“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”
Excerpt from “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost
Know Thy Neighbor, is what Nextdoor, a new social network site that is launching today, wants you to take to heart. I admit being new to my neighborhood I have only made causal contact with my own neighbors (polite waves in the driveway). But Nextdoor wants to change all that. By setting up a neighborhood website you can engage with your neighborhoods online. So instead walking over and asking for a cup of sugar, you can write a post asking them for a cup of sugar. Progress!
Part of me thinks this a great idea and part of me thinks its sad that we need to hunch over our computers inside the cocoon of our homes in order to interact with people who are literally right next door (no pun intended).
But I can say that many relationships I’ve made online have then led to IRL meetups that have turned out to be great. Then again Mr. Frost’s poem, I referenced at the beginning of this, post does end with the old English proverb…”Good fences make good neighbors”
Check out Gigaom for a good write up about the new site. And below is a video.