Neighborhood social network expands in Austin


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nextdoor.com reaches more than five times the number of neighborhoods in the Austin area than it did this time last year, Nextdoor’s co-founder tells KXAN News.

Nextdoor allows users to connect with their neighbors through a private, online social network.

The City of Austin also partners with the site to send its users updates.

“The city was using Nextdoor (during the last ice event in Austin) to inform residents about closures in city departments and agencies and keep them informed and safe,” said Sarah Leary, Co-Founder, Nextdoor.

“When we moved into this part of Austin we didn’t know anyone,” said Kimberly Bader, a Nextdoor.com user who lives in Austin.

The Bader family is getting to know more neighbors through the network. The virtual connections are leading to connections that aren’t digital. Users can use the site for everything from crime alerts to finding a babysitter.

“So you’d be getting [ready] to leave for work and see this alert email pop up on your phone that there’s an accident down the street,” John Bader said.

“My mom helped me find a pet sitting job on Nextdoor for the spring break weekend and now I’m helping a few families,” said Nicholas Bader.

The neighborhood pages are only for actual neighbors — no outsiders allowed. The site verifies addresses with postcards, credit cards, having neighbors vouch for each other, along with other ways.

The number of Austin area neighborhoods using Nextdoor grew from 137 to more than 800 in the last year, Leary said.

 

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