After a long discussion with my ex-boyfriend about his 8 year old son Evan and the perils of a childhood staring at glowing screens, I decided to do my part to encourage Evan to break away from the television to read more. "He loves the Harry Potter movies so surely he would love the books!" I thought. The first Harry Potter book is so popular, I knew for sure that one of my friends would have a copy Evan could read. I searched NeighborGoods and no one near me had it listed so I added the book to my wishlist.
Later that day, Jory logged into NeighborGoods and saw that someone in his neighborhood wanted to borrow Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Happy to help out a neighbor, he promptly added his copy to his NeighborGoods inventory. I received an alert email and I logged in to request the book from Jory. We set a time to meet and a couple days later, Jory was ringing my door bell. He delivered the book and a sweet bonus – Jory brought me a bag full of fruit from his avocado tree! Jory and I spent 20 minutes or so chatting in my living room about his family, NeighborGoods, and our Los Angeles neighborhood, Atwater Village.
Since that first meeting, Jory and I are now friends on all sorts of social networks. We share stuff on NeighborGoods all the time, we share local news and deals at our favorite taco place with each other on Twitter, and we compete for mayorships on Foursquare. Jory and I are now neighbors in the true sense of the word. Through Jory, I've met several other Atwater Village residents and we all stay in touch online.
I returned the book to Jory a few weeks later. I don't think Evan read it. But thanks to the technology on our glowing screens, our neighborhood got a little better. I now feel much more connected to Atwater Village. I feel like I'm a part of the community. I feel connected to the people around me and the ground under my feet.
And that's why I created NeighborGoods.
NeighborGoods.net is the online community where you can save and earn money by sharing stuff with your friends. Need a ladder? Borrow it from your neighbor. Have a bike collecting dust in your closet? Rent it out for some extra cash! NeighborGoods helps you live better and more sustainably by saving resources and strengthening local communities.
NeighborGoods is currently in limited beta in Southern California but if you want to check it out before our official launch, join this group just for Shareable readers!