I joined hyperlocal-focused website Nextdoor sometime over the last year. I’m not entirely sure how I got onto the site, but it probably had something to do with Facebook. Anyway, since joining Nextdoor, I’ve actually found it to be a pretty useful tool for connecting with my local online community. Yeah, I guess people used to just know their neighbors. But who has the time and/or inclination to go around knocking on doors in the 21st century? There are too many TV shows to binge watch. Too many social networks to update (probably about the latest TV show you just finished watching).
One thing I’ve noticed quite often about Nextdoor is that people use it as a resource for recommendations. It makes sense. Need to hire a plumber, roofer, or flooring contractor? Just ask your neighbors who they’ve used, and what kind of experiences they’ve had. And apparently, the staff at Nextdoor have noticed this, too. The company recently announced via e-mail that it has improved its recommendation system:
We’re excited to announce some big improvements to your neighborhood Recommendations section that make it easier to find the businesses most recommended by your neighbors.Here’s what’s new:
Ranked category lists that highlight the businesses most recommended by your neighbors
Business pages that organize all of your neighbors’ comments about the relevant business in one place
Ability for neighbors to tag their comments with the relevant business pages to make their content easier to find
There are already plenty of online resources available for reviews of local businesses. So, Nextdoor isn’t reinventing the wheel here. Still, many of these sites often get taken over by shady practices or spam posts. If Nextdoor can keep those annoyances away, it could really become a useful tool for finding and vetting local services. I’ll be interested to see how this new recommendation system evolves over time.