Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 by Michael
Bob Tedeschi wrote in the New York Times today about LifeAt, meettheneighbors.org and i-neighbors.org… three services taking aim at online social networking for neighbors. About LifeAt (see my recent post)…
Matthew Goldstein, LifeAt’s chief operating officer, said the company is only now completing its advertising strategy. For now, the company, based in Brooklyn, is surviving on the roughly $6,000 it receives from each building that signs up for the service. It does not charge the buildings yearly fees.
More than 335 buildings have joined since LifeAt began in March. About 600 more buildings are scheduled to introduce LifeAt Web sites by year’s end. The company does not currently share ad revenues with the buildings, but Mr. Goldstein said that could change.
Among buildings with LifeAt Web sites, Mr. Goldstein said, residents of 64 percent of the units have created personal pages. Property managers, who give residents login and password information, also use the sites to post news about maintenance work and vacancies.
And about meettheneighbors.org…
Since late 2004, MeetTheNeighbors.org, a for-profit company based in Manhattan, has operated a social networking service for apartment dwellers.
That site, which is free, has about 15,000 users, and last year began serving residents of Boston, London and Dublin. Jared Nissim, the company’s founder, runs the site as a sidelight.
Mr. Nissim said some buildings have considerably more active Web sites than others, thanks mostly to the efforts of volunteers in the building who are responsible for managing the content of the site. “It may be one of the flaws of our system that it relies on one primary contact to get the ball rolling,” he said.
The meettheneighbors site reports 2,204 buildings set up with 11,621 members… about five people per building.
I-Neighbors continues to grow, with 45,000 people now using the free service.
I seem to recall that this service hosts about 5,000 neighborhood groups across North America. That’s a lot of people… although averaging 9 people per group.
About 25% of Front Porch Forum‘s pilot city has subscribed via word of mouth. Our average neighborhood forum has about 50 households.