Social Media Site Nextdoor Aims to Create Safer Communities

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ROCKFORD (WIFR)-- A new wave of social media is helping make our neighborhoods safer by helping us stay more connected with our neighbors.

Robert Peterson says he's lucky for having such wonderful neighbors, but he wants to make his Rockford community of Signal Hill even better.

Peterson's turning to the new wave of social media called Nextdoor to do the trick.

"It's really opened up a lot of communications because before this you either had to mail everything which gets expensive or go around handing out flyers to each door."

Nextdoor came to Rockford 1 year ago. It's goal is to create private social networks for neighborhoods. Nextdoor wants to make communication better and keep neighborhoods safer. In order to register into a neighborhood's social network you have to have valid proof of where you live.

Peterson says it's helping him to meet new faces around the block.

"For years we've said we should have a block party and then right after we started Nextdoor I was talking with the neighbors and she said, lets have a block party, so we did. We put it out on Nextdoor and we had about 60 people show up."

"Signal Hill is one of the 40 neighborhoods in Rockford using Next Door. Currently there are over 26,000 all around the country."

3rd Ward Alderman Tom McNamara uses the site to stay connected to his ward and the surrounding areas.

"When you have big things like the snow this weekend I can relay the operations that the cities doing immediately to those folks."

McNamara and Peterson both say they like the extra sense of security the site offers.

"Suppose I leave my garage door open and go off to work with my garage door open and somebody knocks on the door and I'm not home but they can contact me via Nextdoor and say hey Bob your garage doors open."

Nextdoor workers say in order to ensure you live in the home you've registered with they'll either send you a post card with a code you have verify with, call you on a landline, or match credit card statement.

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