Episode #48

Know Thy @Neighbor: The End of Urban Anonymity and Rural Solitude

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Simple experiences, like borrowing a ladder from a neighbor or just taking a long solitary hike, are being altered by tech.

This week on New Tech City, host Manoush Zomorodi examines a service called Nextdoor, a social network that aims to form a kind of online community posting board for physical neighborhoods. 

"The research shows that if you use an online mechanism to connect with your neighbors, you're 70 percent more likely to communicate with those neighbors in person," says Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia.

Plus, WNYC's Amy Pearl heads out to the Appalachian Trail in upstate New York, where she finds the act of "getting away from it all" has been changed forever thanks to the strong 3G signal on the northern part of the trail.

All the thru-hikers she met completing the 2,180-mile trail seemed to have iPhones.

"I'm not trying to experience the wilderness. That's not why I'm here," said one hiker with the trail name Big Spoon. "Happiness isn't real unless it's shared," said another thru-hiker who goes by Brain Damage.

Check out this slideshow of thru-hikers that Pearl met along the trail, and on a related note, our first video podcast about what happens when a summer camp lets teens bring along their smartphones.

This is an extended podcast of New Tech City. You can listen to the broadcast version every Wednesday morning at 5:50 and 7:50 a.m. on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and New Jersey Public Radio or subscribe to the program on iTunes.

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker


Charlie Herman


Amy Pearl

Into the Woods, Cell Phone, iPod and All

In August, life is supposed to slow down. But in the city, things never seem to let up. So WNYC's Amy Pearl thought, why not get away from it all? Go out into the woods and hike the Appalachian Trail for a couple days with just her dog Cola for company. Totally unplugged. Well, almost.

Comments [7]

Do New Yorkers Want to Know Who is 'Nextdoor'?

Nextdoor is a social network to connect neighbors. According to its CEO and co-founder, the service isn't about organizing a block party: It's about keeping your neighborhood safe, sharing referrals and consolidating all the notices that the city sends out digitally.

Comments [5]

Comments [1]

N Nowhere

It is much more than having a cell phone, since I have many items that cannot get a signal without me driving to the top of the hill. NO radio. NO TV but that's ok. The only reception that can be received is through the Internet.
It's AWESOME. NO AMBIENT light either. The best star gazing around, short of West Texas.

Aug. 21 2013 12:46 PM

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