Nextdoor – a Neighborhood Social Network

While surfing the net, I stumbled upon this article on Forbes. It was the first time that I have heard of the Nextdoor Social Network and I actually found it to be quite intriguing.
Launched in October 2011, the network aims to connect neighbors through a Facebook-like newsfeed. Nextdoor’s approach is interesting in that local networks have inherent utility. The people closest to you can add value in all kinds of ways that those across the country can’t—locating a lost dog, lending a snow blower, or warning of a recent robbery for example. That usefulness has translated into solid engagement: about half of members contribute content. That’s a nice foundation upon which to build a local advertising business. Additionally, commerce and marketplace applications will also lend themselves well to the network. If you’re looking to sell a couch, for example, Nextdoor provides a pool of familiar potential buyers—for many, a welcome alternative to the strangers of Craigslist.
There are currently 15,000 U.S. neighborhoods who have already joined the network, however, the company is about 18 months away from revenue. Building up the local netoworks takes a lot of time and money. Just to onboard users the company needs to verify each address via a phone call, credit card account or postcard. That’s a massive barrier compared to a Facebook connect button.
What do you think of this platform? This is the first time that I’ve heard of it and I seem to really like the idea of connecting with neighbors to learn about neighborhood events, get ideas, reviews, etc. Do you think Nextdoor will become the next popular social network? Will you sign up for it? 

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