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Using Nextdoor - Helpful Tips and Suggestions for Neighborhood Associations

Have you joined Nextdoor yet? It’s a private social network that allows people to share information within a specific geographical area, post events, communicate concerns about criminal activity, and generally connect with people that might have similar interests and concerns.

In Albuquerque alone, there are over 70,000 registered users across the wide variety of our city’s neighborhoods, council districts, and area commands

Some of the benefits of using Nextdoor include:

  • You will be much more informed and aware of what is going on around you. You can learn about block parties, garage sales, new businesses or homes being built nearby, get recommendations about the new local restaurant on the corner, find out when neighborhood association meetings or Community Policing Council meetings are happening near you, or get alerts from city and state agencies.
  • You’ll find much more credibility in the recommendations you get. You’re more likely to trust a recommendation from a neighbor on the same street or on a nearby block rather than a review by a stranger on Yelp, for example.

  • It is easier to communicate with several people or just one. Nextdoor can take the place of a traditional neighborhood e-mail listserv, allowing you to have an online dialogue or conversation with all your neighbors, just a few, or even one. Additionally, if someone posts on a discussion thread asking for neighborhood dentist recommendations, or even where the best coffee can be found near a specific street, you get helpful commentary from other neighbors without the sometimes-onerous “Reply All” that is part of a traditional listserv.

  • It can make finding lost or stolen things easier. If your dog accidentally ran out and you can’t find him or if your kid’s bike was stolen, posting a description of the item and a photo on Nextdoor can oftentimes lead to your beloved pet coming home safe or finding out which direction your kid’s bike was last seen and possibly getting that bike back.

  • It creates a larger sense of community when you communicate online about things that are important to you and your neighbors. It’s nice to find out that other folks in your immediate and nearby geographic area have the same worries, and oftentimes, it can create a situation where neighbors can come together face-to-face, pool their information and knowledge, and work with local officials to create a beneficial change in the neighborhood.

Like any online social media network, Nextdoor also has its challenges. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you have a better experience.

  • Nextdoor can be overwhelming with the amount of notifications you receive. People in your neighborhood can, and often do, post very often and it can clog your newsfeed. It’s up to you to remove yourself from a specific post if it has more replies than you can or want to read.

  • Be wary of posting about “suspicious” individuals unless you feel truly comfortable saying they are potential criminals. There have been numerous incidents where people, posting in the “Crime” category, have used racial and derogatory comments about other people who were simply walking down the street, selling Girl Scout cookies, or other harmless incidents. Nextdoor itself recently changed how people report suspicious or criminal behavior to address this issue. Nextdoor is a very good venue for sharing information about possible or actual thieves, but be certain they are truly acting in a suspicious or threatening manner before you hit “Send.”

  • Posting on Nextdoor does not take the place of calling the police. Remember that posting about a criminal, incident, or concern on Nextdoor does not take the place of you filing a police report or calling 911 for emergencies, 242-COPS for non-emergency crime issues, or 311 for non-emergency city issues. Though the City does have a Nextdoor presence, due to privacy limitations they cannot see what is shared within your geographical area. Posting about a crime in progress without calling 911 first is NOT recommended. If you see a crime taking place, call 911 IMMEDIATELY!

  • Nextdoor is not a substitute for a neighborhood association. Remember that Nextdoor is an information and community sharing platform, but it doesn’t take the place of an actual neighborhood association. It can be useful to utilize Nextdoor to share information about when your neighborhood association has meetings but they are not the same thing.

  • Nextdoor serves a different purpose from a formal neighborhood association. A neighborhood association provides an opportunity to form relationships with your neighbors, amplify the neighborhood voice, organize community clean-ups, and so much more. If you want to learn more about your neighborhood association or start a new one if there isn’t one in your area, contact the Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) at 505-768-3334 or e-mail: [email protected]