Building a community part 4: Neighborhood watch in the digital age
Creating a community is not just about improving the safety of where you live. It's also important for morale among neighbors and for developing long lasting relationships with people you plan to live by for years to come. Living within a community allows you to enjoy the simple things. Like coming home every day as you smile at Dave across the street and chat with Sarah next door about the weather and an upcoming block party. If you're neighborhood could use a little community building but you're not sure where to start- this is where digital community forums come in to play. We mean let's face it- we spend more time on the computer, tablet or phone than we do out back reading a book or out front hanging out in the garden. So when it comes to building a community in the digital age, look no further than through digital community platforms:
Use community websites
Nextdoor, EveryBlock and similar community forum websites are great places to find local information and company referrals from neighbors you trust. Simply create a login and link your home address to gain access to all activity taking place within your community. From a forum mentioning upcoming events and local news to crime reports and school information, these platforms have your community covered. If you've been considering remodeling your outdoor space, you can look for recommendations on local home improvement contractors and landscaping architects. What better way to find a reliable local contractor than by asking people who have had similar needs such as building a new retaining wall or installing artificial turf?
Also, consider this: Has your cat ever gone missing? Or maybe your dog? During times like these you can turn to your favorite digital community platforms. Post a photo of your beloved tabby, include his name, whether or not be was wearing a collar, and make a note about where he was last seen. Also, mention if he's been micro-chipped and include your best contact number or email address. In no time you'll have all the neighbors keeping an eye out for your beloved Scruffy and hopefully they'll help bring the little buddy home.
Another important aspect of these sites is that they allow neighbors within a community to keep up with area crime. For example, if you've noticed that some expected packages have gone missing from your front porch when the delivery company tracking system says they were dropped off, don't hesitate to make a post to the community forum. You'll likely find a few neighbors have also reported their packages going missing or maybe have even spotted the culprit taking packages from your front porch. Think of Nextdoor, EveryBlock and other similar sites as the neighborhood watch of the digital age. Instead of talking over your backyard fence, you just might visit with a neighbor in an online forum from time to time.
You can also find helpful community posts like free gallons of paint, boxes from a move or extra plants that people want to give away. You can also willingly use this forum yourself to share information like, "Hey! I have way too many succulents and they're procreating like mad! If you want some, reply and I'll place them at the end of the driveway for you to grab on the way home."
Many users are surprised at just how much information digital community platforms provide and how much more safe and included they feel once they join. Don't just consume the available content - create some by posting to message boards and sharing local news. You'll soon know the names of those neighbors whose dogs you've greeted for months!