DETROIT - Christopher Griffin can keep track of what's going on in his Huntington Woods neighborhood with just his smart phone. It's all thanks to an app called "Nextdoor."
"We were all there and we were all knew of each other because we said hi, but this thing allowed us to interact," said Griffin. "NextDoor is a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craig's List, Angie's List all built into one system."
The free app is a private social network site for neighborhoods.
Users register using their address and are instantly connected to others nearby. Griffin uses the program mostly on his laptop when he's home and now he's able to communicate with the neighbor down the street he otherwise might not have spoken to.
"It's a sense of security. You know?" said Griffin. "We're a close knit community here but NextDoor allows us to become even closer."
So close in fact, the app allows neighbors to post messages about lost pets, items for sale, or even services needed and a whole lot more. But it's biggest draw is that neighbors can keep each other posted about criminal activity.
"We've had issues with break in in cars. You've left your doors unlocked. They took my GPS, they took this out of it but typically if you left your door unlocked sort of thing," Griffin said.
And now that he knows what's happened to others in his neighborhood ..."My doors are locked and I'm aware of the surroundings as well," he added.
Nextdoor might appear to have done away with good ole fashioned face to face communication. Griffin disagrees, and believes it's helped him meet even more of those who live around him.
"I've met everybody! We did a block party. Everybody from the top of the street to the bottom of the street," he said.
And here's a plus, there's no need to worry that what you share here will end up in the wrong hands.
"It is private site so you can't get in without a user I.D. or password. And unlike a Facebook, for example, you can still look at the individual, you can still look at the profile page whether it's secure--or whether it's the availability to go into it or not is open to the individual. Here you have to be part of the neighborhood," Griffin said.
With each neighborhood represented, one person is the acting founder and goes around to verify that you live in the neighborhood if the app can't confirm your identity. It's so easy to sign up for yourself. Griffin, now a Nextdoor user for over a year, is surprised by the way this app has brought his neighborhood together.
"I think what it does it allows us to find common ground between neighbors that helps us to get rid of that boundary," he said.
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