NextDoor now rates local businesses, services

Don't Waste Your Money

Kim Kempke, like 10 million US homeowners, loves using NextDoor, the 6-year-old neighborhood social network.

NextDoor lets her connect with people on her street, and feel safer in her Anderson Township, Ohio home.

"You know what's going on, you can talk to each other," she said. "You're not outside a lot standing at the fence anymore. But on NextDoor you can say 'hey did you notice that guy walking in the street looking at the cars?'"

NextDoor started as a way for neighbors to connect, report suspicious activity, plan a yard sale or swap an old couch or children's clothing.

But now it's expanding to let people rank local businesses near them that they feel would be a real asset to the community.

New feature lists top area services

NextDoor's new Neighborhood Favorites feature lets users vote on their favorite local plumber, dog walker, or -- in this case -- bike repair shop.

Jason Reser owns Reser Bicycle Outfitters, a downtown Newport, Kentucky bike shop.

It's a rare combination bike shop and coffee shop, and even has a bike up coffee window.

They can come talk bikes, come talk coffee," Reser said. "We maintain that small business feel, we know a lot of our customers know us, and we have built a community."

Reser says he's thrilled to top NextDoor's neighborhood business rankings in the Northern Kentucky area.

Kim Kempke, meantime. says she's just thrilled to have a new way to find good service providers, more localized that what she finds on Yelp or Angie's List.

"If I need something done around the house, I want to know who other people have used who live near me, what their experiences were, do they like them, were they reliable," she said.

If you are not yet a member, you should know that NextDoor is free to join, but you are required to give your name and address to verify your identity.

That's how they make sure everyone really lives in the neighborhood they claim, and how the site keeps scammers and criminals out.

And that way you don't waste your money.

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