Over the past few years I have visited and reviewed many new websites that have built there success around well managed communities. However, I have not reviewed many websites that have a direct relationship to the ‘old school’ communities and neighborhoods that existed long before the Internet was around and still thrive today. So when I visited eNeighbors for the first time recently, I was intrigued as to how this new start-up would go about promoting and facilitating some relatively ‘old school’ neighborhood values.
eNeighbors is all about connecting the physical communities and neighborhoods that we have all lived in for generations. The site basically promotes and facilitates better communication amongst neighborhoods using new technology. The site quite rightly points out that a neighborhood with a high level of communication is more likely to create a safer living environment. I couldn’t agree more to be honest. I will never forget the ‘Neighborhood Watch’ group that most of the local community were part of where I grew up in the 1980’s. The philosophy of this group was almost identical to that of eNeighbors.
So how does the site work?
Once a user arrives at the site they are asked for their ZIP code. With this information eNeighbors will set you on the way to creating an account for your new neighborhood communal site. The fees for an account are a reasonable $82.99 per month for a neighborhood of up to 300 households.
Once you are signed up and have provided the appropriate information for each household in your neighborhood, residents will be emailed a pin number. From this point residents can login and view your new community website. Some of the content features and functions that can be managed for your community using an eNeighbors site include:
- Neighborhood newsletters (email management)
- Events with registrations
- Community Calendar
- Classified Advertisements
- Residential directory
- Community feedback & bulletins
eNeighbors has already experienced some minor success with great feedback from one group who commented on how the new service allowed their small Kansas community to drastically reduce community communication costs. Paper Newsletters were eliminated and neighborhood event attendance was increased by over 300%.
I did a little bit of research and discovered that the service offered by eNeighbors is not entirely unique. They have some competition from the likes of neighborhoodlink, however, I think that eNeighbors has definitely taken a step forward in terms of their interface. It’s more attractive and usable. I suppose that the facebook developer platform could also provide the right person with an opportunity to create a similar service which could in fact compete with eNeighbors. It might pay for them to create an appropriate facebook app before someone else does..
How do you communicate (if at all) with your local neighborhood?