Why You Need to Be on Nextdoor, the Local Social Network
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There are all sorts of niche social networks You Need to Check Out These 8 Niche Social Networks You Need to Check Out These 8 Niche Social Networks Tired of Twitter? Feeling Facebook fatigue? Try one of these much-lesser-known niche social networks instead! There's something for everyone out there. Read More . There are networks for gamers 3 Awesome Social Networks Just for Gamers 3 Awesome Social Networks Just for Gamers Are you looking for a social network where you can meet other like-minded gamers? Here are the best sites to check out if you need a bit more gaming chatter in your life. Read More . Networks for beer drinkers. Even networks for academics. But possibly the best social network that you haven’t joined yet is Nextdoor.

Nextdoor is a free, private, local social network for people that live in a neighborhood. That might not sound like such a cool thing, but hear me out. It’s a fantastically useful tool. You can buy and sell things more reliably than on Craigslist and get locally-relevant news — even get help with projects.

It’s time to join the Nextdoor social network. Let’s check it out.

What Is Nextdoor?

I mentioned that Nextdoor is a private, local social network. But what does that mean?

It means that when you join Nextdoor, you need to enter your real address and verify it to prove that you live in the neighborhood that you joined. When I joined my neighborhood, I used my phone number. You can also use your credit card, last four digits of your social security number, LexisNexis, or having a neighbor confirm your address.

This ensures that everyone in your neighborhood network actually lives in your neighborhood.

local social network nextdoor

Beyond that, there’s only one major difference from most of the other social networks you’re on: it’s a moderated social network. Each community has Leads, which are volunteers (they’re not employed by Nextdoor) that help with the upkeep of the neighborhood network.

They vote to remove posts that violate Nextdoor’s guidelines, update the neighborhood boundaries, verify members, adjust the About section for the neighborhood, and so on. This helps keep out incessant self-promotion and ads, non-family-friendly stuff, public shaming, and all the other things that make more open networks irritating.

Here are a few things that are in my Nextdoor feed right now:

If you think Nextdoor might not be very active, that poll has over 130 comments on it right now. Obviously activity level will vary by neighborhood, but I think this is pretty impressive.

I used Nextdoor recently to get help with a project. My wife and I bought a table that I’d like to refinish. I asked for advice on how to remove the old varnish, I was given a detailed response with product recommendations and tips from someone who has experience in furniture refinishing.

He even stopped by to answer a few questions I had and see how it was going. It felt like something out of a TV show about the 1950s.

Is Privacy an Issue on Nextdoor?

Nextdoor takes privacy seriously. You have to share your real name and address to confirm that you’re part of the neighborhood. But beyond that, it’s up to you where your information is shared.

And while Nextdoor makes money on ads, they don’t share any of your information with third-party advertisers. That’s great for privacy-conscious users. They do use your information for targeting ads Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Every social media site out there shows us ads. But sometimes, those ads can get very specific towards you, often showing you ads that seem creepy and stalkerish. How do they do that? Read More .

If you sign up for Nextdoor, you should immediately visit the privacy settings (click on the menu in the top-right corner of the page, select Settings, and go to the Privacy tab). There you can choose the level of detail that various members see.

As you can see, no one can see my full address. They can only see the street I live on:

local social network nextdoor

How to Join Nextdoor

Joining Nextdoor is easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Head to nextdoor.com. On the front page, you’ll see fields for entering your home address.
  2. Enter your address. Use your real address, or you won’t be able to join. Remember, that’s part of the appeal! When you’re done, click Find Your Neighborhood.
    local social network nextdoor
  3. Confirm your neighborhood and account info. Nextdoor will tell you which neighborhood that address is part of and ask you for an account password and your gender. Fill those fields out, and hit Sign up. (You don’t need to worry about a Nextdoor invitation code.)
    local social network nextdoor
  4. Verify your address. You’ll now need to verify your address using one of the methods listed. Entering your phone number or credit card number will probably be easiest, but you can use any method you like. If Nextdoor can’t verify your address, you can also email a copy of an official document that shows your address.
    local social network nextdoor
  5. Start getting to know your neighbors! That’s really all there is to it. Once you’ve confirmed your information, you can start connecting with your neighbors.

Joining a Second Neighborhood on Nextdoor

Many people ask about joining a second neighborhood on Nextdoor. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to do this.

Nextdoor recommends using a different email address or an email alias Use Email Alias and Forwarding in Gmail To Better Manage Your Life Use Email Alias and Forwarding in Gmail To Better Manage Your Life By this point, most people know about the nifty tricks you can use in your Gmail address called aliases, that allow you to give people different email addresses that all arrive at the same inbox.... Read More to sign up for a second neighborhood if you have a second home. And at the moment, there’s no better way to do it.

Tips for Staying Safe on Nextdoor

I’ve been speaking very positively about Nextdoor so far. And I think that’s a great tool. But there are always privacy and safety concerns on social networks. Even more so when you’re required to share information.

So here are a few tips to make sure you stay safe on Nextdoor:

Don’t Let Anyone See Your Full Address

Your address is one of the pieces of information that identity thieves need. Visit the privacy settings to make sure that no one can see your full address.

local social network nextdoor

Report Any Harassment or Harmful Behavior

If you witness harassment How Can Social Networks Get Rid of Misinformation and Harassment? How Can Social Networks Get Rid of Misinformation and Harassment? We see fake news stories and serious harassment on Facebook and Twitter, but the social giants are trying to stop it. What have they done? And will it help make the internet a better place? Read More or any sort of behavior that goes against what Nextdoor stands for, report it to your neighborhood Leads right away. They can only do so much, but it’s a good start.

