AUSTIN (KXAN) - Networking with your neighbors -- and not just the ones nextdoor -- may be difficult in a busy world.
However, a new app called Nextdoor is creating better friendships and more security in a neighborhood near you. The service just launched in Austin.
"The new neighbors that have moved in, they've been really impressed with it because they sort of drop in and have a full community," said McKinney Heights neighbor Mark Heaps, also an avid Nextdoor user.
Already more than 260 Austin neighborhoods – more than 360 in the greater Austin area -- and more than 13,000 across the country are connected.
"Basically, it's a place where a community can connect through a Web portal -- something that's totally geared toward the social circles and standard structures of a neighborhood," said Heaps.
Neighbors say the coolest thing about this is the app, which means you can be driving around doing your neighborhood watch and be posting things in real-time. That often means immediate results, too.
"I mean, I think this is pretty revolutionary for neighborhoods to have this kind of communication," said Heaps.
It's a constant stream of information and awareness of the growing community.
"And then that spawned into us having a pet database, where now every neighbor's uploading pictures of their pets with the names," said Heaps. "And you can look at that gallery and say, ‘Oh, that's Choco the dog.'"
For those pets that get loose or go missing, it means a simple search or a quick upload solves mysteries faster and shortens the time dramatically for a reunion with mom or dad.
"It's really all been positive because we've formed a neighborhood watch patrol through the site. That's increased security," said Heaps. "We've worked with local Austin Police Department, and they're on the neighborhood website."
It's transparency that may be unsettling for some but is one that is undoubtedly helpful and is opening doors to many of Austin's neighborhoods.
Because Nextdoor is user-friendly, it's not just the techies embracing it. You'll be surprised to know some of the neighbors who are using it are in their 80s.
Get more Web-exclusives in the videos with this story, including how Nextdoor's also impacting crime.
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