It’s no secret that it can be quite difficult to break social walls between Vancouverites. There have been many articles that discuss the challenges of meeting new people or even getting to know your neighbours. The Vancouver Foundation published a study that states, most neighbourhood connections in Vancouver are “cordial, but weak”. As Vancouverites, are we truly people who don’t talk to others in our neighbourhood?
When it comes to technology, we are incredibly connected — as a city and as a country. Globally, Canadians are leaders in online engagement. We spend on average more than 41 hours per month online and 90 per cent of us are connected on mobile devices. Online social connections can span huge distances, but most of us don’t know our neighbours. One company, bazinga!, is out to change this and bridge the gap between our online social worlds and our neighbourhoods.
bazinga! is the new private social network and utility for your building. Residents living in a bazinga! community have access to building feeds, amenity booking, digital manuals, warranty reminders — everything to do with their home and building in one place. With social profiles and building feeds, residents can share as little or as much as they like. For example, they could suggest the best local coffee shop or coordinate a community bike ride. Heck, you can even ask to borrow a cup of sugar. Great things can happen from knowing your neighbour.
By building stronger social networks between individuals, the larger community also benefits. As Robert Putnam, Harvard professor and author of Bowling Alone, suggests “social networks in a neighbourhood lower crime, improve public health and raise test scores.” The idea behind bazinga! is that through light interaction online, neighbours will be more willing to interact in person and, in turn, build a stronger community. As stated above, most neighbourly relationships in Vancouver are cordial, but weak, bazinga! wants to help change this by creating more meaningful relationships between neighbours. Look out for the new app in new sales centres across Vancouver.
bazinga! is based out of Yaletown and was launched in 2012 when Joseph Nakhla and a friend began working on technology solutions for the condo world. Last year, the company secured a second round of financing of $3.5 million bringing their total to $5 million. Currently, bazinga! is slated to be used in 140 condo and rental communities (17,000 homes) in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.