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  • FIRST POST
    • sasparillo
    • By sasparillo 11th Jun 19, 10:38 AM
    • 290Posts
    • 37Thanks
    sasparillo
    Neighbourhood Online Groups
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 19, 10:38 AM
    Neighbourhood Online Groups 11th Jun 19 at 10:38 AM
    Hi,

    Wasn’t sure where to post this - so hope this is correct part of the forum.

    Some time ago everyone in our road received a letter from one of the householders who runs a private nursery from their house. They were asking if people wanted to join a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. It was personally signed and I knew exactly where it was from. I was a bit reluctant about exposing my mobile number, but then thought, ‘what the hell?!, it might come in useful.’ After an initial flurry of messages, it does seem to have gone quiet. It was just for our road, a cul de sac.

    Now today we received a business like letter. On the printed envelope it maintained that no data was being retained. TBH I expected a letter from an architect/builder asking if anyone objected to a neighbour’s building work.

    But inside was a letter with no signature, just the name of an apparent resident and a nearby road with no house number whom I don’t know, saying ‘Hi [name of our road] neighbour! Then a spiel about a site called nextdoor with a code to join ‘This code expires in 7 days!’.

    There is a PS with ‘There are already over 800 posts on Nextdoor [name of district], including posts about Crime & Safety issues in the neighbourhood.’ !!!

    I find the lack of a specific house number for the person said to be running it, the letter arriving in a printed business type envelope and the template typed letter a bit - well - disturbing. It may be it’s just from someone with business resources but a rather unbusiness like mind who doesn’t realise the implications of and/or impression this may give. It doesn’t help that the name on the letter (not signed) is almost an equivalent of ‘John Smith’!!!! I have done a google for the full name and also just the surname and the road, but turned up nothing. Other thoughts about this have passed my mind ranging from the promotional (even of the website) to the criminal.

    Any thoughts on these types of letters? Has anyone had anything similar?
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 11th Jun 19, 10:56 AM
    • 6,832 Posts
    • 9,879 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 19, 10:56 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 19, 10:56 AM
    Yeh its an online local community group.

    Ive not turned off notifications so get inundated with offerings of window cleaning services, rubbish removal required and the occasional missing pet.

    Its like a closed facebook group, the cloak and dagger seems to be about generating intrigue and a certain amount of protecting the anonymity of other local residents.
    Don't be angry!
    • troffasky
    • By troffasky 11th Jun 19, 11:22 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    troffasky
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:22 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:22 AM
    Other thoughts about this have passed my mind ranging from the promotional (even of the website) to the criminal.
    Originally posted by sasparillo

    Yes, it probably is just somebody trying to drum up local interest. Would probably make more sense as a leaflet/postcard than something in an envelope, but meh. I am not sure what the criminal angle might be.

    I hadn't heard of this site before so I may try signing up myself. I assume it's going to be full of busybodies and nutjobs peddling nonsense so might be briefly amusing. Or maybe it might turn out to be useful.


    Would be interesting to know how they make money out of this.
    • mirko
    • By mirko 11th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    mirko
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:25 AM
    These NextDoor leaflets have gone around my town in the south east too. It is interesting trying to work out how they'll make money from it...

    (The local facebook groups are far busier and contain all the amusing content you'd expect)
    As of 4/6/2019
    Mort: - £112,225.00
    Loan: - £4,436.62
    CCds: - £3,500.00

    Grand Total: £120,161.62
    • troffasky
    • By troffasky 11th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    troffasky
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    This is what I got when I signed up - if only they'd done this!:
    • sasparillo
    • By sasparillo 11th Jun 19, 6:38 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    sasparillo
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 19, 6:38 PM
    NextDoor
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 19, 6:38 PM
    I think it was a template letter with the Next door logo but, although it had someone’s full name, it is a common name, and it only has the name of the street rather than a number. So the same information which is sometimes passed around on mailing lists. Giving the house number and linking the name is obviously a valuable commodity.

    Obviously signing up to a website, you have more chance of anonymity if one creates a new email address just for that website than with a WhatsApp group where folks can see your telephone number.

    I hadn’t checked the website before I posted, but with all the fraudulent emails with links going around, some almost plausible (!!!), I did wonder if it were an elaborate ruse to get one to give details to a website. Although I did also think of the more innocent explanations!

