Nextdoor.com is a free and private social network. The site allows neighbors to create private websites for their neighborhoods, and those sites allow residents to communicate, the company said.
People verify where they live by phone, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, a credit or debit card that will not be charged or a postcard by regular mail.
Dayton has about 20 Nextdoor neighborhoods, with some still in the early phases of development.
In the downtown neighborhood, users recently posted a reminder about Urban Nights, a message about five kittens that need adopted, and a request for a recommendation of a good plumber.
“It helps you find out about local things going on, like the 3rd on Third” Open Air Market, said Eric Aielli, 32, who lives in the St. Anne’s Hill Historic District. “You can use Nextdoor, along with Facebook, to really get events promoted freely and to get the information into the hands of people who might care about it.”
Nextdoor provides residents with a way to buy, sell, trade and give away property, similar to Craigslist.com, but the authentication process involved in signing up means there are not issues with anonymity, Aielli said.
“I’d be more likely to post on there, just because of the authentication you have to go through,” he said. “If I had a piece of furniture I knew somebody would have to come into my house to remove, I’d be more likely to use Nextdoor over Craigslist.”
The city will share news about services, programs, public events and public safety issues, Hall said.
The city will not be able to view or access private messages or personal profiles, and it will not be able to view content on neighborhood websites, except for direct responses to its posts.
The city already has a significant social media presence on websites including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.
“We want folks to connect with one another, to collaborate with each other, to make their communities and neighborhoods better places to live and safer, stronger. We want to open up those communication channels,” Hall said. “(Nextdoor) is another way we can reach out, and it is another way people can reach out to us.”