Today was the official launch of I-Neighbors, see the MIT press release. Until now word has spread completely though blogs and \’word of mouth\’, this morning we were featured in a New York Times article Who\’s Knocking at the Door? Check Your E-Mail First. The article includes an interview with residents of one of the trial \”e-neighbors\” communities who have been experimenting with versions of this site for the past two years. Exactly two weeks since I-Neighbors went live users have setup over 250 neighborhoods. The average number of users per neighborhood is also starting to increase, much faster than it did in the first week. I guess there had to be branches before their could be leaves! Thank you to everyone who joined in the past two weeks – you helped us find and fix many little bugs.
I-Neighbors is live! A new website to increase social contact and participation at the neighborhood level: http://www.i-neighbors.org
For the past two years I have been testing this site on three Boston area neighborhoods as part of my E-neighbors study. Some of the trial neighborhoods had very positive results – a significant increase in the number of local social ties, more frequent communication on and offline, and higher levels of community involvement. The I-Neighbors website is an attempt to extend these results to other neighborhoods in the U.S. and Canada.
The full public release of the site is not scheduled for about a week, but I wanted to share the site early with those who read my blog. Since this weekend when I sent an email to a small group of collegues and friends anouncing the site, it has grown from the three original E-neighbors communities to nearly 90 I-Neighbors communities!
The web site is ready and open to be used. I-Neighbors is a FREE social networking tool that connects people to neighbors in the same local community. Using I-Neighbors you can:
-Meet and communicate with your neighbors.
-Find neighbors with similar interests.
-Share information on local companies and services.
-Organize and advertise local events.
-Vocalize local concerns and ideas.
Members have access to services that include a neighborhood email list, a local directory, a shared photo album, a neighborhood messaging system, a tool to poll their neighbors\’ opinions, and a service that connects neighbors who work near each other for carpools. Unlike other web sites that allow global, national, or city-wide communication, I-Neighbors links members of a single neighborhood, defined by the people that create them.
You can find your local community or create a new neighborhood at http://www.i-neighbors.org. Once you create or join a neighborhood you can use use the web site to send email invitations to friends, or my favorite feature, print a paper flyer to give neighbors.