A friend of mine in Texas, having read the piece about crime in Greenfield and Highland County, told me of a social media site many in her area are using to unite and police their neighborhoods. It’s called Nextdoor and works similar to Facebook but is customized for the needs of a particular geographical locale or neighborhood.
The basic requirement is to have at least 10 neighbors willing to take part in a neighborhood online network. It is a closed network working from secured serversand can only be monitored by members. What information being shared is decided by the group but could include reports of suspicious activity or persons (an online Neighborhood Watch), when no one will be at home, who is a trusted baby sitter, who repairs lawn mowers, etc. The basic idea is to provide an online means to create better communication and cohesion within a neighborhood.
The service is totally free and only requires someone in your neighborhood with enough Internet skills to setup the online software. If you’ve ever set up a Facebook account you have those skills. The other requirement is to have at least 10 neighbors enlisted within 21-days. Otherwise the network will be automatically cancelled. If 10 neighbors agree and become members, the network becomes permanent.
There is currently no one in either Greenfield or Hillsboro running such a network. If you’d like to be the person who picks up the ball for your neighborhood all the information may be found at www.nextdoor.com. Spend some time digging around the site and learning the details. Pay special attention to the FAQ section. If you have additional questions try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you should decide to try this I, and others, would like to have occasional updates about your experiences.