Nextdoor brings convenience to community

December 2, 2016 — by Francesca Chu and Kitty Huang

Students talk about the new social network "Nextdoor".

Like many other parents, junior Kyle Wang’s father, Yanbin Wang, often stops to take a look at the notifications of news and announcements  in his  neighborhood from the site Nextdoor.

Nextdoor is a free private social network where neighbors can work together to build safer and better communities by posting on the site. People in the same designated neighborhood can quickly get the word out about break-ins, announce upcoming events or ask for help to find a lost pet.

Nextdoor has been popular with adults across various Saratoga neighborhoods; parents, especially, use the platform to be informed about different issues and events around the community. To Wang, the most important ones are crime incidents and prevention measures, school-related issues such as last year’s bell schedule controversy, city events and recommendations for help such as contractors, gardeners and tutors.

Jenell Doyen, mother of sophomore Colette Doyen, has also been checking Nextdoor for the past five months, and like many other parents, uses it to be informed on the happenings in her neighborhood.

“I often see posts about upcoming events or opportunities around the neighborhood. Since we don’t see the neighbors often, it’s nice to stay connected to the community,” she said.

Nextdoor also contributes to the safety in a community. If there’s a robbery or a suspicious person is spotted, people will put out a warning or post that something was stolen.

In addition to the many parents on Nextdoor, several students have found the site useful when looking for jobs like babysitting.

“It’s a really good opportunity because you don’t have to ask your neighbors door-to-door for babysitting jobs anymore,” sophomore Isabelle Rieken said.

Rieken started using Nextdoor because a friend of hers had recommended it for finding babysitting jobs. On Nextdoor, someone searching  for a job can post a profile on the forum that includes contact information and reasons why he or she  is  fit for the job.

Soon after Rieken posted her profile, she received several replies from parents who were interested. After interviewing and negotiating prices with the parents, Rieken started babysitting for two families, one with a 5-year-old and one with a 9-year-old.

Since Nextdoor is a private network, users must provide their real names and verify their home addresses when signing up. However, Rieken was still cautious at first about working for someone she had never met.

“You never know who’s on the website or who’s asking you to babysit,” Rieken said. “I asked for an interview so I could meet them first.”

According to many of the users, Nextdoor is a perfect platform for people within the same neighborhood to communicate and interact with each other, and even reach out for help when needed.

“It is nice to know that the people living in the same neighborhood share the same concerns on a lot of issues, even though people don’t always agree with each other,” Wang said.