Nextdoor is generally a pretty good place to hang out. But there are plenty of stories of bad uses of the network, including harassment, shaming, and everything else you see on other social networks. It you see any of that, report it immediately.

Be Careful When Meeting People

I mentioned that one of the members of Nextdoor stopped by my apartment. I only allowed that because I felt safe Simple Ways to Stay Safe Meeting New People Online Simple Ways to Stay Safe Meeting New People Online Staying safe while meeting new people online is crucial. There are a few simple ways you can protect yourself that do not take much time or effort, but could make a huge difference. Read More and was confident in my safety. If anyone asks you to meet, think carefully about whether that’s a good idea.

If Harassment Goes Offline, Call the Police

Call the police if you’re being harassed on Nextdoor or any social network and the interaction moves off the screen and into your real life. Don’t take any chances with your safety.

Will You Join Nextdoor’s Local Social Network?

I haven’t been on Nextdoor for very long, but so far it’s been a positive and useful experience. It won’t replace Facebook or Twitter, and there’s a good chance I’ll stay away from regular social interactions, just sticking to seeking and offering help.

But many people find the network to be a great tool for a seemingly long-lost activity: getting to know your neighbors.

Are you on Nextdoor? Will you join? Or are you reticent to share that kind of information online? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. CJB
    February 12, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    This is apparently only a mobile phone based network. I'm hanging on to my iphone 4S which will not upgrade to IOS 10 which is minimum needed to run this app. Too bad they don't allow PC based access. Looks like this could be a useful network but I'm not buying a new phone just for the privilege.

    • Terry Brown
      April 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Wrong about being phone only. I do iNextdoor only on my PC

  2. Charles
    January 12, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    As you see by the comments, all is not positive on Nextdoor.
    In my case the local Mayor was also the Lead on Nextdoor, any questions or opinions that did not agree with her politics were responded to with scathing replies, bullying, deletions and every other actions she could make. Her actions became so egregious that Nextdoor removed her as lead! Guess what, the co-Leads (appointed by the Mayor) carried on at her behest. Our local Nextdoor has 637 members, about 30 people regularly post on the app, less than 5% of the members post 95% of the content. Most neighbors have left because of the negative and bullying posts of the active 5%.

  3. Dea
    January 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Our Nextdoor is quite amazing. The admins run it with an iron fist, if they don't like something they close it down, delete your comment, pm you and tell you off, etc. I asked the admin once why she deleted my comment and she cited rule #whatever. I looked it up and it had nothing whatsoever to do with my comment, she just didn't like it.
    People get offended about posts that have nothing to do with them and they aren't even commenting on them. They can just hit their ignore button, but no, they whine to the admin, who is their buddy and poof, it's gone. The post was about off leash dogs harassing people walking on leash dogs. In our state off leash dogs are against the law and they are everywhere in our neighborhood.

    • Charles
      January 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Lori, that is the experience of many people.
      And Nextdoor Administrators don't administer at all

  4. Lori
    January 12, 2018 at 3:59 am

    I was on Nextdoor for a short time. At least in my area, they are a bunch of paranoid racists. God forbid a person of color have the audacity to walk down the street. I ditched that group. If I want to get to know my neighbors, I'll go say hello.

  5. Keith Gracely
    January 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Not very good reviews for this site.
    https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/nextdoor.com

  6. Noreen
    January 9, 2018 at 4:25 am

    I didn't do anything wrong any yet I am being blocked. Their (Nextdoor) policy is so vague. Help pleade?

  7. Noreen
    January 9, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Having trouble getting unblocked. Why won't Next door answer my IM or e-mail? I didn't do anything wrong so WHY am I being blocked? Explain that to me.

  8. BuyVert
    January 6, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    It's a bad idea. If things turn sour, the entire neighbourhood will turn on you. It's the antithesis of the original idea underpinning the internet. That's why we call ourselves "Anons" there's little at stake when putting your foot in your mouth, or speaking plainly currently.
    This is why Facebook will ultimately evolve into mostly private network, you can't walk back or re-invent yourself after making an perceieved error on there. Twitter will win the long race for this very reason. I think anyone who's used Facebook for a reasonable time will have encounterd or witnessed some drama which has had real-world implications. Old-school netheads (like myself) wouldn't go anywhere near such a thing.

  9. Elizabeth Janice Preston
    January 6, 2018 at 3:34 am

    I live in Canada and am interested in a network neighbourhoud, do you know if there Is there a similar network in Ontario Canada or how I could find out about this?

    thank you

  10. Davin Peterson
    January 5, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    My neighborhood is on NextDoor. People have posted about crime, lost pets, new stores opening and things for sale.

    • Kathleen
      January 6, 2018 at 7:20 am

      I been. On nextdoor.com since August, and yes, neighbors helping other neighbors. I exhort anyone who wants to join, to read the member agreements and policies. Very informative.

      • Charles
        January 12, 2018 at 1:37 pm

        That is exactly how it is supposed to work, however like certain Home Owners Associations if it fallls into the wrong hands, it is a bullying organization. At least HOAs have elections, Nextdoor does not.