fatdoor gets serious

Neighborhood social site fatdoor announced $5.5 million in funding and a new CEO (from Yahoo!) earlier this week. The company has been in private beta for some time.

I am glad for them. I have raised questions here about the viability of connecting neighbors online, as has Joel over at FOREM. And I am still not certain that people disinclined to walk next door or down the street to meet a neighbor will find it suddenly attractive online. But the idea still intrigues from a real estate perspective.

This announcement follows on the heels of neighborhood news site outside.in’s new funding a couple weeks back. This sub-category, despite it’s early stumbles, seems to be renascent.

If FatDoor and the like provide tools that allow neighbors to connect, organize and act around issues (perhaps real estate specific issues), they may tap into the activity that has been so elusive to date.

No one on in my neighborhood is using StreetAdvisor or outside.in yet. But there are at least a half-dozen very active neighborhood Yahoo! Groups around such issues as crime, admissions to our neighborhood school, and speed bump installation. The Yahoo! Groups platform is a bit clunky (It took me forever to set up a group, and I botched all the settings) but nonetheless offers some clues on how to solve the neighborhood conversation puzzle.

Here’s to more money and talent in this space!

Brian Boero