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Glimpse: Neighborhood Discovery

Glimpse: Neighborhood Discovery

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Neighborhood Discovery! What does that mean? Well it means that we can use technology, mobile and social networking tools to discover those who are right by us. You could have a neighbor down the street that shares your uncommon love for scuba tuba or something equally as fun… Why not use a social networking app on your mobile phone to make the connection?

This was the lineup for the neighborhood panel:

Moderated by David Weir – technology blogger, 7×7
Airbnb, Ann Montgomery – product manager; former co-founder of NabeWise
Highlight, Paul Davison – founder & CEO
Nextdoor, Sarah Leary – co-founder & VP of marketing
Sōsh, Rishi Mandal – co-founder & CEO

This panel discussed the virtues of using your mobile phone to help you discover those around you. We really enjoyed hearing from Paul Davison, founder & CEO of Highlight, his enthusiasm was unrivaled. You could tell Mr. Davison had genuine zest for what he has created. While highlight isn’t exactly new, we were inspired to try it out here at MobileFOMO. Some of our staff found the app to be very useful in meeting new people, but others found it a bit ‘creepy.’ The trick with social discovery apps is in knowing where your boundaries are. If you want to openly meet new people who share connections with you – this is the app. If you haven’t done much pruning to your social network in recent history and don’t trust your connections, we suggest skipping highlight.

Nextdoor boasts a similar capability to highlight, but focuses on proximity at home. Nextdoor focuses mainly on neighborhoods and letting you know who is living next to you. We found it interesting that mobile geolocation technology was used by 3 of the 4 apps represented on this panel. Ann Montgomery from Airbnb spoke about the moment of truth. When people see pictures on airbnb of a potential vacation rental, they want to be secure in the fact that they’re getting what they came for… Airbnb allows users to host or be hosted in a private residence.


One thing that all of these panelists apps share in common is that they help you to broker a new relationship with those around you. Ms. Montgomery spoke about the way people used Airbnb to foster new relationships, although this was not generally the intended purpose. The overall theme for this panel was that we have tools to help us reach out and make connections, but we have to appear credible. Credibility is key when it comes to making new connections, whether they are virtual or not! It’s not necessarily an easy thing to make new connections using pure technology. With most new things there’s a learning curve and neighborhood discovery is no different.