Whether promoting yard sales, selling strollers or reporting break-ins, Pittsburghers get the good out of social media service Nextdoor.
The City of Pittsburgh recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its partnership with the service, which places users in private online communities comprised solely of members of their own neighborhoods.
Although the service has been available to Pittsburgh residents for longer than a year, the city only decided to use the site to communicate to residents one year ago.
City spokeswoman Katie O’Malley said the mayor's office was the first department to join the service. They used the site to announce events and post information related to trash pick-up and snow removal.
Now eight departments use it to relay news to those living throughout the city. Although there are no immediate plans to do so, O’Malley said use of the service would ideally expand to all departments.
“I’d say there’s a direct benefit nearly every day from the city perspective,” she said, “and from the information that we’re able to put out about what’s going on with our local government.”
As a result, residents now have a space to give instant feedback and criticism of events. The service is free for both the city and its audience.
“When we launched the partnership with Nextdoor, we were both benefitting for different reasons,” O’Malley said. “It was a great way for them to expand their scope and continue to establish their brand, and it was a great way for us to continue to establish ourselves, connect ourselves and engage ourselves with our community.”
Eighty-two of 90 Pittsburgh neighborhoods currently have access to the site, O’Malley said. To launch a new neighborhood, someone must create the neighborhood on the website and get 10 neighbors to join within 21 days.
“The benefits are really endless from a user perspective,” she said. “It’s a great way to feel safer in your neighborhood, to feel more informed in your neighborhood (and) to get connected to the people that live on your street ... that you would maybe never see.”