Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

FatDoor on the right path?

Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 by 3 comments

The Local Onliner previewed FatDoor today… sounds interesting.

The startup crawls the Web for publicly available info (College, job, kids, church, clubs, blogs) and is being designed to provide neighbors with publicly available info about each other so they can establish commonalities from the getgo, rather than sitting in the isolated silos of today’s typical “Bowling Alone” neighborhood.

The site’s motto is “positive social change.” The company hopes that it will help the “neighborhood get stronger, help people develop friendships in their neighborhoods, and become more civic in their involvement in their communities.” It may also be used for more annoying things (telemarketing, real estate pitches etc.) But the site has taken pains to hire a privacy expert to minimize the inherent risks. If it works at all, one imagines it could be a nice complement to something like Zillow, and more dimensional.

FatDoor has some big names and resources behind it, so it’s going somewhere. I’m trying to picture a real-world (vs. virtual) equivalent… tacking everyone’s resume to their front door? Flipping through your neighbor’s mail to see who’s newsletter he’s getting? I like the motto and goals (similar to Front Porch Forum), but I’m not sure this approach will be warmly embraced. I haven’t seen it in action, so hopefully the sense of the site will match up with the promising intent.

Posted in: Front Porch Forum, Local Online


  1. Hi Front Porch forum,

    Thanks for the write-up! I like your site , I think we have complementary objectives. There may be interesting ways for us to work together after Fatdoor launches.

    Our goal is to bring communities together, and make them more locally and politically engaging. People will be able to make new friends right in their own neighborhoods. We are taking careful steps to ensure privacy while protecting the power of our platform.

    Note: There will be no information about kids on Fatdoor. Also, telephone information of residents will not be exposed unless users voluntarily choose to publish it.

    Kind regards,

    CEO, Fatdoor

  2. ps. you will not be able to read your neighbor’s mail on Fatdoor. :0


  3. Michael says:

    Thanks for commenting, Raj. Now you’ve really piqued my interest. 🙂 Best wishes with FatDoor’s development as you approach launch. -Michael

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