Social network focuses on neighborhood communities

September 21, 2013 9:59:19 PM PDT
Neighbors around the city and suburbs are finding a new way to get connected and they never even have to walk out of their front door, as a new app is making it easy for neighbors to find community.

Todd Agosto and his best friend, Charlie, love their Woodlawn neighborhood, but they do have one complaint. There's no dog park.

"There's not even one on the South Side," Agosto said. "So in lieu of not having a dog park, we had to find a way to make a dog park."

The two of them have repurposed an abandoned tennis court nearby.

With water, toys, pooper scoopers and some low-cost marketing, they are also inviting neighbors to join them, online.

"Nextdoor has helped by giving us a place where we can discuss the progress of this dog park and where there's room for improvement," said Agosto.

The website is nextdoor.com and it allows users to build a social network based on geography. Your neighbors are your network.

"I don't post things on Nextdoor about anything social like where I'm going on vacation or what I'm doing. It's more about what I need specifically in my neighborhood, in my community. That's what it's all about," said Tashera Hull.

Hull is a mother of two small children and is organizing a Halloween party and a baby-sitting co-op with parents near her home. But she primarily likes using the site to get information about safety issues, and for rallying the community and to get city services.

"We're able to have someone post a picture for example of a lot that needs to be cut and then several of us will call or submit online requests for service," she said. "We keep track of those service numbers and if the lot is not cut or any action doesn't happen, we have all the information right there at our fingertips."

About 300 Chicago-area communities are already set up on the website. You have to plug in your address and it has to be verified before you can start or join a community.

For more information: Nextdoor.com


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