When I was in Denver, thinking the university innovation space was something more than it turned out to be. I was looking for a fabrication space, as we had four prototypes to make from architectural models to actual WYSIWIG prototypes of various sizes –none of which you could put in your laptop bag. I tried craigslist, and came up empty, as it appears warehouse space in Denver is all to grow weeds, not make prototypes an other witty inventions to help humanity. Someone suggested a website called nextdoor (dot) com.
My first reaction was, “what is this a neighborhood dating site? Why do I want to get on social media about the neighborhood when all I want is to find a space, garage, or place to build things.
I ended up getting fed up with the speed of innovation and calling some friends at the Santa Fe institute about “known any place or town that has a maker space and room to build?” Within 24 hours all was set here to work, build, and the innovation space runs a whole lot better than what I left…. I can give you the reasons why, but instead I am working up that course idea I have had in my noggin for 20 -30 years of “how and why?” for spaces.
I didn’t even know my address in Denver, so it is listed wrong, (ok, I am off 10 houses) and thought nothing of being “verified” or “confirmed” because I thought the entire site was nothing more than a way to get another social medial form into action. As you see, I don’t do facebook, snapchat, etc. I was on “Friendster” the first social media network in 2004 as a way to see what a random stranger would do when inserted into the Internet. I have done the same with instagram, but it is to play with algorithms and the trajectory of human behavior on the net. (Shhh)
So I leave Denver, think nothing of next-door, and find someone has confirmed or verified me. How? I have no clue, but I start getting a stream of updates. These have me wonder if in this well to do neighborhood by the cities private university, if people have too much time? Have they watched too much TV and think they are also to be private broadcasters? Or is there so much need out there for help and/or people just wanting to get rid of their shit because the price for a trash container in Denver is so high? Is this how lonely people reach out to society? I really have 1,000 questions and not time to follow up on what I am observing as a verified outsider in the neighborhood.
You need a filter to actually sweep through all the various posts, some of which are great natured, others that have one wonder, “is the neighborhood full of paranoid people?”
What would happen if I posted for a space on this platform asking for a few hundred square feet to make things…. I am being a little sarcastic, but if you take the tone and the postings you might end up with a 240 page rental agreement that says, “you can rent the space, but you can’t do anything in it…just look at it, every odd numbered day-sans prime numbers, from 3:19 to 4:34am,….”
The idea behind the site is good, but my god…go out the freaking door, walk over, knock on the door and say, “hi…I am your neighbor.”
When working on the smart home of the future, I wondered how neighborhoods and people would interact. This website probably skews me to think population density will be at an all time high in urban markets and no one will actually have physical interaction with the people around them.
How sad. But I give the site one more week and have put a folder for all the trash, I mean “message” to accumulate before I kill off the account.
Who knew finding a place to innovate in Denver would be so odd. Perhaps we are too smart of our own good? Or we just lack common sense in urban environments?
Meanwhile here it feels right. Makers, creative’s, and really freaking super genius smart people blend in a way that works a better. still the same levels of ego and pride…but more is being done. In a maker space the more work and less talking that happens usually is a good sign. When you see everyone talking and the machines sitting still – uhm..run.”
To infinity and beyond…yeah, time for church. Did you ever ask people, “Why do you go?”
Interesting answers indeed. we all want the same thing, yet why? is as different as the amount of people on the planet.