    A postcard doesn't actually work when a passcode is included, although the the letter urging you to use the unasked-for passcode before the expiry doesn’t hit the right tone for me. It’s very clumsy which made me suspicious.

    Obviously Facebook doesn’t pay for 50-strong mailshots of neighbours but I really don’t see it taking over from Facebook but becoming one of many splinter online communities that come and go - unless it proves a better selling platform than local groups on FB, eBay, Shpock etc.

    Just googled and found some interesting reviews on trustpilot I always look at the worst reviews first, while bearing in mind online business can be a cutthroat business with the possibility of fixed reviews on either end of the spectrum ... https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/nextdoor.co.uk?languages=en&stars=1&stars=2

    On the ‘About’ on their website.

    ‘We created this company because we believe that the neighbourhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person's life. We hope that neighbours everywhere will use the Nextdoor platform to build stronger and safer neighbourhoods around the world.

    ‘If you are interested in joining our team, please view our current job openings.

    ‘With offices in San Francisco, London and Amsterdam, Nextdoor was founded in 2010 and is funded by Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management, and Shasta Ventures as well as other investors and Silicon Valley angels.’

    They also say that every new ‘neighbour’ must verify their address - but don’t make it clear if it’s an email address or a home address ... if the latter, I’d hate to think what would happen if there were a data breach ...

    It seems to rely entirely on advertising but maintains it will not share data with advertisers. However there is some unverifiable disquiet in the worst reviews about the quality of volunteer moderators in terms of bullying and politics and also the involvement of local authorities.

    I guess many might have thought the same about all the major online social media companies, sometimes justifiably in the light of recent revelations. But fwiw these are my feelings after receiving the letter and passcode.

    PS. Looks like I’m a bit late catching up on this!!!:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38920906
    https://www.harringayonline.com/forum/topics/nextdoor-co-uk-is-it-a-scam
    Last edited by sasparillo; 11-06-2019 at 8:35 PM. Reason: Found more info
    • troffasky
    • By troffasky 12th Jun 19, 12:59 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    troffasky
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 12:59 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 12:59 PM
    They also say that every new ‘neighbour’ must verify their address - but don’t make it clear if it’s an email address or a home address ... if the latter, I’d hate to think what would happen if there were a data breach ...
    Originally posted by sasparillo

    I think it's email address not street address as I haven't been asked to verify my street address. And no, I didn't give them login details so they could log in to my email account and download my contacts. Also the default is to show your house number not just street so I've turned that off.



    Given the number of different organisations that have my address, I don't regard it as being a particularly private bit of information.



    It seems to rely entirely on advertising but maintains it will not share data with advertisers.
    Originally posted by sasparillo

    Just have to add "...for now" to this.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 12th Jun 19, 6:37 PM
    • 7,998 Posts
    • 53,485 Thanks
    kerri gt
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:37 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:37 PM
    Nextdoor is an online community site, I believe it used to be called Streetlife.

    As said it's like a kind of closed Facebook type community group. I often use it when looking for trade or service recommendations.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • sasparillo
    • By sasparillo 12th Jun 19, 6:46 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    sasparillo
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:46 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:46 PM
    It is obviously not much different from other online neighbourhood groups EXCEPT it does collect home addresses. This whole situation with data harvesting is getting more than tiresome.


    An elderly relative for the past few years has been plagued by texts from Argos telling her she has goods to collect from an Argos 200 miles from her! She has never ordered from Argos and all Argos personnel can suggest is blocking the texts.

    They will not address the misuse of holding this data. The call centre (yes, I know, it’s just a call centre - that’s the problem) duty manager says a customer gave that number and they can’t take it off their database! They have said the texts are coming from Argos. She doesn’t give anyone but very close relatives her private phone number. She has told them if they can’t check mobile phone numbers, they shouldn’t take them.

    It could be an inputting mistake but since the customer never seems to have corrected it over several years, it does seem very strange. Jigsaw identification with addresses including home numbers, private telephone numbers etc, especially but not just, of the elderly is worrying.

    Obviously it’s not the same as NextDoor.com where one has to sign up and is a worse situation as no one in Argos is taking responsibility for mobile phone data.
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