Strengthening neighborhoods with ... Facebook!

#1

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#2

Do you and any of your neighbors ever see each other in person?

#3

Facebook “Friends”

#4

It’s worked really well for our neighborhood.
We have one that is for organizing our monthly “happy hour” and posting general stuff. Once a month someone has an open house and whoever wants to come brings some food and drink to share.
We have another one that’s sort of like a neighborhood watch thing where people post when there have been issues, someone is canvassing our streets, etc…
And one more is dedicated as a spot to post photos and names of our pets so we’ll hopefully know in case someone’s missing.

Last year we used FB to corral everyone for our 30th high school reunion. It made it MUCH easier than last time. Even people that weren’t on found out because we were able to share info so I could contact them.
We were all able to instantly upload photos and videos to a dedicated page for our class. Was a lot of fun.

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#5

Ugh - I couldn’t disagree more. Now I see how petty and ignorant my neighbors are, and I realize that I am living in the wrong neighborhood.

If I just smiled and waved as I drove by and never heard them spewing shit on facebook I would love my neighborhood. Instead I realize I am surrounded by psychotic gun-waving lunatics.

Ignorance was bliss.

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#6

I run my neighborhood’s facebook page and it’s been great. Mainly been using it to promote the neighborhood, make announcements, show pics of life in the 'hood and spread the word about the happenings of our housing association. I’ve even bought a few zip code targeted facebook ads to get more members.

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#7

We have a closed group for the parents for my son’s school. It is actually a good place for people to ask questions about missing homework, trade school uniforms, complain about cyber snow days, fundraising and all the other stuff that. There is only a few hundred people and is one of the more useful things that facebook can do. You need to be a parent to join and the moderators keep the spam to a minimum, except our own fundraising spam, which is seemingly unavoidable for US schools anymore.

I think these micro hyper local networks are one of the true benefits of the internet and social media.

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#8

Hey @boingboing Permalink at top of comments here goes to 404 not found. Thanks.

#9

You must live in my Nextdoor neighborhood. My favorite part was when there was nearly community support for an armed rabble after someone reported the 4th car prowl in a month. And let’s not get into the back and forth about whether or not it’s legal to hunt the coyote if it eats your cat. (it’s not)

The inherent flaws in these virtual neighborhoods are many, but the leading one seems to be that few people ever post that “the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day” so when you look at the posts, it’s all complaints and crime reports. Couple that with the ego that anonymity gives to some people (despite the lack of anonymity) and the comments are just absurd. Then add the trolls.

#10

It’s interesting that your local police recommend NextDoor, and that you monitor your neighborhood FB account for inappropriate comments. My local NextDoor group has a few folks who are just plain ugly. We just recently had an innocent question about the re-opening of a local business get hijacked and sidetracked into ugly name calling. Just yesterday I was thinking that there needed to be a way to monitor and stop the trolls on NextDoor. Perhaps I will follow your lead and start a neighborhood FB page. For me, it is a wonderful way to keep up with my neighbors, and a specific page for us sounds like the perfect alternative to my NextDoor buttheads.

#11

I see my neighbors almost every day.

They get my end of the common driveway plowed, and I clean both of our car parking areas up with my snowblower afterwards. They’ve watched my dog for me.

My other neighbors, I called the cops on them when they were parking cars in the road (I spoke to them nicely twice first). We still wave at each other and I helped dig one of their cars out after a recent storm.

I often run into even more neighbors on dog walks, and I admit to knowing their dogs names.

I’ve lived here 6 months. There is one immediate neighbor I have not met. So, yes. People DO know their neighbors. If they choose to.

edit: having reliable neighbors is a different matter entirely!

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#12

Laughing/sighing. We have a lot of that in my neighborhood too. Lots of different personalities, from across the social spectrum. We have lots of neighbors who grew up there and tend to feel like the neighborhood belongs to them more for their nostalgia. I did not grow up in my neighborhood, and it’s allowed me a level of detachment when people get emotional about how the area has evolved over time. We’ve also had one member, who came from an artsy background, and moved to our suburban area from the city get into a spat with more conservative neighbors, and ended up feeling the way you do, like you don’t belong. That’s unfortunate of course, and though ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power.

#13

Post author here: I can’t fix the permalink above, but here’s the post: http://boingboing.net/2015/03/19/strengthening-neighborhoods-wi.html

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#14

My neighborhood has a very active Facebook group, which I enjoy reading. Yep, some of those people are wackadoos, and occasionally things get ugly, but there’s also a lot of people helping each other find lost pets, etc. And if something’s going on, there is always someone who knows what’s up (or they think they do).

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#15

Thank you. The broken link above has “16” instead of “19” in the date.

#16

The police prefer NextDoor because residency is a requirement. I suppose this lends… some layer of safety. We allow pretty much anyone who is a real person. Businesses may only belong as a person, not as a company FB profile (though we make exceptions if the business page IS personal in tone).

Moderating has been like a part-time job for my co-admin and I. We encourage complaints to come to us privately, keeping the personality slap-fights to an absolute minimum. We keep a very libertarian stance however, and allow people to be grumpy, to complain, but never to attack anyone else personally, never bring up people’s KIDS, and never attack racial groups. We delete those comments. We require no member blocks the admins.

Our page became so popular, we had to ask others to spin off separate pages, one just so local businesses could advertise, another just for garage sale posts. These two types of posts were drowning out the “neighbors talking to neighbors” discussions. Again, start with the people you know, and encourage them to add their own neighbors. Good luck.

#17

My street has been claimed by the Nextdoor neighborhood across a river to the south, probably due to the vagaries of the USPS’ zip code assignment. We on this bank don’t consider that our neighborhood, but Nextdoor has been unresponsive to requests to be included in our actual neighborhood to the north.

Fuck Facebook, though.

closed #18

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