Neighborhood App: The Best 10 Neighborhood Online Apps for Collaboration and Communication!
You need a reliable method of communicating with your neighbours if you want to start a local softball team, get a referral for a roofing firm, or offer your services as a volunteer. Today, more than ever, we live in a time when this is a breeze.
The spirited discussion in our Facebook group, Community in Action, prompted us to compile this list of ways to connect with your neighbours online.
We want to remind you that the best platform is the one that people actually use before we launch into our list and get you excited about the many options. If people in your area are successfully using a certain platform, you should probably join them (even if you really hate Facebook or Nextdoor).
Those who live in a community that doesn’t have a reliable means of communication, or who are unsatisfied with the options available to them, and would like to find alternatives or enhancements, can benefit from joining this list.
1. Social Media and Email
In our Community in Action session, social media was by far the most discussed platform. Twitter and Facebook, especially closed groups and pages, are proving to be highly efficient means of interaction.
Listservs appear to have been in use in many older communities for quite some time before the rise of social media. Whatever works, works!
2. Nextdoor or Front Porch Forum
As its slogan puts it, Nextdoor is the “private social network for your area.” This software is quite helpful because it limits its search area to a specific block. Another well-known site for bringing people together is Front Porch Forum. Only Vermont residents may get it at the moment, but expansion to other states is underway.
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This is a community hub created with apartment dwellers in mind. “increasing communication between inhabitants of multi-unit buildings and with property owners and business management” is MyCoop’s stated mission. Users are able to keep one another up to date in real time and trade and barter using the site.
Olio’s goal is to reduce food waste by facilitating the exchange of perishable goods between neighbours and nearby stores. Sharing food, whether it’s leftovers from the night before or CSA produce, is a great way to get to know your neighbours better.
For community-driven good causes, check out Ioby, a crowdfunding tool. When neighbours come together here, incredible things can happen for the community. New Dreamers have used ioby to build everything from tool libraries to community gardens.
Neighborland differs from competing platforms since it facilitates community involvement by linking users to municipal departments, as well as educational institutions and charitable organisations. Their goal is to give locals more say in how their communities grow. A few of Neighborland’s functions include the ability to poll residents, make interactive maps, manage projects, and analyse results. That is so cool!
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7. Freecycle or Buy Nothing Project
Just trying to score some freebies, eh? Alternately, do away with all the freebies. Then maybe you should check out Freecycle or the Buy Nothing Project. Freecycle networks are non-profit, community-driven, and driven entirely by volunteers, allowing people to give and receive goods in their local areas.
If you’re interested in local news, check out Patch, a network of hundreds of independent news sites. Probably, there is a Patch somewhere in your community. Although it is primarily a news outlet rather than a communications platform, it does feature event listings and forums for community debate.
All the “news and chat in your neighbourhood” is the subject of EveryBlock, another site like Patch. Here you can find evaluations of local restaurants alongside civic information and messages submitted by your neighbours. Not as widespread as Patch, but you can “vote” for your local community to be added.
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10. IRL (In Real Life) Communication
Even while these sites are entertaining and cutting-edge in their communications and features, nothing can replace really chatting with your neighbors.
Former New Dream employee Wen Lee learned the hard way that the best way to get to know your community is through face-to-face connection when her attempts to build a neighborhood email list failed. (Her attempts to communicate and subsequent success are detailed here.)
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