Mike Isaac

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Nextdoor Hooks Up With Bloomberg and the City of New York

nextdoornycIn one of the company’s most noteworthy partnerships to date, Nextdoor, the private social network focused on small neighborhood communities, will become one of New York City’s official communication tools to connect with citizens.

Much like Nextdoor’s existing deals with San Jose, Dallas and San Diego, the New York City government will be able to use Nextdoor to post pertinent civic information to specific neighborhoods across all five boroughs. So, activity such as utility information (say, a burst water main in a neighborhood), police department alerts or fire department stats can all be more finely targeted to the pertinent areas affected.

It’s an easy and natural move for a mayor like Michael R. Bloomberg, whose administration has already made advances with other social mediums like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter to post civic news in outreach efforts.

“We have great admiration for Mayor Bloomberg as an entrepreneur,” Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia told AllThingsD. “He understands the tech revolution, has a data-driven approach to solutions, and is very understanding about how Silicon Valley works.”

The new partnership also dovetails with Bloomberg’s introduction of a sweeping plan to safeguard New York City from future dangers of climate change and disasters like Hurricane Sandy, as he laid out a $19.5-billion plan to protect the city’s coasts, overhaul zoning regulations and change standards for telecommunications and other fuel-related provisioning.

“As bad as Sandy was, future storms could be even worse,” Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference earlier this week. “In fact, because of rising temperatures and sea levels, even a storm that’s not as large as Sandy could, down the road, be even more destructive.”

So, something like Nextdoor, which purports to bring communities even closer together within the atomic units of neighborhoods, is a top-down way of distributing information to the masses.

More so now, considering the recent launch of Nextdoor’s mobile application, which allows members to send updates to their neighborhoods from anywhere they wish (instead of just from the mobile Web or desktop browser, as it was before). That seems to be going well, too; according to the most recent stats from Nextdoor, 22 percent of content across all of Nextdoor has increased since the iPhone app’s launch.

Nextdoor, which is based in San Francisco, plans to hire an NYC-based team to manage the partnership with the city.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik