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Finally, the Nextdoor app has made itself useful to me.

My wife and I downloaded it last summer when a neighborhood pup wound up in our yard, then in my lap in my recliner, while she alerted the ′hood. Within 20 minutes, pet and pet lover were reunited.

Impressive, I thought.

And then for months, nothing came in my alerts but mundane drivel — stuff like somebody bragging on a new nearby eatin' joint, followed by a thread of "no, so-and-so is better," no, I think ..." "well, if you ask me..." YAWN — and a fair amount of paranoia.

"Suspicious car!"

"Strange looking man!"

"Somebody looked at me funny!"

Then, the other day, Kelsi, here in my neighborhood, popped in with:

"Water Concerns! Okay so I know Edmond City water isn’t too bad. BUT has anyone noticed that the water is smelling more like chemicals recently? Am I just imagining things?!"

From a ′hood or two over came a real answer, from one Sarah Ortega:

"Water quality specialist for City of Edmond here. No, it is not your imagination. As more and more pollutants go down storm drains, Water Resources has to treat with more chemicals to make it safe to drink.

"Furthermore, when temps rise, the lake (quite literally) turns over. Dont be surprised if your water has a dingy look to it in the next few weeks. Totally safe! But you'll be able to see and taste a difference for a day or two."

Solid answer! Met with eight clicks of "Thanks" and then a thread of drivel and paranoia — but hey, a real person with real credentials answered a real question.

A few days earlier, I'd noticed another city employee, public information officer Casey Moore, had posted a kind of buyer-beware notice after the March 23 hail storm:

"Solicitation in Edmond: After last weekend’s hail storms, our City Clerk’s office has been very busy issuing solicitation licenses to local businesses! It is also very common for Edmond neighborhoods to see an increase in solicitation during the spring months.

"For your safety, please ensure that any solicitor who knocks on your door clearly displays a current City of Edmond-issued ID badge on the front of their clothing. Soliciting in Edmond is permitted between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Any person soliciting for sales must obtain a license and follow these requirements."

There is hope for humanity on social media. I checked, and Casey had made 420 posts and 231 replies, and had gotten 8,697 thanks and welcomes.

You can search Nextdoor for posts with recommendations, for sale and free items, events, crime and safety and a few other topics.

Nextdoor isn't new, of course. But it just made itself relevant to me.

A saved puppy? A real water quality-question-and-answer from an official source? A legitimate scam warning? What's not to like?

After swimming in certain other social media's seas of clicker-beware falderal, balderdash and bull for 10 years, I think I like Nextdoor, even with occasional threads of drivel and paranoia. That's just people.

You can reach Real Estate Editor Richard Mize with email at richardmize@oklahoman.com .

Richard Mize

Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked... Read more ›

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