LocalBlox brings old-school communities back to today’s social networking and mobile era by connecting neighbors on some core human values, but the enterprise that turned into a global phenomenon grew from one woman’s love with Seattle and a desire to connect with her neighbors.
“I fell in love with Seattle on a beautiful summer day, overlooking the Cascade Mountains and lake,” said Sabira Arefin, founder and CEO of LocalBlox. “I decided to move here with a job at Expedia and a dream to travel the world.”
She attained her dream of worldwide travel and of experiencing different cultures, but was devastated to find some of her prize plants were uprooted and killed during her absence. She learned that such vandalism wasn’t uncommon by those in the area who wanted to preserve their million dollar views. She wanted to discuss the situation with her neighbors but couldn’t find a Facebook page for it – so she created her own. That webpage was the eventual impetus for the launch of LocalBlox.
One of Arefin’s classmate from Duke laughed at the idea of a network to connect neighborhoods, as did a Wharton graduate but she persevered and believed in her vision. In just six short months, the site generated so much interest that Arefin decided to expand her horizons and create more local neighborhoods within LocalBlox.
The site counted among its ambassador students and stay-at-home moms to social media enthusiast and retired baby boomers. To alleviate the site’s clutter and make the interface more user-friendly, she enlisted the help of other members and the site exploded to thousands of neighborhoods. The platform is live in 60,000 USA neighborhoods and in major cities worldwide with aggregated local news, events, jobs, local search & a hyper local neighborhood business directory. LocalBlox proved especially popular with local businesses, so a neighborhood business directory was created that boasts 23 million business listings today.
“We didn’t have many resources to start with – many people have helped,” said Arefin. “We have thousands of passionate community ambassadors who help build communities online and offline in the neighborhoods. Small help from thousands of people really adds up. I am so thankful to all of our ambassadors.”
With no previous experience working with small businesses, Arefin decided to educate herself. She walked through hundreds of neighborhoods with two of the site’s ambassadors – veterans from Afghanistan. She decided to hold a community event and invite the neighborhood. Local businesses embraced the idea enthusiastically and promoted the activity. People are the heart of LocalBlox and it’s a tenet that continues to guide the firm.
Today, LocalBlox has a scaled platform in 60,000 neighborhoods and a robust technology that connects small businesses with each other and local consumers. The company provides a complimentary ad to small businesses in their neighborhood to help connect and build long term relationships with their local customers. Additionally the firm offers hyper local directory listings, enhanced profiles and search engine exposure through integrated social networking, social bookmarking and top listing services, mobile ads, geo-targeted voice mail to reach all local businesses, local B2B Networking, event marketing services. For Corporates, LocalBlox provides enhanced local profiles integrated with major social networking sites and a mobile platform with a SoLoMo approach to bolster brand reputations, communicate and monitor all local, social and mobile interactions in real-time
The company continues to build upon its platform and raise capital to advance the firm to the next level of service. Arefin continually listens to users to discover what they need, learn about developing trends and expand the firm’s range of services, while building strategic partnerships with a wide variety of players.
“We are hopeful we will raise the necessary capital soon to take our company to the next level with our over 100,000 fans & followers and millions of businesses in thousands of neighborhoods, said Arefin. “We have failed many times, but we believe in our people who believed in us and we will build our neighborhood communities by connecting neighbors and small businesses.”
Designed to allow residents and businesses in specific neighborhoods to meet and interact with their neighbors, LocalBlox is a highly innovative local social media portal that covers around 60 thousand of neighborhoods throughout the US and allows users to add additional areas. LocalBlox.com Building strong local communities by connecting neighbors and neighborhoods.