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.