MSNBC.com’s EveryBlock is moving beyond its roots as a hard-core aggregator of hyperlocal data with its first social feature: “Notify Your Neighbors.” The feature, which has been tested for over a month, is similar to other sites, such as Rottenneighbor.com, a real estate tool discontinued in July 2009 that let people complain about barking dogs, overgrown lawns, loud pool parties and smelly garbage.
Notify Your Neighbors has a link near the top of each place page on the site. When users click on it, they get a simple form that lets them post a message. Once they’ve posted it, EveryBlock will publish it to each nearby neighborhood, ZIP and block page so other users can see it. It will also go out as an “announcement” in e-mail alerts and RSS feeds for the appropriate geographic areas.
Site founder Adrian Holovaty says he expects Notify Your Neighbors to get most of its traffic from items where people are “highly incented” to post. He’s guessing that missing pets will top the list, along with crime incidents. Garage rentals, missing mailboxes, water main flooding and community events are other likely topics.
“Use it for classifieds, use it to report local news, use it to ask questions or otherwise pass information to your neighbors … Use it for things we haven’t thought of! You can think of it as a 21st century community message board,” notes EveryBlock’s release.
In other site news, Holovaty says the six-person site has been redesigning its place pages to make them time sensitive. This would make them more of a real-time feed a la Twitter. Some things may be of immediate interest, such as the arrival of a taco truck.