i-Neighbors is the leading social networking service aimed at connecting people who live in the same geographic area.
i-Neighbors is a new kind of company - a social enterprise. Our goal is to help communities organize, share information and work together to solve local problems. We work to reverse the trend toward declining local involvement.
i-Neighbors is the outcome of a project that started in 1997 with a study of how Internet use was affecting people's relationships in a 'wired neighborhood' located outside of Toronto, Canada. That study found that people who use the Internet to communicate locally know more of their neighbors, talk to them more in person and have a new tool to organize locally. In 2001, a followup study was launched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This study observed the residents of four Boston area neighborhoods for three years and found additional support for the conclusion that local Internet services can greatly expand neighborhood interaction, local tie formation and opportunities for collective action. Services from these early trial neighborhoods were made available to anyone when i-Neighbors.org was launched in the summer of 2004. For its first year i-Neighbors was run by students and faculty at MIT, and from 2005-2011 from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2012, i-Neighbors Inc. was formed to offer an expanded range of services that build community on and offline. Unlike a traditional non-profit, a social enterprise earns revenue to support their goals in place of philanthropic and government support. Dr. Keith Hampton, lead the research behind this site and is founder and CEO of i-Neighbors.
i-Neighbors has over 100,000 users and is active in all 50 of the United States and all 10 Canadian provinces.