Civic News
Communities / Municipal government / Social media

Here’s the city’s latest effort at a virtual bulletin board: Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a private social network for each neighborhood in the city. The city says its staffers will now use it to communicate with Philadelphians.

Full disclosure: Engagement Coordinator Cary Betagole previously worked for Nextdoor as a community organizer.

The City of Philadelphia is trying to reach you. It hopes a social network will do the trick.

The city just launched a partnership with Nextdoor, a private social network with specific groups for each city neighborhood. Nextdoor, headquartered in San Francisco, has been live in Philadelphia for more than a year, but this partnership means that city staffers from a handful of departments will start using the network to communicate with Philadelphians. Those departments are the Office of Emergency Management, Streets, Licenses & Inspections and Town Watch Integrated Services.

Sign up for Nextdoor

City employees will not be able to see what is posted on the private neighborhood groups, only direct responses to their posts, according to the release.

It’s not the first time the city has tried using technology to communicate with its citizens. In the fall of 2013, the city launched a web app called myPhillyRising that resembled Nextdoor, except that it catered only to the handful of neighborhoods in which the city was running its PhillyRising program.

myPhillyRising is a bit of a ghost town right now.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, getting traction is hard. That’s why it makes sense that the city is partnering with Nextdoor, which already has something of a user base.

There is no money being exchanged between the city and Nextdoor for this partnership, city spokeswoman Jennifer Crandall said.

Companies: City of Philadelphia

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