With the internet invading every aspect of daily life, it is no surprise that websites are slowly starting to mirror the addresses of the brick and mortar world. Country domains and websites were quickly followed by city websites, and now neighborhoods, streets and even apartment buildings are starting to get their own internet and intranet sites: not just to promote the many qualities they have to offer to their (prospective) inhabitants, but also to provide communal interaction and localized services.

Some random global examples of what TRENDWATCHING.COM has dubbed NETHOODS:

In New York: visit Morningside Heights, Lower East Side, and trendy Williamsburg. Or step inside the soon to be finalized Hamilton Apartment building and swanky One Columbus Place with its Dual Star Cybercerge.

In London, look for Clapham High Street (whose webmaster we hope will get better soon), and PutneySW15.com.

Meanwhile, Down Under, Resinet is Australia's largest residential network community, connecting residents in apartment buildings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It provides a 24/7 online communication and content portal between residents in a password protected intranet/internet. TRENDWATCHING.COM can't wait to spot the first intranet exclusively for the 14th floor of a Sydney or New York Midtown high rise ;-)

Back to business: for smart urban entrepreneurs, NETHOODS open up an opportunity to exploit a large portfolio of small, highly targeted web venues, structured after urban grids and addresses. And for those marketers who believe the holy grail is in 'think global, act local' (WE still do!), NETHOODS are the ultimate and most intimate environments for marketing neighborhood specific branches, services and goods.

Note: Lessons in this field can surely be learned from too-early-adaptor EdificeRex.com, a company that tried to roll out building-specific online services in New York a few years ago. EdificeRex.com was the first real-estate-based portal for New Yorkers, designed to create a unique online community for residents in upscale apartment buildings, who would receive passwords that allowed them to use the interactive, highly local, customized offerings. Time for a SECOND .COMING?

MAY 2003 | Does your apartment building have a residence-net yet? One building that should soon have one, is San Diego's One America Plaza: it is the first major building that comes with standard WiFi access, every square foot/meter of it: from its apartments and offices to its four parking decks. (Source: hotspot.nl.) Now let's see if One America Plaza's residents can get their hands on www.oneamericaplaza.com!