Came across this AllThingsD article this morning:
Nextdoor raised another $60 million bringing total funding to $100 million over the last 18 months. If you’re not familiar with Nextdoor - it’s an attempt to build hyper-local, neighborhood-focused social networks with a focus on privacy. I came across Nextdoor earlier in the year when I read they had partnered with NYC to deliver the latest city updates and bulletins to residents here in the Big Apple.
Pretty cool idea I thought, so I signed up.
I joined my neighborhood which is here in the Carnegie Hill section of the UES.. and to my demise there were only four other “neighbors” who had signed up on Nextdoor. Over the next five months, I received an email every few days telling me that my neighborhood would an “permanent website” if I could get another six members to join. In a city of over 8 million residents, Nextdoor couldn’t get at least 10 people in the Carnegie Hill section to sign up. Of course I probably could have helped too but I certainly didn’t know six people well enough in my immediate neighborhood to invite them to yet another social networking website - let alone give them a good enough reason to join.
The truth is - all the people I care to know and keep in touch with are already on Facebook, Twitter, or on my phone. Yes I’m cordial with my neighbors but I’m not exactly sure I would want to communicate with them beyond a simple “FYI - the 6 train is down”. Call me a jaded New Yorker. I’m sure if I lived anywhere else things might be different.. but then again, I’d probably visit my neighbors then use a site like Nextdoor.
All this to say that while I think Nextdoor is an interesting idea in theory, in practice I think there are many hurdles for them to overcome. The very privacy settings they tout will make it hard for them to expand as well as make money down the road (and oh they don’t make any money right now according to AllThingsD). Quite honestly - there isn’t enough of a reason for me to go back to my “neighborhood” on Nextdoor.
Which leads me to this paragraph from the article. When compared to “Patch”:
““There’s nothing inherently social about Patch, no viral properties that go along with it,” Doerr said in an interview. “While Patch owns the content, it doesn’t really own the graph,” he said, referring to a common term first made popular by Facebook’s large map of social members, and later by LinkedIn’s professional user base. “The converse is true for Nextdoor. There are strongly viral properties, neighbors are strongly encouraged to invite others.””
Strongly viral properties? Really? I haven’t seen them yet
Strongly encouraged to invite others? I guess if you count receiving an email every week or so from Nextdoor as being “strongly encouraged” then sure.
Anyhow - just random thoughts for a Tues morning. 100 million raised in 18 months. Amazing.