What I love about Facebook is that it can connect me with anyone in the world.  It's a way of expanding my horizons.  But what if a social media site could connect you with your neighbor, the one who lives right up the street in Grandville, Wyoming, Byron Center even? Well it's here and it's called NextDoor.com.  

It's an application that allows you to draw a neighborhood boundary and then it will invite neighbors in that area to join your social network.

It's already working!  In the Eastown neighborhood for example NextDoor.com helped neighbors get to know each other.

Remember what it use to be like on shows from the 60's, 70's, and 80's?  Long before social media people got to know each other in person.  Neighbors would walk the neighborhoods in the evening after dinner, children would play outside and ride their bikes, and you could set your watch to the dog walkers.  Once computers became a primary source of entertainment in America everyone holed up inside their homes and everything changed.  Maybe social media can work it in reverse and we can first get to know our neighbors online and then meet them in person and form real relationships instead of virtual ones.

The application has also helped in other ways than just forming new friendships.  It helps Eastown neighbors talk about crime in their area, they can discover if they have kids the same age, even plan block parties, and get together and coordinate a neighborhood garden.