What would Craigslist look like if it was a mobile app? It might look a little bit like Blockboard, a neighborhood app which is expanding today from its initial neighborhood of the Mission in San Francisco to the rest of the city. Co-founder Stephen Hood demoed the app at our Mobile First CrunchUp today.
It is designed from the ground-up as a neighborhood app through which neighbors can interact with one another. They can report potholes and graffiti directly to the city, alert each other about crime and vandalism through a Blockwatch, post general observations about the neighborhood, ask their neighbors questions, and post pictures of lost and found items.
The app has the feel of a bunch of neighborhood flyers on your phone. “Have you seen this dog?” “Free kitchen cabinet in original packaging on sidewalk.” “Dropped baby hat. Blue with pom poms. Near little star?” A week ago I asked, where is the best Cuban food in the Mission and received 8 answers (and that was in the private beta). At some point you can imagine people listing items for sale.
Chief engineer and co-founder Josh Whiting was actually a former senior engineer at Craigslit. Before that he was at Delicious, where he met Hood. There is another Delicious connection in that founder Joshua Schachter is an investor. The company raised a $1 million seed round last May. The company renamed itself and retooled the app from its original Blockchallk concept of pinning virtual notes to GPS coordinates.
You can still pin pictures and notes on a map, but that is almost a buried feature. The app is more about creating a community, but one that is grounded in your real neighborhood. You pick your neighborhood, which limits the posts and other neighbors you see in the app to that micro-community. In a day and age when people no longer talk to their neighbors, much less know who they are, maybe it will take a mobile app to make people good neighbors again.