• Noel Williams

Top 5 Neighborhood Apps You Might Find in Your Area




Neighborhood social platforms are gradually becoming part of every digitalized community. And why not?


They open up an entire world of new possibilities that the likes of Facebook and Twitter cannot match in terms of specialisation. We are talking about apps that specifically help with food donations, neighborhood watch committees, local security alerts, crowdfunding, storage solutions, and so much more!


In this post, we will zoom in on our handpicked selection of 5 popular neighborhood apps and the unique services they have to offer!


1. Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a neighborhood app that brings the community together. It allows you to create a private website only accessible by users living in the same neighborhood. After you have joined your neighborhood website, you can find your neighbors and friends in the resident directory, view a map of your neighborhood, ask for insights from others, and share information on local matters such as security with other neighbors.


You can choose to view and respond to updates through email, or only on the website. The Nextdoor app archives and organizes all recommendations from members so that anyone can easily refer back to it at any time.


Every member must be verified using; phone verification, postcards, neighbor invitations, or credit card billing address are just a few methods used to confirm that members are in fact living nearby.


From a social aspect, Nextdoor allows neighbors to chat with one another for both commercial and social purposes while it also encourages users to post local news on almost any subject, such as lost items, lost pets, and suspicious activities.


Pros

  • Free neighborhood website creation

  • Community social platform

  • Group and private chats

  • Helps to report suspicious activity

  • Lost items and pets news section

  • Helps to organize neighborhood activities


Cons

  • The site's guidelines on what’s acceptable are vague


2. Neighbor

This is a neighborhood app that connects people who have extra storage space with those who need it within the same neighborhood. The host normally charges a small fee that is within the Neighbor’s recommended price range. This is roughly 50% of the traditional storage rates. Neighbor operates on the basis of trust as the person offering the storage is not an official company.


This kind of app would work very well with 'Time Banking'. Rather than offer money in exchange for storage space, the person storing their items could offer time. As for the Neighbor app itself, it only deals in currency as the app takes a small fee.


Pros

  • Let’s you make money off your unused space.

  • Listing is free

  • You get to choose what you accept in your space

  • You determine the kind of access your renters get (like weekends only, 24/7, etc.)

  • Insurance is provided by Neighbor

  • Renters enjoy affordable rates (up to half the normal storage rates in the market)


Cons

  • Demand and charges are location-dependent (you’ll get paid/ pay more in the cities where demand is high)

  • Neighbor charges hosts a service fee


3. Ring’s Neighbors

Ring’s Neighbors is part of Amazon’s Ring program. It is a neighborhood watch program that enables users to receive and post alerts concerning crime, safety events, and good deeds within a 5-mile radius.


Although it is built into the Ring app, Neighbors has a stand-alone app for iOS and Android devices.

As per Ring’s community guidelines, users are only allowed to post about safety guidelines, suspicious activities, crime, and lost pets.


It also encourages users to share acts of kindness within the neighborhood. Moreover, your identity remains anonymous when you post.


Each post on this crime and safety app appears in two spots within the app: in the timeline and on a map of your area. Any photos and videos you share appear as well but you do not have to post them to share on the Neighbors app.


Pros

  • Offers great service to anyone concerned about safety and crime in their community

  • Provides real-time alerts from neighbors, local police, and fire departments

  • Allows customized feeds so you only receive information that is of interest

Cons

  • Enrolment is automatic (forced) once you create a Ring account, which you must have to use a Ring device

  • Not the best app for protecting private information. According to Ring’s policy, they may disclose customer footage and personal information to law enforcement without notice.


4. Olio

With one of the best app background stories you’ll ever hear, Olio is the brainchild of Saasha Celestial-One and Tessa Cook. Their “Aha!” moment came when Tessa was moving out and found herself with food she didn’t want to throw but couldn’t knock on doors either. Olio is now the tinder of foods and other items you might want to donate.


Using Olio is straightforwardyou download the app, take photos of the food items you don’t need, and post on the listings. Nearby users will receive alerts, and anyone interested in the free stuff arranges a pickup via private messaging.


The app currently has a presence in over 46 countries, making a total of more than a million users. Businesses, too, donate food items via Olio.


Pros

  • A great way of helping others and avoiding waste

  • Specialized (no other business goes on other than sharing foodstuff)

  • Available in many countries


Cons

  • Doesn’t seem to encourage the sharing of items other than food


5. ioby

The abbreviation ioby stands for, “in our backyards.” It is a crowdfunding platform that brings together neighbors with the aim of funding local projects to completion and also creating awareness about neighborhood needs. It allows you to voice your concerns.


If a member has a project idea for their neighborhood but lacks finances, they can share their idea with the ioby team who will then create a crowdfunding page for the project to help raise money.


Pros

  • Provides a space for community members to voice their ideas

  • The money donated is tax-deductible


Cons

  • It is only available in the US


USing Nomos as a Timebank Neghborhood App

There you have it, the 5 best neighborhood apps that you can use to stay connected with your neighbors. These apps have more specific/specialized uses versus commonly used platforms such as Facebook. Although social media platforms could be useful for brining awareness to these apps.


Another app we did not mention in our top 5 list is the Nomos app and timebanking apps in general. Timebanking apps are also community/neighborhood apps. The communities in which current timebanks exist are closely intertwined within local areas, although larger timebanks can spread across entire towns or multiple villages and neigboring zip codes.


Some may consider a neighborhood app as just the community within their block, housing area, or even their road, so there are also different perceptions of exactly what a neighborhood. For some, a timebanking app will be too widespread and therefore people would rather call it a community app. In the end, it is really down to your definition of what a neighborhood or community is if this is something that is important to you.


For those that want to swap time instead of use currency, timebank apps are eligible no matter how small or large your neighborhood/community is. Check out the Nomos app here to see if you can use it to create a timebank withing your community, and who knows, you may connect with an app developer within your timebank so you can create apps that help to solve other neighborhood needs and wants based or use one of the above 5 apps in situations where they become relevant.


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