Friday, March 18, 2022

What to expect when you go Next Door in Ottawa

We interrupt the blog series about the history of Wellington Street to bring you this informational item.

In late January or early February, I got a letter in the mail (since discarded), addressed to "Dalhousie neighbour" (red flag #1), inviting me to something called "NextDoor Dalhousie", which claimed to be a social media site to "connect with neighbours". Sounds nice enough, but obviously somebody's making enough money off of of this "free" app to afford to mail out physical invitations. I've since discarded my letter, but here's a similar one received by a neighbour on Eccles Street in March, 2022:

A paper letter starting Hi Eccles St Neighbours, Our neighbourhood is now using a free app called Nextdoor Dalhousie and you should join us. There's a code that it says will expire in 7 days, and it's signed Your neighbour, [name and street name removed by me]

The top level takeaway—in case the reference to red flags wasn't clear enough—is don't bother signing up, but for the sake of others who, like me, wanted to know more about it before signing up, here's what I've observed after having been signed into the site for a month.