October 27, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
This week, the San Francisco startup Nextdoor released what it’s calling “the first private social network for neighborhoods.” The service is free and only available within the U.S. The dinero for the whole shebang is being provided by Shasta Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and other private investors, including Rich Barton. Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor’s CEO and co-founder, had this to say about the network:
We “friend” more people than ever and “follow” strangers we’ve never met, yet we don’t have a good way to communicate with the people who live right next door … There are many ways our neighbors can help us, but these days people don’t know their neighbors, or how to contact them. Nextdoor was created to change that.
If a Nextdoor website already exists on your block, you can join on the spot by submitting your home address. If there’s no extant network, then it’s necessary to apply for one. Nextdoor says that it does not share users’ personal information “with any third parties,” but even content that’s “password-protected” and not indexable by Google’s mighty crawlers can end up on the public Web. Nextdoor promises to open up bridges of communication between neighbors, but those living in places populated by hardened gossips might want to think twice before willingly providing even more yammering ammunition to these.
October 12, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Jono Lee and Eric Sue — both recent UCLA grads — have set their newly created social platform, TwoSides, loose on the Internet to help conceptualize duality. In its current setup, users publicly ponder the duality and merits of political, philosophical, and other more mundane stances with the help of well-thought-out displays and argument compartmentalization.
In the manner of social networking, fellow users contribute to an issue’s elucidation by declaring whether they agree or disagree on the matter and submitting evidence to prop up their case or unfasten the foundations of the “other side.” Welcomed evidence, to be posted directly on the site, includes self-authored ranty texts, YouTube clips, scholarly articles, and anything else that’s relevant.
The site fosters social connections through debate and also through the discovery of shared beliefs, values, or ideas. In TwoSides’ terms: “Common beliefs are a much better indicator of whether two people would connect than, say, mutual Facebook friends. Easily see how your viewpoints match up with other people using our awesome data visualizations.”
A good deal of unabashed giddiness filters through the site’s details. Even TwoSides’ 2011 summer intern, Ken Yu, radiated as much: a bodybuilder with a taste for progressive trance who’s studying Engineering at Berkeley.