Tuesday, June 26, 2018

--- Sociology on the Internet (Next door) ---

There is an interesting experiment on the Internet that I'm watching. Nextdoor is a system of websites intended to increase connection in neighborhoods. It's a noble undertaking - we'll see how well it works. I could see it going either direction.

Some years ago, there was a series of public service announcements that showed many smiling folks of different ethnicities enjoying life and saying, "Get to know me. You might find that you like me." I agree with the idea.

I see both xenophobia and xenophilia on this site. There are a lot of "I saw a strange person walking down the street" posts and a lot of "Did you invite them for a cup of coffee, " come backs.

There is a lot of "my pet is missing", "I have a bookshelf to sell", "There's a new restaurant opening", "We're having a discussion group and you're invited,"  "I'm trying to start a garden - any advice?" type posts.

There are over 175,000 neighborhoods in the US that have started Nextdoor networks - also in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Here's a link.


How much connectivity is there in your neighborhood? Do you think more would be beneficial or make things worse?

Do you know your next door neighbors? Do you think a community discussion group would be useful?

Check out Nextdoor and see what you think. What are the opportunities here for social research or community building? What are the problems that might be encountered in this kind of research?

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