While the models are not exactly the same, both products aim to help you make friends with your neighbors. eNeighbors employs more of a “closed network” approach where the customer is really the community itself which in turn invites residents to join the network. In contrast, Nayburz takes the approach of defining a community (such as Denver) and then allowing users to meet each other across a connected web of neighborhoods.
So, the eNeighbors approach is to sell a community a tool that they can use to attract residents, improve the community, etc, like this:
eNeighbors started as a site offering customized communities for neighborhoods, and has recently released “version 2.0” which according to founder Chris Stock is more like a “Facebook for Neighborhoods” that is more template driven. eNeighbors now has about a dozen such communities as customers so far.
In contrast, Nayburz uses the concept of your “bubble” (area) that you belong to. You decide – this can be specific (such as a building) or generalized (such as downtown Denver). It looks more like this:
Nayburz has yet to launch, but plans to on August 1 and will focus specifically on Denver initially. Founder Paul Davis told me that the plan is to expand to other communities such as “Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and Phoenix” in the next phase.
While the ideas behind these sites are certainly not new, there does seem to be a bit of a resurgence of social sites aiming to connect neighbors. Personally, I prefer the simple data-driven approach of sites like Fatdoor (assuming it would work in Boulder). Maybe that’s because I don’t really want to write on my neighbors metaphoric wall so much as find out who they are and what they’re all about, so I can decide who to bump in to next time I walk the dog.
From the user perspective, I think the place for sites like these might really exist inside of Facebook these days, where everyone is already hanging out – assuming they want to meet somebody new at all. Of course, there’s the Facebook problem staring you in the, um, face.
What ever happened to bribing your neighbors with cookies and getting off your ass, anyway?