This looks like a great idea.
I read a news story today about the San Diego police allowing residents to view police alerts and other information via a social network – Nextdoor.com.
Never having heard of Nextdoor, I checked it out via their website. According to the site, Nextdoor allows users to build a stronger neighborhood, keep the neighborhood safe and share recommendations with the folks who live around you.
The crowdsourced public safety aspect of the site seems like a natural fit for what concerned residents, particularly parents, are looking for.
After joining the site, a new user can join an existing neighborhood or define a new one according to one’s personal definition of where he lives. Users are verified before joining so there should be little worry about unwanted members joining your trusted group.
The San Diego example above, where the police are willing to issue custom alerts to very specific areas, seems like icing on the cake. A couple of years ago a prison inmate working at a New Jersey State farm escaped about a mile and a half from our house. Needless to say, we were worried about the kids’ safety and information was scarce. Nextdoor has the ability to go way beyond getting a local babysitter recommendation from a trusted source, although that would ne nice as well.
I have no idea whether Nextdoor can hit critical mass, but as a parent I hope it does.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.