The City of Shawnee continues in its push to improve interaction with area residents, and social media is playing a large part in that effort. The city has just partnered with Nextdoor, a private social network for neighbors.

The City of Shawnee continues in its push to improve interaction with area residents, and social media is playing a large part in that effort. The city has just partnered with Nextdoor, a private social network for neighbors.

According to its website, at nextdoor.com, Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world.

Shawnee City Manager Justin Erickson said the partnership is just another step in the City’s ongoing efforts to improve public communication and increase transparency.

“The partnership with Nextdoor provides one more avenue for us to interact with the public, address their concerns and get valuable feedback,” he said. “It has become increasingly apparent to me that most citizens are unable to attend public meetings due to scheduling conflicts and other factors, so the more we can reach out through all media platforms, the more informed everyone can be.”

The city has been working diligently on several related efforts, including the launch of the city’s new website and an increased presence on social media, he said.

“In late-2016 we also undertook our first ever comprehensive citizen survey,” he said.

Mayor Richard Finley and City Commissioners have been very supportive of these efforts and have approved the funding to undertake them, which is commendable, he said.

Erickson also credits Kerri Quary, Shawnee's public relations coordinator, for her hard work implementing the changes and leading new initiatives.

Nextdoor Communications Specialist Nick Brinkerhoff said not only is this great news for Shawnee neighbors, but the partnership is historically and nationally significant.

“Shawnee has helped the social network — used by more than 85 percent of the nation’s neighborhoods — reach an important milestone, as it is the 3,000th agency in the country to partner with Nextdoor,” Brinkerhoff said.

The company was created because the founders believe that the neighborhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person's life, the website reads. “We hope that neighbors everywhere will use the Nextdoor platform to build stronger and safer neighborhoods around the world,” the site states.

Based in San Francisco, California, the free private social network was founded in 2010. The site boasts 174,000 neighborhoods currently use Nextdoor.