04. 04. 2008
LifeAt.com: social networking site for apartment dwellers who want to meet their neighbors
LifeAt.com is a funny but interesting online social networking concept. Rather than trying to connect you with people in distant places, people you would never expect to run into in real life, this site connects you with people who you might see in the elevator in your apartment building or bump into in the parking garage on your way home - people who are already around you but with whom you may not have any immediate natural occasion to connect. This New York-based business attempts to make your neighborhood (your apartment building, that is) feel . . . neighborly. It's a "modern twist on the community bulletin board, the self-proclaimed neighborhood gossip, the welcome wagon, and the earmarked local business guide."
Of course, there are those who live in high-rises in the city because they don't want the quaint closeness of a small town, but the reality may be that high-rise dwellers often feel disconnected from their neighbors even while living in close proximity to them. Since its launch in 2007, LifeAt has grown to 3 offices and 450 "contemporary online communities," including buildings in New York, London, and soon Dubai. And it was recently introduced at several "high profile" residences in Washington, DC.
It's an intriguing idea, and I can see this expanding to communities that aren't necessarily apartment buildings (how about suburban subdivisions?). It seems that social networking has come full circle with this creation of virtual neighborhoods that enable people to get to know each other in their real neighborhoods.