Meet your neighbours on the net

Social network brings communities together

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 06:58 10/06/2014
Casey Eden
GOOD NEIGHBOUR: : Casey Eden , originally from Richmond, is co-founder of a social media website designed to bring neighbours together.

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A new social media website that aims to connect neighbours has come to Nelson.

Neighbourly.co.nz is a free website that has been operating since February and has 400 Nelson followers who interact online.

Co-founder and managing director Casey Eden, originally from Richmond, said the idea came from a conversation he was having with fellow GrabOne director and Neighbourly co-founder Shane Bradley.

In a world of social media, they decided that while they had international connections at their fingertips, they were devoid of any connection with their physical neighbours in New Zealand.

It was an irony of the internet that it had taken away the need to meet neighbours.

The former Waimea College student recalled his parents being highly connected with their neighbours and their community.

But in Eden's experience he found the busy nature of today's society meant he did not have time to meet and get to know his neighbours.

Neighbourly hoped to create an easy way for neighbours to talk and share online information, bringing more real world connections.

It was piloted in five Auckland suburbs and had been launched nationally.

"We're seeing members find babysitters, sell sofas, give away fruit, set up groups based on common interests, discuss how to make their safer streets, organise street barbies and recommend good mechanics. It's being used just how we were hoping it would be," Eden said.

"It must be made clear that we are not wanting neighbours to be best friends, we just want to create a platform of resources that can be used when the time is right."

Privacy issues were not a problem, because any information used was already publicly available.

Users could also decide to share as little or as much information they wanted. Future plans for the site include the potential for local business advertising.

"We have been really up front, eventually we will have to generate money for the site to stay alive.

"We want to offer a platform for local businesses to advertise to their customer base directly."

The site would always be free, Eden said.

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- The Nelson Mail

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