Nextdoor.com links Pacific Beach neighbors on crime, quality-of-life issues
by DAVE SCHWAB
Feb 24, 2014 | 4122 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nextdoor.com is like having a communitywide party line.

An increasingly popular social networking service, Nextdoor connects neighbors who act as a community bulletin board while facilitating local exchanges of goods and services.

Rsidents in Pacific Beach’s Crown Point North neighborhood who’ve joined Nextdoor were asked about their experiences and gave it mostly a thumbs-up.

“I’ve received forwarded items that were really helpful: car break-ins in the neighborhood, suspicious folks to look out for,” said Eve Anderson. “It’s sort of an electronic town crier.”

Malea Sandstrom said Nextdoor helped her find a job.

“The day after I joined Nextdoor.com, there was a post from a family looking for a babysitter for that coming weekend and mentioning they were looking for help during the school year too,” Sandstrom said. “I was looking for extra work, so I replied. It turned out they lived right across the street from me and I have been caring for their boys ever since.”

Others agreed.

“Nextdoor.com is a great site and I use it for many things: finding out about crime in the area, asking if anyone can refer a certain type of professional or finding out trends and events in the neighborhood,” said Gary Kent. “Being a Realtor, I do occasional real estate-related posts only if they’re relevant to Nextdoor users, but I don’t actually advertise on it, as I feel it’s not appropriate.”

Holly Harris said she is thrilled with Nextdoor and the purpose it serves in the community.

“I’m a long-time homeowner at 1130 Beryl St., and have truly appreciated and benefited from this neighborhood site,” Harris said. “As you peruse the postings, you’ll see how neighbors use the site; returning fearful lost pets (dogs, cats, birds and tortoises) to their loving owners (so much easier and faster than posting flyers on trees and utility poles), preventing/stopping thefts/burglaries and catching such perpetrators by tracking/photographing/sharing door-to-door solicitors, etc.”

Harris touted Nexdoor for its “less critical posts,” which she said inform residents about garage/rummage sales, benefits/activities of local schools, the Pacific Beach Town Council, the PB Woman’s Club and the like. 

“There is so much more, like the recent ‘Urgent’ notices of bees swarming/moving down streets,” Harris said. “We’ve met neighbors who we have lived near for decades — but never knew — and made lots of new friends (through experiences like finding old home/then new home for an on-the-move tortoise). We look forward to our site growing and getting stronger.” 

Harris conceded there is a “gray area” connected with some posts on Nextdoor, which she believes should include “not promoting one’s business or using the site for advertising.”

San Diego Community Newspaper Group freelance writer Nicole Sours Larson agreed with Harris that there are some drawbacks to Nextdoor, and some subject matter that’s inappropriate for posting.

“A few times there have been heated discussions about politics,” she said. “I feel strongly that Nextdoor is an inappropriate spot for promoting candidates, since that quickly becomes divisive, and there can be some real unpleasantness and dumping on the homeless.”

Mike Spangler, president of Spangler Event Productions Inc. credits Nextdoor with helping him successfully launch his “The Slippy” product, which helps wetsuit owners get into them comfortably.

“The feedback and sales I received from posting on Nextdoor were great, better than my online sales,” Spangler said.

“I was hand-delivering 3-4 per day to just PB residents for a couple weeks, which gave me the opportunity to  meet my neighbors, chat and tell them The Slippy story,” he added.

Spangler said Nextdoor is also a great way to promote community involvement.

“I now attend several town council, planning and DiscoverPB meetings because someone is always posting when/where these meetings take place,” he said.

“Nextdoor has opened up many doors for me and my family, and I’m now very in tune with my community — the good and the bad,” said Spangler. “Starting with telling my story about The Slippy to producing a hyperlocal street fair and more community involvement, who knows what else Nextdoor will inspire me and neighbors alike to do?”
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