front yards.

Some great experiences I have had so far:

  1. Being notified of car break-ins on our street
  2. A neighbor was giving away her pool table
  3. A lost bunny was captured
  4. Warned about a new puppy that was prone to escaping
  5. Gas company advised they were venting the gas pipes, so don’t be alarmed at a gas smell
  6. Was able to borrow an infant carseat for a friend visiting
  7. Got advice about good swimming pools in the area

There are a few members that are trying to rally support for a political campaign to save the local park from being used so much by the local school, but you can ignore and even block messages from certain members if you wish. The network is also tied in to the local police station and city council, so there are often messages relating to crime/safety as well as reports from council meetings.

Aside from Nextdoor there’s also an online paper for our neighborhood called the Belmont Patch. Lots of local news, retailer reviews and activities can be found here, as well as contests and reader polls. The ‘Patch’ exists for 850  suburbs in America, covering 23 States. It is owned by AOL and is described as hyperlocal news websites. Personally, I just like looking at the photos to see if there’s anyone I recognize from the school.