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What is the goal of the Lakewood Linked Project?
The primary goal of Mayor Bob Murphy’s Lakewood Linked project is to help neighbors collaborate and communicate with each other within their neighborhoods, and between neighborhoods, and to strengthen a sense of community throughout the City. Why is the City facilitating Nextdoor?The City is working with Nextdoor.com as an important step in developing Lakewood Linked. Nextdoor.com is a free tool to use, and after evaluation of other solutions, we believe this one is easier and more intuitive to use as it is tailored specifically for neighborhoods to communicate with each other. What does partnering with Nextdoor.com mean?The partnership enables the City to post valuable information to specific neighborhoods on Nextdoor.com including information about public safety, road closures and community events. What is Nextdoor.com?Nextdoor.com is a free social networking platform for neighborhoods. It provides a way for individuals and their neighbors to talk online, become better neighbors and give residents a sense that their neighborhood is truly their home. Ten neighborhoods in Lakewood are already using Nextdoor.com to build happier, safer places to call home. People use Nextdoor.com to help with every-day needs: • Find a new home for an outgrown bike • Track down a trustworthy babysitter • Quickly get the word out about a break-in • Find out who does the best paint job in town • Organize a garage sale or neighborhood cleanup event • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name. How do neighborhoods become active on the site?An individual needs to sign up as a neighborhood “leader” and commit to getting 10 more neighbors to register within 21 days. If they don’t get that many people, the neighborhood stays listed as a pilot but is not active and nothing can be posted. Nextdoor.com will extend the 21 days as needed to get enough neighbors to register. To join a neighborhood, residents have to prove they either live there or work there. People can also register in the neighborhoods they work in – so, for instance – a church or a business can register in the neighborhood where they are located. In that case, Nextdoor.com will send a postcard to the business or church that has to be returned to activate their registration. Basically, you have to prove you have a physical presence in the neighborhood either through your home or through your business in order to be part of that group. How are neighborhood boundaries set?The City has worked with Nextdoor.com to define neighborhood boundaries that we have information for, but if they don't exist, it is easy to add them when you sign up. The neighborhoods that are already active will be incorporated “as is” even if their self-defined boundaries don’t exactly match the City's information. Is there a cost to the City or to the individual users?No, the service is free. Does anyone monitor the posts for glitches, inappropriate content, etc.?The neighborhood leaders monitor posts. Individual users can also report glitches and inappropriate content to the Nextdoor.com web administrator. If an individual posts inappropriate content regularly, Nextdoor.com will inactivate the account and prevent the person from re-joining. Can the City see what the neighborhoods are talking about with their neighbors?No, the City cannot see the conversations that occur within neighborhoods. Can someone registered in a neighborhood on one side of the city see a request for assistance in a neighborhood on the other side of the city?
No, not currently. Nextdoor.com is working on that capability. Once this function is in place, the City will be able to see communications between neighborhoods (but still not within neighborhoods). There is a “group” function on the site where neighborhoods can be grouped into larger entities that people can elect to join. So, for instance, we can group neighborhoods into wards or even “North Lakewood.” The company does not recommend making groups too large: We would not want a “citywide” group because the number of posts by individuals could be overwhelming. Can the City post information to all the neighborhoods?Yes, the City will have two administrative accounts set up for posting – a general City account and a Police Department account. Can people who are registered on the site reply to City posts?Yes, they can reply either privately or publically to anything the City posts.What kinds of things do most neighborhoods post?Most posts relate to things going on in the neighborhood. For example, crime, wind blowing trash cans or recycling around, a lost pet, babysitting resources, a neighbor who needs help shoveling, a neighborhood yard sale or block party.Can neighborhood businesses join Nextdoor.com?In some areas, local businesses have joined their neighborhood websites. There are no special designations for businesses on the website, but business owners are welcomed to join as involved neighbors. Is there a smart phone app for the site?Not currently. It is accessible right now only through the web, or through a hyperlink on a browser on a smartphone. The company is working on a phone app. Is my user information safeguarded?Nextdoor.com is committed to safeguarding users’ information, so that no one will be inundated with banner ads, pop-ups, or messages from advertisers that can impede or denigrate the neighborhood feeling of the website.